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tv   C-SPAN Weekend  CSPAN  October 3, 2010 10:30am-1:00pm EDT

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that on camera knowing he says it on camera you know he's very far along on the presidential thing. he doesn't support jim demint's confrontational approach in the senate and that probably means he doesn't support all the things that jim demint has done in the conference to challenge the leader mitch mcconnell clo he said unequively he supports and expects to win after the election. >> what about the tea party equation in terms of governing? >> i think he tried to tiptoe that line fairly well. and every republican who is thinking or eyeing 2012 has one question. what does this movement mean for the presidential campaign? is it possible for activists from the tea party movement to in some respects high jak what is normally a pretty topdown party-run process? and i think he had a little smile on his face when the tea party came up.
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he is not had to navigate this personally this year. it might have been better, perhaps, if he had a primary race in south dakota or maybe a race overall. he's been watching this from the sidelines. he's not been deeply engaged so that has to be worried for him. he came into the senate? 2005. he was sworn with barack obama. so there's no question that in his mind he thinks that, if that guy can do it, i can do it. >> and he clearly understands the power and importance of grass roots which he extold the virtues of the tea party. the question for him and every other republican is do you try to channel that or do you try to create sort of a detant with it? we exist in the same universe. you have your agenda, i have my agenda he said this is an independent movement and it's not going to be brought in and
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subsumed. and he said if we don't govern correctly, they could be the formation or the formtive push for a third party, possibly as early as 2012. that's a very respectful way of dealing with the tea party, which keeps the conversation going with them i think across the board. which also i think has presidential implications. >> congress left town this week without any clarity on the bush tax cuts. will these be dominant issues in the elections? >> the tax question clearly. >> without a doubt. and it's striking when the final month of the mid-term election campaign -- this has been a very active year and a half in congress. democrats aren't going out touting their accomplishments. they're sort of going out quietly with a wimper. it's pretty extraordinary that democrats are not trying to double down on some of these accomplishments because they see them as liabilities. but without a question the tax cut issue, both these issues will be front and center during
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the lame duck session after the mid terms when everything here cowl look different. >> the tax issue illustrates the issue about being certain. the democrats were certain to hold the bush tax cuts at the end because they would hold all the cards. now they have such deep en trenched divisions in the ranks because the economy hasn't recovered they can't take the vote. so as democrats leave washington they are not campaigning on health care and not voting on middle class tax cuts. that gives you an indication of where the party finds itself, a little more than a month out. >> major and jeff, gentlemen, thanks for being with us on "newsmakers." >> thank you. >> washington had one of the more difficult mothers of all times. she was a very crusty, very self-centered woman who you
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would think that the mother of the father of our country would have all sorts of quotes and taking pride and pleasure in her son. we really don't have any. >> tonight, the first of two programs with author ron cherno and his soon to be released autobiography of george washington. >> today on book tv, explore the reality behind science fiction, the flimpltteds of einstein. join our three-hour conversation with your calls, e-mails, and tweets live on in-depth today at noon eastern on c-span 2's book tv. >> on monday, retired coast guard admiral allen told a commission investigating the
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spill that public perception of bp affected the oil spill response. he suggested having a third party represent polluters. he testified at the national commission on the bp deepwater horizon commission. the commission is investigating the oil rig explosion in the gulf of mexico and will release its findings in november. on friday, allen announced that the command has been officially disestablished and he has transferred oversight of the bp oil spill response. this portion of the hearing is 50 minutes. i call to order this third meeting of the national commission on the bp deepwater
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horizon oil spill and offshore drilling. the president established this bipartisan commission to examine the root causes of the bp deepwater horizon oil disaster to provide recommendations on how a future accident can be prevented and recommendations on how to mitigate the impact if an accident should happen again. the president appointed two co chairs to lead this commission. the former senator bob graham of florida and the honorable william riley who led the environmental protection agency under president george hw bush. the commission is rounded out by five other distinguished americans who were selected based on their extensive scientific legal engineering and environmental expertise and their knowledge of issues pertaining to offshore operations. they are frances fine ski, president of the natural
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resources defense council. dr. done bosh, president of the university of maryland center for environmental science. terry garcia, executive vice president, national geographic society. dr. cherry murray, dean of the harvard school of engineering and applied sciences. and fran olmer chancellor of the university of alaska at anchorage. this commission is conducting its work consistent with the federal advisory committee act which sets a high standard for openness and transparency. as such, today's hearing is being held in this public forum and is being broadcast live via video feed. before i hand control of the meeting to our two distinguished co chairs, i will review today's agenda. our first panel will begin focusing on decision making within the unified command.
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and we will have five panelists. after a short break at 11:15, panel number two will focus on the amount and fate of the oil with five panelists. we'll take a short break for lunch. and at 1:30 reconvene on panel three with the use of dispersants. panel four will focus on the future of offshore drilling and we will have three panelists there. at 3:35, panel five will focus on the arctic, on response on the arctic. we will have five panelists. after a short break, we will reconvene at 5:00 p.m. to begin the public comment period. and at 5:30, adjourn for the day. any member of the public who would like to submit a written comment on this commission may do so via the website at www.oil spill
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we have a full agenda and we very much respect everyone's time so we ask all the panelists to please stay within the time limits in order to allow ample time for the commissioners to ask questions. there is a time keeper right here in front who will monitor the time. we ask the panelists to please begin to sum rise their remarks when they reach the time keeper's first one-minute mark. with that, i give control of the meeting to our two co chairs, senator bob graham and the honorable william riley. winston church hill described an event as being not the end, not the beginning of the end, but perhaps the end of the beginning.
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today, i would describe the commission as ending the first phase of our work. we have been in an information gathering mode hearing from people of the gulf, government officials, scholars and experts from industry, nonprofit organizations, and academia. next, we will turn to presenting our findings and beginning our deliberations. in early november, our chief counsel fred bartlett will give a detailed presentation about what happened on the deepwater horizon rig and provide us what we trust will be the most comprehensive, clear, and impartial accounting that the american people have received. but for today and tomorrow the end of the beginning, we'll be learning about very crucial issues that will inform future offshore drilling efforts.
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the response to spills and the restoration of damaged eco systems. in the course of our investigation we have learned about the tremendous transformation in how we exploit our domestic energy resources. the growth of drilling in the deep water off our coast has been rapid and with profound implications for our energy supply and the infegget of the fragile environments in which that exploitation occurs. in our meetings last month, it was clear that our regular tri approach did not adapt to the new reality. i remained concerned that science still does not have an appropriate place at the table. we live in a world of rapidly changing technology, not just in terms of energy but in many other areas, in finance, in cyber security, in food production, in weapons of mass destruction, in many others. if we are not vigilant, our
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laws and response capabilities will not keep pace with changes in technology. we ignore science and what it can tell us about how to manage risk and respond to it at our peril. just five years ago, just five years after the gulf suffered the devastation of hurricane katrina, many have the same question about whether the government moved quickly enough and was effective enough in its activities, its communication, and its partnership with state and local governments. we need to look at this response in the broader context of how our federal, state, and local government mobilized against disasters. much was done well in responding to this spill. other things not so. i look forward to hearing from our panelists today, getting their thoughts on what they have learned and where we go from here. the end of the beginning to the
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end. thank you. >> since our inception this commission has been very intensely engaged in examining the causes including the root cause of the catastrophe of the well and blowout. we have interviewed experts, we have met with government officials at the highest lels. we have had extensive interviews and briefings from industry. we have completed one phase of information gathering though we will continue to gather information in the weeks ahead. we have, as many of you know, a very abbreeveyate schedule. it's probably the shortest of any commission that has had a mission of investigating a disaster. and in this case, we suffered the peculiar consequence of
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investigating a disaster that was ongoing even as we researched it. we spent a good deal of time at the last hearings examining the role of industry and particularly reflecting on the way in which the experience and the research that we had developed suggested a profound need for reform of the culture of industry. and for better attention to process safety, particularly as industry explores in what is the most promising area for the future of offshore oil and gas development, the very deep water. that of course poses more risk, more challenges than previous drilling in shallow water ever did. we've considered industry culture and attention to process safety and so today we turn to the government itself, to its priorities and processes, to the quality of
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its primary regulatory entity for overseeing safety enforcement of environmental laws in the offshore environment, which is the department of interior. the effectiveness of the response to the spill affects more than the interior department. that involves many agencies of the government, several of which will be represented in the presentations this mork and many of whose -- morning and many of whose officials we have talked to already. i have to say that as someone intimately familiar with the experience in prince william sound after exxon valdez, that i continue to be amazed and disappointed at the failure of the technology of response to evolve more than it has, particularly in view of the tremendous advances made in the technology of drilling itself. the skimmers we are informed by
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noaa, i saw a float i willa of them when i -- float ill la of then succeeded of gathering up 3% of the total amount of the spill, burning accountd for 5% and disbursents got that up to 13. given the enormous effort it seems to me very disappointing result, frankly. it's the consequence of a lot of things. one of which is the failure of technology, the skimmers, booms, to evolve and be developed. we will raise some of those questions today. we will also consider the use of dispersants and we'll discuss how and why they were employed in the gulf. and in such quantities and at such depths, both of which represent novel uses of disbertsance and suggests that there was enormance confidence
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placed in dispersants, more confidence that certainly i allowed in prince william sound when they were arguably more troublesome and possibly more toxic than they are today. we will learn more about that. i guess looking at the quality of specific desigses while i think it's very important, misses what i think is a fundamental question. how did we get here? how did we get into a situation where the need to improvise was so great? in many cases the response demonstrated tremendous dedication and ingenuity that is a credit to the very many thousands of people who participated in this cleanup. but from where i sit, it's very, very difficult to make the case that we were well prepared. oil exploration continues in front tier environments and these areas offer enormous
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promise for returns as well as the risk of catastrophe. how would we respond to a similar disaster occurred under the sea ice in the arctic today or tomorrow? the condo blowout and its consequences created a situation where the party responsible for the spill had by necessity to play an important, even a central role in responding to it. and we should be happy that they did and have and are. this uneasy partnership between the government and the responsible party raises important questions about decision making power. about the flow of information and about proper oversight. and in our political system, there's also partnership, sometimes uneasy, between the federal government and the
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states and communities. we are all aware of the issues that arose in the aftermath of the spill, concerns about the speed of the response and about some efforts that were not pursued. overall looking back, i think we need to learn from this spill, and that's part of what this commission is about. we learn from the exxon valdez disaster, too, tanker operations are much safer than they were 20 years ago. but the oil pollution act of 1990 has been criticized for having us really respond to the last war. and it's my hope that the lessons we learn from the response this time did not just fix what went wrong in the past but creates a culture that eliminates complaceancey in industry and also in government. thank you. >> thank you.
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i will be chairing the morning sessions. mr. riley the afternoon. we commence with panel one decision making within the unified command. and we are very pleased to have as our first witness today admiral thad allen, the national incident commander for the command. when mr. allen completes his introdoesn'try statement, our lead questioner will be commissioner fran ol merit. admiral. >> good morning. good to see you again. chairman riley, let me start off by saying that your remarks are spot on. i think you're zeroing in on exactly the issues we should be talking about this morning. it's my pleasure to be here and have this discussion with you. i did not submit a statement for the record. there has been a lot of information provided to you already. in early part of june, we start developing a plan for the
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docket nal changes were being made and adapted to the spill. what i directed my staff to do was collect that information and then update it every several weeks into a new version. that will be the semnal record of the decisions that were made in the dock trin that was made. i have the version this morning. you can see it's become a rather vomumenuss document. i would ask that we be able to submit that for the commission to use for the record and we will do that when the next version is published. i would like to talk about four things this morning in the opening statement and then i will be glad to take any questions. first, i would like to go over the rationale by which the command was established. to talk about some of the challenges that you've already noted some of the successes that we did enjoy. and i think the implications for the future as we take a look at current oil spill
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doctrine and what we need to do to position for the next, if you will. and i would subscribe to your concept that the implementation was tanker cent rick. i achieved the goal of tanker safety. i think we would agree with that. but as we were dealing with things like developing protocols for burning and dispersant use, deep water drilling moved offshore. we stopped funding research and development, interagency processes to do that and move forward pretty much became very, very benign and by the time the middle of the 1990s came around, what was anticipated to be a very, very robust research and development, interagency process basically was shepherding some very meager amounts of money among the agencies and doing the best they can. so i think moving forward we need to take a look at r and d and what we're trying to do in relation to the technologies employed with energy in the future. when i was designated as the
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national incident commander, i sat down with a small group of folks who became my cadre and my senior staff and what i told them was inted to focus on what needed to be done above the unified area command level which had been established in the region under admiral landry. i wanted to focus on those things that were distracting the unified command from doing their job, work issues in washington deal with the governmental structures, congress and so forth, and not duplicate or try and assume tactical control of any of the operations from washington. as a 39 year veteran of the coast guard, the last thing anybody wants is what we would call the 3,000 mile screw driver. so one of the first principles was that we would leave tactical control as close to the problem as we could. and that we would try and develop awareness in washington and the staff and myself would travel back and forth, which we did, weekly to not only see what was going on on scene down
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range but also to take care of the extraordinary amounts of data required to brief up to the various levels of government and to deal with the media as well. with that in mind, i would like to characterize the national incident command as a thin client, to use a software term necessary to bring everything together and integrate but no more than what is necessary and without adding layers of bureaucracy. the incident command system that was established in ultimately in new orleans was the basis for the coordination at the unified command is a time proven response dating back decades to the fire service and their response to fire fighting. that is a sound system. the incident command is the way to approach one of these spills. i would say as we start to take a look at what transpired we need to look at what the basic doctrine on incident command says versus reality of what we found on the ground, which was not a large monolithic oil
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spill that we experienced with the exxon valdez but oil that came to the surface under different conditions each day, different wind and current. we did not have a large monolithic spill on many occasions, what we had were hundreds of thousands of patches of oil that moved in different directions at different periods of time that moved beyond the geographic cal area and put the entire gulf coast at risk. that drove resource requirements far beyond those required. required coordination across state boundaries, across federal-regional boundaries for the regional response team. those were the fipes of issues i think that were generated in this spill that start to set it apart from the spills we dealt with the since the oil pollution act of 1990 was passed. as you know, the oil pollution act of 1990 and the changes have served us well for 20 years. we have worked on smaller spills with state and local governments with responsible
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parties. i think some of the anom liz associated with this spill that started to challenge the doctrine need to be looked at in detail as we moved forward for constructive changes to the national contingency plan which should, in my view should remain in place and how we handle events in the future that start to defy the traditional parameters. and if i could go over a couple of those i think it would be useful. first, i think we need greater clarity moving forward on who what the responsible party is, who they are and how they interact with the command system and the national contingency plan. we have worked with responsible parties for over 20 years very effectively managing oil spills but with the enormt of this spill, the uncertainty, the omni directional nature of it, really chang -- challenged the nation's ability to understand what an rp is.
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and without a clear understanding in advance of the event, trying to explain that to the american public, local government leaders, and even national leaders, we became very, very challenging and there were two basic issues that were not well understood by most of the people in the united states and political leaders. number one, that there be a constructive role for the entity that was attributed to causing the event itself. that created a significant amount of concern that could not be explained away. even though we for 20 years have worked effectively in that construct and responding to oil spills. the second is necessarily the fid sharey link between the representative of the responsible party and the unified command and their share holders. there are legal requirements for documenting costs which you have to carry on the balance sheet, s.e.c. filings and so forth that they cannot sever. so the second notion was very difficult for the people in this country to understand and our political leaders was the fact that ultimately there was
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a fid sharey link between the responsible party and the share holders which would bring into question every decision could, should or would have been made based on what was best for the environment and the response itself. now, as stateded in the national contingency plan and by statute, the responsible party is to resource the response and the federal government is to oversee that response. in creating the oil pollution act of 1909 we created an entire industry of oil spill response and the presumption was that the responsible party would bring contracted resources to respond to the spill under the supervision of the federal government. that is indeed what occurred but as you start to look at the enormt of this response, and the local implication of very isolated geographic cal areas where access is an issue, where just logistical support for this type of response is an issue, a lot of the details that are caried out by those
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contractors that are brought to scene are done in a contractual obligation base pisiss with the responsible part -- base basis under the supervision of the federal government and part way through this spill we deployed additional coast guard personnel down to the state and local level, provided more supervision to make decision making close tore where the oil was at and what was going on in response to feedback, that too much of that was being made locally be subcontractors. i think there's an arguable discussion to be had about what constitutes the authority to take action and theday to day supervision of workers and how that gets interpreted in terms of feedback and the effects you're trying to achieve. moving forward i think there's a couple things we need to do. we need to look at the plan and what we mean by the concept of responsible party. and how we want that to actually look in the future. something we might want to consider is the creation of a qualified individual that would represent the industry oversee
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the response, have access to the resource, but basically be fire walled from any fid sharey link back to the share hold ers almost putting the resources in trust and having them executed by industry expert. a i think moving forward the issue of r and dd hand to be addressed. we can't do that during the middle of a response. those things have to be proven and ready when we need them. i also believe a certain number of delegations could be made in law allowing us to have access to the trust fund to replenish that fund when we need to and have that kick in when spill national significance is declared. i see my time is up and i would be glad to take any questions you would have for me. . .
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>> i'm very concerned about the implications of that for alaska
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and whether or not you have the kind of assets that will be necessary moving forward in the future. that is one concern. the second concern is you address the relationship between the national incident command and the responsible party. i would like you to address the relationship between several state and local participants. but there seemed to be a fair amount of anxiety, misunderstanding, conflict in those relationships. to a certain extent, perhaps because of the scale of this incident and its ration. but perhaps also because of the system we use. i wonder if you can recommend any changes that might reduce that kind of lack of coordination and cooperation that probably got in the way. >> thank you very much for the questions. let me provide one caveat.
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and the commandant of the coastguard emeritus here this morning. the admiral charge of the current managerial resources, so any of those views expressed here are mine. the genius of the coast guard has always been we are a multi missions service. our platforms are multi-mission that so are our people. that means you don't have five vessels were five people to do a mission because they're capable of doing different things. that brings into risk-management structure because you cannot do all five things at once with one vessel. so there's a resource allocation process by which the coast court -- the coast guard allocates resources. we will always allocate resources we have to the highest need. the more resources we have, the more contingencies and activities we can cover with
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greater capacity to a greater extent. you can make it legitimate conclusion from that that we could never have enough resources. but we have all the resources we need -- we need more than we have right now, yes. especially when we're talking about oversight in an oil spill like this where there is a presumption that she'd have coastguard personnel at lower levels linked to contractors and contractors that in a normal spill operating independently because of the the circumstances of this spill. we do not have people ready to surge to do that. if the anticipated role of government in the future is a more active role down to the subcontractor level, the will be a serious resource issue for the coast guard and all federal resources agencies involved in this. your second question is legitimate and goes to the heart
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of this response. let me compare and contrast with the states are used to seeing and working with and what happened in this spill. usually, in an oil spill, the responsible party brings in contract organizations and the coast guard overseas is at its very effectively run. when you start to the large scale spill that involves multiple bids bodies, states and across an entire region, it becomes confusing for state and local governments because there's a presumption federal preeminence and jurisdiction of duty. i would compare and contrast that to the stafford act which is the means by which we support the government by means of the declaration of a president after a natural disaster. in that case, the responders for the state and local governments and resources are provided to them to execute their mission and achieve what they're trying to do. because of the uniqueness of oil
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and chemical spills, all the jurisdictions, the fact that the beyond state waters, there is a presumption that the federal government will coordinate this. that is not what the cities, counties and locales in the gulf -- in the gulf that have been used to. there used to the stafford act or the resources are provided and execute them. there was a reconciliation that had been carried out between the assumption of the role of the state and local governments as far as executing spill response and the responsibilities we have a lot to execute a national contingency plan and our fiduciary responsibility to the oil spill trust fund. i don't think that was intended -- that was anticipated when these plants were constructed. but when there is a large spill, the will be a large question to what is the federal role in a sterile and we can do legally and not legally. i had a meeting with the parish
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president so we had a frank discussion about this. they want to opt out -- and to optimize the performance -- but i cannot delegate federal authority to them and i cannot ignore my responsibility in the fiduciary matter to the oil liability trust fund. that's a matter of law, a matter of policy abetted in the legislation. if we think that's an issue, we need to talk about that moving forward. the real problem at, at least of the local government, and you'll hear from a parish president's ear and a bit, is it you to be flexible, agile and responsive. we can pressure -- we -- decompresses down, but if we're doing this through subcontractors, we have to figure out a way to rationalize the process. over the course of this spill, we did this. we shifted authority and resources to a lower-level. we established liaison with the paris president's and in mississippi, alabama and
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florida. because of the size of this bill, it was going to take more hands-on interactive partnering to achieve that the results we wanted to achieve. was the response of? >> very much so. thank you. >> my question is there is a requirement of various levels of government having response plans ready to be brought into use when the emergency occurred. what was your evaluation of the adequacy of those response plans and do you have any suggestions as to that they can be improved? >> another excellent question. let me take you back to the spring of 2002, when i was a national incident commander for a spill of national
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significance. it was a drill that we held in the superdome of new orleans and assimilated well blowout 80 miles to the west of where this event actually occurred. you would think a national exercise program, that would have prepared us for an event like this. to some extent, it did. >> when did that take place? >> april, 2002. i was the atlantic area commander and designated national incident commander for that exercise. i thought it went pretty well, but looking back on that, there were some artificialities bill did we could not anticipate that led directly to believe we had to change. contingency planning. the entire exercise was conducted with the state of louisiana represented an error no parish presence -- no parish president's present. if you're going to interact with state and local officials on any level, as part of the contingency planning process,
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the designation of sensitive areas, negotiation of protocol for dispersant usage and so forth, that has to be taken at a local government level, or the responder will be interacting. we cannot always rely on the fact is will be integrated on the state level and the state will speak with one voice. moving forward, we need to look at louisiana parish annexes, the layout, how you interact and mississippi will be that the county level. we need to understand how we will designate sensitive areas. the current plans focus on national resources. sensitive marsh areas, look at areas where juvenile species are born and raised and how the
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seafood industry is supported. after this spill, and senator, you know this well, the economic impact of beach closers is significant, but there is a response doctrine that we will push oil to a beach so you can collect it there. that is not universally agreed with in the gulf. we need to do a couple of things. they need granular a that takes a down to local governments that will be responsible for coordinating with our first responders. they have to have a say in how we identify and come up with protection strategies for critical resources. and what are critical resources need to take a look at as far as the economic impact and a loss of impact in this species. that is something we should take a look at in the future. >> thank you. >> could you tell us how the low
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flow ants -- low flow estimates impact of the response? instead of being told there were 1,000 barrels a day or 5,000 barrels a day, if you were told there are 20,000 barrels a day or 30,000 barrels a day, would you have done anything different? >> the answer is no. the reason is we assume that the outset this could be a catastrophic event. i was the commandant of the coast guard at the time and was called in the middle of the night when the explosion occurred. we started moving very quickly to the folks with knowledge of marine salad -- marine salvage operations on the rig. we knew we had 7,000 gallons of diesel fuel which was a large amount given the fact [unintelligible] we started moving every piece of equipment identified in your -- in the response plan. we knew this had the potential
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to be much larger than a was. we never at any point relied on the 1000-5,000 barrels a day. when that became an issue of what the flow was, i established a separate government flow rate technical group to look at this from an independent standpoint. we brought in the head of the u.s. geological survey and other folks in government to be able to assess that ourselves. part of the problem with flow rate was the lack of access to the flow site. the fact that everything we knew we learned from a remotely operated vehicles or remote sensing and it took awhile for the event actually reveal itself in terms of information. it's a while to understand if we were going to deal with flow rate in a meaningful way, we had to get high resolution video and do some actual scientific analysis to develop volumetric parameters of oil, gas, water, 7
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and so forth. so that did not impact my decision making early on. >> who was operating the remote operated vehicles? >> a variety of companies. >> was of the responsible party? >> there are sub crash -- or subcontractors to bp or transocean. >> you made an interesting comment about responsible parties. b.v. one of the challenges of the more than just that appearance or the ability of the government to articulate their roof -- articulate the role of the responsible party. there is a substantive problem here that needs to be addressed -- in all instances are just we have a spell of national significance? >> i think the public's tolerance of the responsible party is inverse to the size of this bill.
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i became dysfunctional because of the perception of what was being done, not necessarily the reality. i think maybe more perception that reality, but it does not matter. once the perception is so great that it serves to intrude in the response, the need to deal with it. for that reason, i've been trying to come up with alternative notions of how to accomplish the same effect but do away with the perception problems. would you have what i would call the social and political nullification of the plan, he have to deal with the perception. >> do you feel you have adequate resources and expertise to evaluate the information being provided to you by the responsible party? >> i think resources in this bill are an issue we need to look at closely. i never lacked funding. it was converting funding into
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equipment, data that she needed and getting it there in a timely manner. the supply of boom, skimmers and so forth. it was actually producing the shipping and getting it where needed to be once the requirements -- there are a significant numbers of issue that have been raised in this bill that did not exist in 1990. one is dated knowledge management -- debt knowledge management. be able to get with technical teams established by the federal government that i don't think presage in the oil pollution act of 1990. >> thank you. >> the phrase the queues, the social nullification of the national contingency plan -- i'm uncertain whether the cause was primarily a public perception
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issue and you suggested that as part of it. was also a consequence of the involvement by various high- level officials in the administration in a differentiated responsibilities never identified in the national contingency plan but assumed under the pressure of the catastrophe? >> that's a good point. i don't want to attribute motives to how people act. i think ought to be consulted in that regard. i believe two things happened. first, there is not an overall sufficient knowledge of the national contingency plan. how was structured, including the relationship between the rp and federal on scene coordinator. the worst time to explain doctrine and make somebody smart on organizational structure is during an event. frankly, there was a spill of national significance exercise done in march, because of the unavailability of principles, the people week -- who learned
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most from the spill were unable to participate and you're unable to see an opportunity to let everybody understand what their role would be. absent that, you get a visceral reaction to the site of the into the responsible for the event being involved in command center decisions, being there on briefings, being an involved in the response and that creates cognitive discipline -- cognitive dissonance. at some point, it becomes a very -- becomes a barrier to the response. >> did the involvement of high- level officials complicate your response for the efficiency of unified command? >> i believe everybody had different goals they're trying to achieve. so those exceeded the statutory authority we have as far as oil spill response. i believe the country and political leaders expect the whole of government response.
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you cannot always achieve that by executing the provisions of the oil pollution act of 1990 and the regulations are issued pursuant to it. if it does not fall in europe price idiot -- operas ability to fund them to the trust fund, things like seafood sampling, behavior and health issues in society, the socio-economic issues that are important to the american public and political leaders were almost an addressable in terms of the statutes and money and how you could use the funds. to that end, the national incident command created several entities it never existed before. one of which took these problems on, including dealing with the state's and claims processing with bp, whether the national guard could be used. a number of expectations in our political leaders or the public are not covered in current law or doctrine and those had to be developed as we moved through
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the spill. >> your recommendation that a fiduciary of the responsible party be created in the event of a significant spill in the future that has the ability to roll or disregard the insurer responsibility to shareholders. is that an implicit conclusion bp was too slow to lay out the and and is supporting activities and get involved adequately in a way that involved serious money? or did you actually direct them to do it? >> fighting any delay in carrying out response activities was not related to what would be perceived to be a fiduciary responsibility of bp to its shareholders. i attribute more to the enormity of this response add the fact we have a unified area command in the region, dealing with in
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commanders in different cities. the enormity of this response challenge the incident command system from a process standpoint from how quickly do requests, get procurement -- it was a logistical and efficiency issue than any intention related to minimizing cost or a fiduciary link back. the reason i think we want to consider an independent qualified individual is due to the perception of the american people and our political leaders that this is not working. if the perception is that strong, which tried to do something about it. >> one of your fellow officers characterize the nature of the bp response as highly successful wholesale, not so successful retail. by which he seemed to mean the organization of people to do beach cleanups, skimmers and the rest was much more challenging as one might expect. is that your perception?
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how would you characterize the response? >> that was my quote. i can explain that. >> i don't think the admiral attributed it to you. >> will have a discussion about that. i have had this discussion and i have been open because i think you need to be frank about the issues you're dealing with. bp is a glut oil exploration and production company. they do wholesale very well -- is a global oil exploration and production company. they're very well with the it -- they do very well with this technology. but when you do transactions with individuals, dealing with a vessel of opportunity operator, local folks involved in subcontracting, catering services, whatever, it is very difficult to write a specification and outsourced corporate values and empathy to a second and third party. a lot of the issues down their
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late to events have taken place in the gulf, the stress these folks have been put under, and try to understand to do that while you are filling the contractual actions out there. that goes into bedside manner, at that tissue. we dealt with that by putting more coast guard people and lower parts of the organization, tried to flatten the organization and the decision- making down. i do believe it is very, very hard to translate corporate intent through the second and third tier contractors of you are trying to create the face of the response for the organization. the lens by which the people of the gulf situs is in those individual transactions. >> would it better be addressed through fema or at on the ground organizer? >> any discussion of the much involvement has to be discussed within the stafford act and
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federal pre-eminence, how the money flows and degrees of freedom in how the things are applied in effect. the max through contractors as well and mission assignments through other agencies. >> but they have a habit of working with the local government. >> they provide resources to the local government and local government has degrees of freedom, autonomy and discretion in how the things are applied locally. if we think that's the way we want to go, that require -- that would require a fundamental rethinking. >> thank you for all you have done to lead this effort. >> thank you, admiral, and thank you for your long career of service to america. >> on friday, the retired admiral alan announced that the official command has been
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disbanded and transferred oversight of the bp response trade he said it would continue under plans developed with state and local agencies. also testifying before the administrator was epa administrator lee said jackson. she said long-term studies on the effects of dispersants are needed. this portion of the hearing is about 40 minutes. r horizon rig explosion. please allow me to begin by expressing my condolences to the families of those who have lost their families in the explosion. they flee the well is sealed and we are now focusing on scientific and science-based monitoring. we're focusing on investigation and the long term rest 3 -- recovery and restoration. i personally travelled to the region. i grew up there and still consider it home. i spent 21 days on site. from the onset of the crisis,
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over 200 staff members worked there from scientists, engineers, contractors, and all of the affected states. >> could you pull the microphone closer? >> i am sorry. should i start over darks i will do it this way. -- should i start over? we set up a process of a rigorous testing of air and water quality and make the data public every day. in coordination with our federal partners, we monitored people in the presence. one topriority was the safe this person. they are applied to spilled oil to break it down into smaller drops on or below the surface. the dispersed o mixes into the water column and is diluted integrated by bacteria and other organisms. we know that dispersants are generally less toxic than a will. we know they decrease the risk to the shoreline and organisms
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that the service and that they biodegrade over days and weeks and not in years as oil sometimes can. all of the potential on known long-term effects of the dispersant application on uatic life and the unprecedented volume applied in this response, almost 1.8 million gallons, certainly warrants caution. the epa was first asked by bp to offer an unlimited use of dispersants in a novel manner, under water at the source of the leak. the epa's goal in evaluating this reqst was to maximize the degradation of the oil before it came closer to the shore lines, estuaries, and marine nurseries. since this approach was never before contemplated, the epa requested specific scientific data from bp to prove that such use of the dispersant was coming in become effective. after data showed the approach
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was working, we require the implementation to track measurable envonmental impacts to the monitoring of dissolved oxygen and toxicity. on may 14, two weeks after the request and after the system was in place, the epa conditionally granted authorization for underwater use after it was made clear the company and the public that we reserve the right to halt the use of sub-surface this person if we could conclude that it any time the impact to the environment -- sub-surface dispersant if we could conclude that this could impact the environment. we did not and continue to do not see levels of diminished oxygen. this is a good indicator of overall aquatics health. we saw normal levels in the testg locations near the rig site where the dispersants were
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applied. we saw no significant toxic effects on sensitive at -- sensitive organisms. water monitoring today's to indicate that the dispersants was not found in waters on or nearhe shoreline. of the more than 2000 samples and the nearly 1200 epa generated samples, there have been two detections above the limi but well below health limits. these detections were likely caused by problems with the testing devices, but they were immediately investigated as though they've were real problems. following up testing indicated a non-detection of the dispersant. our monitoring continues and will continue in order to ensure e potential impact is immediately identified. from the early stages of the response, we recognize the need to be vigilant and cautious with
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the use of dispersants. that is why along with the coast guard we ordered bp to use less toxic dispersants and to limit the use and volume of dispersants. the epa in the coast guard issued a directive on may 26 the to bp issue a stamp to significantly scale back the use of dispersants to only what was needed to be a effective and halt the use of the surface dispersants on last it limited the use of other mechanical means of dealing with the spilled oil. after that directive was issued, we saw the total volume of dispersant's use daily fall by 75% from their peak levels. while some days should increase years, the significant decreasing trend use was undeniable. we conducted peer review testing on the toxicity of the dispersants offered for use.
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our own independent analysis found thaall the dispersants were tested, when test alone, could be categorized as practically non-toxic to slightly toxic. the oil was tested 01 and was generally moderately toxic. these were no more toxic than the oil alone. that would mean as high as moderately toxic. it is clear we must make an investment into a scientific research of dispersants. these funds will help support research on the short and long- term environmental and human health impact associated with use. we were in a position with no perfect solution. as i said before, preventing the zero oil from reaching the shore line was the no. 1 goal. still, we must learn from our experience with this tragic event.
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i'm committed to revisiting the regulations surrounding epa in dispersant registration and otherhemicals under the national contingency plan. as a new orleans native, i know firsthand the importance of the gulf coast. we have a great deal of rebuilding to do in material terms and in terms of restoring the community's trust and government can and will protect them in a time of need. this is one of those times. i urge you we do everything we can in our power to insure a strong future for the gulf coast. i welcome any questions you might have. >> thank you, administrator jackson. i question not on dispersants before i turn to the questioner. no one knows this region as well as you do at your level. we have had a number of delegations, complaints,
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concerns raised by the disposal of the breve -- debris, animal carcasses, other debris in low- inmeommunities in the gulf region. i know you have given a high priori to environmental justice as i did. is this something that has risen to your level of concern? do you have a sense of how serious the issue is? any suggestions on how we might deal with that? cracks the disposal of waste from any disaster always becomes an issue of concern. it becomes part of the public discussion, as it well showed. it becomes part of the discussion. many times committees growth or road -- communities grow up
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around these disposal facilities. my job as head of the epa, i often say that we ha regulations in place that govern how this should be sited, monitored cumming email the, covered, operated on a daily basis. in the case of oil waste, exploration and production waste, that is generally exempt. the issue of environmental justice and the broer community wanting to know where this material is going into the fairness of who has to deal with this waste and whether any community along the coast was getting on to announce a voice became part of the conversation. it certainly rose to my level. the primary lead of that discussion was the team senate
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confirmed head. they are not easy issues. our belief was that local cisions that sometimes are driven by community concerns that one area should or should not take waste or would exempt themselves from being part of a larger waste plan which we ordered bp to the coast guard put together. we not only ordered them to put the waste plan together but to put it on line, and to update that information, to try and justify what was happening with these trunks of waste. i went down thereine times. two of them were specifically to go down and look at where this was being staged a and prepared for disposal. we took a very unusual step of doing our own indicative testing of waste which caused some states to scratched their head. that is usually their oversight. we wanted to be able to assure people that the government was going the extra mile to sample
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and run tests on the ways to determine whether any hazardous constituents -- we were concerned about hazardous materials but if anything else have become part of the waste ream. it will be something that i think -- we would welcome input on this from this commission. there is an issue on fairness and there is also the issue that these facilities takeaways like this all the time, but in the glare of the spotlight arou this bill and the visual of people on short lines protecting themselves, communities asked a reasonable questions. i feel that assuring than good, strong measures were made on behalf of the government to ensure that bp made good decisions about waste disposal and did not send all of it to any one community. bp made some decisions on their
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own which caused some real frustration, not that any community once waste, but if one community could opt out but then the fairness would dissolve. >> thank you. >> good to see you today, administrator. when it became known that this event would go on for a period of time and as you pointed out even though the dispersant used was pre-authorized in the area response plan, the issue of dispersant's use seemed to be elevated to a discussion in washington chaired by secretary napolitano. a decision was made the epa should play a more active role in the issue of dispersants year
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around may 20 as, you advised bp, as you have indicated, to reduce the alication of dispersants and provide information about the availability of less toxic dispersants. i wonder if you could help us understand your concerns and the process you went through in conjunction with the other federal agencies says that the epa therefore assumes more of a commanding role than maybe was anticipated in the national contingency plan or the area coingency plan. in that light, is there some recommendation you could provide to us about what kind of guidelines that we might recommend that would elevate the decision making from a more routine decision about the applications of dispersants to these extraordinary kinds of considerations and the decisions? >> thank you, commissioner.
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i will probably and where you ended which is that there is a need for those kinds of guidelines. this was unprecedented event. every day make the decision before you, but over time, i think e of the things i discussed often and you will hear from the admiral next, is that you were not only looking at the decision before you that they were cumulatively what does this mean for the response? a couple things. from the surface application of the dispersants to be authorized, it was authorized by the area contingency plan. that gave the federal on scene coordinator, in this case a coast guard representative to the ability and authority to make the determination to deploy or have the responsible party deployed the surface dispersants. that is exactly what happened probably very early on in the spill response. i do not have a date before me.
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the epa's involvement, and you mentioned secretary napolitano, that is the incident command. the national response team is chaired by the epa. there are regional response teams that mirrored the national structure in each region. on or about, i believe it was the 30th, it shows there was a request that came in to try the application of dispersants which were already being used on the surface at the wellhead. 5,000 feet plus into the water column. the justification is one that makes an engineer nod her head which is why there is some much energy associated. we he this all in one place as
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it is coming out of this pipe, as we all saw so graphically over television -- on the television over time. you can apply dispersants on the surface on a perfectly weighed less a day because there is not enough energy to make the dispersants with the oil to get real dispersion. it sounded like a great ide but we were skeptical. that decision quickly became evated even outside the nrt process. it was novel. and had not been done. and was not pre-authorized. the threshold question, you just say no. absolutely not. i said publicly that it was one of the toughest decisions i had made, if not the toughest to date with all the discussions --
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decisions we made. it meant explaining to people why the additional chemicals were actually being done to hopefully aid in the respons it was only made about two weeks of work. i had actually gone down and i had already been down for two trips. we sat down with academia. we had an informal meeting at lsu and to line. we spoke to them about a number of issues -- we went to lsu and tulane. there were some concerns, but the idea was did we know enough that we could design a monitoring system where we could employ this and know whether or not on a day-to-day basis we were doing more harm than good? how do you know if you are doing more harm than good? you worry about hypoxia. are you disbursing so much oil
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that you are making a clou of hypoxia in the water column that would then be very damaging quite immediately to the ecosystem? that became part of the real time constant monitoring of oxygen level along with the criteria of the cut off. if we saw oxygen go along -- below that level, we felt it would be a reasonable level for a cut off. these creatures i did not know a thing about before, but looking for a sentinel critter, a type of plankton if you will, that if you saw a massive die off it would be an indication of immediate toxicity. that was something we could look for every day, not me personally, but they could command bp to do a directed test
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for it every single day. although there were days where testing did not happen, the dissolved oxygen, floorometry, and other tes to see if you were getting this version. if you were applying this and not getting any dispersion, that would be an interest. the tests took about two weeks. it is anecdotal. it is not entirely scientif evidence we looked at. when we were testing the sub- surface dispersants, what happened at the surface? you could see a fairly dramatic difference at the surface in the amount of oil when they were testing it for a few hours versus when they stopped. that alone did not say to us we needed to do it, b it was an indication that we had a better
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level of dispersing oil. two weeks later, we ordered a use of the sub-sea dispersant but along with the monitoring. in the beginning, i was peonally involved in reviewing the data to ensure that eyes were being cast. they were focusing on the day every night. the next milestone, and then i will answer another question, was one of the reasons we thought this would make some sense is that there was concern in the gulf abou the aerial application. we had a lot of people are there. , a lot of vessels of opportunities and people were concerned about being spray with cmicals. there were concerns about with the chemicals were. some of it was correct and some of it not. and is causing a level of real concern in a community that did
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not need one more thing to worry about. the admiral and i became very concerned. i went down for a visit and the amount of surface application was still increasing even though we were all so disbursing in the sub-sea. together we said that was not the idea. the idea is if you disperse it here there is no need to dissolve the chemical. that is when the next directive came along on the 20th for the 24th. i would have to look at my notes. they said to prioritize all of the other means first before you use any service application of this percent. we were allowing for about 15,000 gallons of sub-speed is -- sub-sea dispersant but were not thinking about another 60,000 gallons in surface this%. >> that is very helpful. you indicated publicly fears about the use of dispersants
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both from the basic nature of putting another chemical in the problem. still there's a lot of concern about the remnants of these dispersants that can still be causing problems, not only toxicity for marine organisms but for people. when you have told us is that the monitoring that you have done thus far has not sho any remaining traces of the dispersant from the sampling that you have undertaken. however, as i think the progression of your testing has shown from when you actually did toxicity testing with the dispersants alone to then dispersants and oil, the real issue with the dispersants, becausyou said they were fairly low in toxicity, is the fact that they inject more oil into the environment. if they are effective, they do that very well. can you give us some idea about
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emerging protocols that might be developed to more accurately assess the risks of the dispersant use in marine environment other than toxicity testing? >> absolutely, commissioner. the actual decision about whether or not to use the tools, when it should be used, and the guidelines are not a scientific division as much as a risk management decision. risk-management is best informed by better scienc in my opinion, and i just went to a national science foundation workshop on this the other day and there are tons of brilliant minds working on this. there is some real expertise within the epa. i should commend my staff who worked on this issue. there are lots of experts outside in the private sector and also in academia. there is a need to, i think, go back to some basics about long-
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term toxicology studies in a deep sea marine environment from the application of these. the same work we will be doing to monitor what happens to this ecosystem over time. there is a potential for more of as long as it does not mean we are growing in a different ecosystem and if we do, that it can recover. those things are absolutely necessary. it would be my wish that no one has to make the same risk- management decisions with the same level of scienc if the science becomes clearer, i am not sure that you will ever convince the average person that putting huge amounts of chemical into the system is good.
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if you can show that you optimized the amount of chemicals, you can show that you have optimized the disrsements to make it as green as possible and that was a discussion as well and that you have studied the longer-term effect. we would be able to answer questions about it in a much better way than we promised we would monitor this. that is really what we were doing it is my belief we set up the best short term and the day- to-day monitoring we could but we never thought that should take the place of long-term and midterm monitoring as well as a real investment in the science them up tomorrow, >> tomorrow, our session will have a hearing on the restoration of the gulf coast following the l spill. you mentioned that the concern about the low oxygen environment in the deep water, hypoxia. , around the spill site per there's a very large area every year around there, a dead zone
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along the shelf. a day or so after the oil well oil ceased toapped flow into the gulf, our home town newspaper ran an editorial that said that we kept the oil well but when will begin capping the nitrogen coming down the river that is causing this problem? this is something the e has complete responsibility for within the federal government. i wonder how dealing with this problem as well as the other environmental issues in the gulf coast would play into the administration's efforts to respond andestore the gulf in the wake of this spill? >> the president truly unprecedented turn in his oval office address to the need to look at the ecosystem and the rest of the coast as a whole
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made me proud because i think it was a recognition. there is the atlantic ocean, the pacific ocean, and a big water body down by texas, louisiana, and alabama, and florida that was unnamed. i was looking at an old map and i made a jokebout it. it is really unprecedented for everyone. the eyes of the country were on the gulf, realizing that this resource that we rarely talk about is truly an outstanding resource, any way you measure it from ecosystem to energy value to see food value to its cultural value to its security value. the epa place a strong and importanpart in dealing with gulf coast hypoxia. one of the things we have quietly done is look at efforts
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now that the country is looking at this resource again, engage the mississippi basin states in what i hope can still be a cooperative process to start to find a larger inputs and make people realize that if you care about the gulf, we have to go upstream to really kill it. there are complementary efforts. there is a restoration' of the marshes which is important. there is the study of t the ecosystem which is so important the epa, i can assure you, my role in making sure the epa does its job on the hypoxia is there. the need for us to redouble our efforts there is highlighted by this tragedy. of cours we do itealizing that everyone is pulling out of recession. ielieve there are some states
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who have shown leadership in the watershed already. the epa will hold everyone to a level playing field with respect to the release of nitrogen and phosphorous. >> do you anticipate we would get to the on point of tmdl, total maximum data loaded? >> the chesapeake bay example is what happens when we say four years that this is a worthy and important thing, healing the bay or healing of the gulf, but there has been any need to bring to bear the clean water act. the clean water act gives us some tools, not all tools, with dealing with runoff pollution, the pollution comes from our lawns, our farms, our animals, feeding operations are all what causes the kind of algae buildup and low oxygen
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conditions it we see not only in the gulf but in other parts of the country. i think that never should we take regulatory tools off the table. my hope continues to be for the chesapeake that because we have i outlined for the states, we will see maryland and the district tried to get in front of us to insure their citizens and their businesses and their agricultural community that the state reales it needs to be done but has it as part of a bigger for more. it is certnly something we have to -- >> thank you. >> any other questions? >> mr. garcia? >> it just one question -- we were discussing the oil budget this morning. some significant amount, we don't know how much, but some amountf the oil evaporated and was put into the atmosphere.
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i assume you were conducting air quality monitoring tests during thoil spill. can you tell us what those tests indicated and the likely consequences or concerns that arose from those tests? >> absolutely, the air sampling was the first sampling that could stand out because there is some amot of air sampling th happens routinely all around this count as part of the clean air act responsibility. the first thing that epa did was contact the states and ask them to take their regular monitors which are located in gulf coast regions and step up a notch. by april 28, we were doing adtional sampling, looking for the volati fractions of oil per and i have the data in my time line and i can get it for you. we edit different constituents
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that are volatile in disbursements. there was aerial spraying of disbursements going on. none of those samples -- the samples and results are available on our website. depending on the turnaround time, we would get the results, qaqc them and then we would try to interpret them and compare them to some benchmark. with some chemicals it was relatively easy because we have human health benchmarks for the spread the fascinating thing is that maybe it is the air equivalent to the hypoxia question -- there is air contaminion in the gulf coast region. what we did not see was any huge spike as a result of the oil release per se.
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you can smell, as many of you know, the volatile areas of portion at low levels, lower than science says is a chronic health risks. for some people, they are an irritant like a hot summer day and the weather was extremely warm along the shore, people were irritated or they would say they did not feel well or they can smell the strong petroleum odor. that is why early on working with the state health departments, the guidance went ou to hav people stay in sight in an air-conditioned area. if you can smell it, it does not mean that it is harming you systemically or chronically, but you can smell it and it might make you feel nauseous or ill. don't do that as much as you possibly can. for workers, that is a different question. worker health and safety, osha and the coast guard worked closely during the response and they are probably better able to speak that. it is important for us to remember just as we cannot focus
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only on restoration from this issue and forget about the hypoxia in the gulf, we cannot only look at the air samples and say they were not out of the ordinary and not realize that ordinary in that region, like much of the country, means there are a number of ozone alert days where we say to people to stay inside. we are at the point in this country where there are many, many days when air pollution is significant where are only health intervention is to say to people who have pulmonary problems or heart problems, our best advice today is to stay inside. >> thank you. >> to follow up on that -- one of the key issues that you find again and again when you visit that region is lack of public confidence in the data that is there or in the response that has been made. i am sure you have heard this many times. we at theommission ve
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discussing the issue of public confidence. looking back at what happened with the disbursements and air quality, is there a different approach you would take in explain to the public what the government's response is and how to develop a higher level of public confidence? >> absolutely, a commissioner. as the response went on, epa -- another one of our strengths is that we have fairly good relationships fairlyngo's and community organizations. i am proud of the fact that we included environmental community outreach as part of what weid and oftentimes we work hand-in-hand with the coast guard to set up and attend these multi-agency meetings. and yet, there was still a lot of skepticism. some of that is and yet there was still a lot of sket simply. some of that i think is just the remnant of the fact people are
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skeptical of government. i hosted a couple. i spent hours with fishermen, with the louisiana seafood group just hearing their concerns and explaining the rationale for my decisionmaking and that i had no one's interests at heart except for health and the environment. it's very hard. i think that over time more investment in community sort of trusted voices to do sampling and get information out is important, but i also have to say that if there is going to be that investment, those trusted voices have to be willing to not hype but be very honest about information because i cannot tell you how hard it was for me to sit with groups who were just petrified.
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the mental strain on folks down there has been talked about thanks to the commission and others. we had a bus that could go anywhere. we found a lot of people didn't have internet access, so actual fact sheets, with data and information, that helped. but that's ongoing and i think it requires a real sensitivity to -- and i don't think the gulf coast is unique with that. communities trust each other and they are their best source of information. you want to make sure they're getting it from a source that holds itself to the highest standards of data collection and interpretation. >> thank you. >> i have long been suspicious
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of disbursements, but you make a powerful case for their use in this instance. one of the questions or suggestions that the commission has heard is the need for more than laboratory tests, open water tests. they point out that not everybody is excited about granting permits to oil out in an open water situation. are you open to that. do you agree that would be a helpful way to resolve these questions before the need arises and then we start the debate? >> yeah, you know, chairman, i thank you because your leadership on this issue and also your willingness before you became chair of this commission to talk to me about your decisionmaking was very instructive. i do think they need testing. i am not -- i am probably not
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the person, although i would be happy to talk to some on my staff about whether the next step is to really go open water or how much you could really understand from a what i would call a pilot scale controlled pool, swimming pool, for lack of a better analogy, type of format. what we found -- remember that right now the testing that's done to list the dispersement doesn't use louisiana crude. it uses fuel oil number two and prudhoe bay crude. so when we did our testing, we were actually doing testing on the dispersements on our list with south louisiana sweet crude oil. and we used gulf of mexico water. because you are doing those same tests, just by changing the fact that you are using this crude, meant that we spent a lot of time in the lab at e.p.a. devising methods to ensure we
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got representative samples. when you think about it, if you are not dispersing the oil, that's not helpful. so trying to find the fraction as it became known was really important. i think there is a huge amount of science between crude oil number two and prudhoe bay and going into open water and i am probably not qualified to speculate more than that except i want to see a progression before i would agree. the deep sea environment is different and certainly that's a little harder to imitate those pressures and the temperature gradient between the oil. so i can't say it won't ever happen. but i can say this. i believe the industry is going to want to look at this tragedy and draw the conclusion that dispersements should be used all the time at the well head. look how well it worked. i am personally not there yet.
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i think we had to make a decision. there are a lot of other interventions but having to sit in the meeting and explain why the tradeoff seemed to be the lesser of two very evil situations is not something i think anyone should take lightly. >> thank you. thank you voach for your appearance today and for this presentation. >> thank you all. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> newly elected labor party ed miliband sunday night at 9:00 on c-span. >> next week the supreme court begins its new term. you can learn more about the nation's highest court with c-span's latest book "the
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supreme court." candid conversations with active and retired justices, reporters who cover the court and attorneys who argue the cases there, revealing unique insights about the court. available in hard cover wherever you buy books and also as an e-book. >> repealing the health care law and cutting federal spending. topics dominating the debate between barbara boxer and republican candidate carla fiorina. senator boxer participated in a date from national public radio studios in washington, d.c. karl was in kcpc radio stood yose in pasadena. >> hello, welcome to a special u.s. senate debate by public radio station 89.3 kpcc.
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the debate is being broadcast on public roog stations throughout california. joining knee ask questions is gabriel learner, a writer of a weekly column. thanks for being here. and of course we have our candidates, incumbent democrat barbara boxer seeking her fourth term. senator, thank you for being here. >> thank you, pat. >> and her challenger is the republican carly fiorino. >> thanks for having us. >> senator boxer has opted to take the second question in our debate. the first question will come from gabriel lener. >> on the economy and jobs, you are a big advocate of cutting government regulation of business. can you give us some examples of regulations that you think should be reduced or eliminated? would you include any regulations designed to protect the environment worker safety or product quality? >> well, certainly there are
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many reasons for a rational regulatory policy. but unfortunately we see too many cases where regulations have run amock and they are costing us jobs. let us start with the most obvious example that of water in our great central valley. in 2008 a nameless, faceless bureaucrat decided that the smelt was endangered. the remedy for this was to turn the water off flowing through the pumps in the delta and with that decision, hundreds of thousands of acres lay fallow. tens of thousands of people were out of work. of course it is important to protect our environment. it is important to protect our fish and our flies and our frogs all of which are endangered in california. but it's important to protect our families as well. unfortunately in this regard, senator boxer refused to step forward and help as chairwoman of environment and public works, she had the opportunity, i would
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argue the obligation to step forward and put an amendment on the u.s. senate floor that would have waived that assessment. so the water stays off and we have families out of work. >> excuse me for the interruption. could you please detail more of those regulations that you think should be reduced without mentioning senator boxer? >> well, i am using this example to say that when we have something like the endangered species act, just one example, of course we need to protect our endangered species. but when by statute that law requires someone to disregard all social and economic impact, in other words, when the regulation says that we should protect species at any cost, and we are costing people jobs, which is what is happening today, then that would be an example of where i think common sense should and compassion should prevail.
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it's relevant of course because the endangered species act has spawned many regulations. in california, no pun intended, and it has made for example the building of new manufacturing facilities very difficult. >> i do want to ask you a tax question because we have two questions about the economy. in 2000 at the aspen institute, you said internet tax was probably unrealistic not to tax it forever and ever. how would you institute an internet tax and when would it begin? >> i have never been in favor of an internet tax. what i said was in the year 2000, you must remember that in the year 2000 at that time, sort of at the height of the dot-com boom, the concern that many republicans as well as democrats had, it turned out to be an unfounded concern, was that brick-and-mortar businesses were going out of business and that everything was going to go on to the internet. so there was a concern that tax
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revenue would plummet. it turned out to be an unfounded concern. i was working on a bipartisan basis to try and find the right answer. what i said at the time was that the only way we should ever consider taxing the internet, something i oppose, was to first overhaul the entire tax system as we were damaging businesses of all kinds with our tax structure. >> thank you. the next question is for senator boxer. >> senator boxer, also on the economy, some economists are saying that the economy is so weak that we need another large scale government stimulus package. do you agree with them, and if so, why this package wasn't enough? >> very good question. i would answer it this way. when president obama took over and the democrats joined him in the congress, we were facing a bleeding of 700,000 jobs a month. we were facing a situation where credit was frozen and so we
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stepped forward and we did pass -- we took number of actions. we did pass a stimulus and i would say this. i voted for that. it is creating jobs. i've gone all over the state. our republican governor says it is creating tens of thousands of jobs and saving others. but here is the thing. i believe we needed an objective analysis of whether we did the right thing. and alan blinder teamed up with mark zandy who was john mccain's economic advisor. they said had we not taken the steps we took, we would have lost another eight million jobs on top of -- >> excuse me for the interruption before after those two years of a democrat in the white house, administration, we are saddled with a federal deficit around $1.3 trillion. what will you do as a member of the senate to shrink this deficit? >> yes. that is what was inherited from
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george bush. he took a clinton surplus and 23 million jobs created -- i am the only candidate in the race who voted to balance the budget, and we are handed that $1.3 trillion deficit. i do have many ideas. the first thing is you have to pay-as-you-go. in other words, as you spend new programs, you've got to pay for those programs. that's very important. you've got to cut out the wasteful spending. we have to end the two wars. that would be $1 trillion over the next 10 years. you have to recover money from contractors who are ripping us off like halliburton overcharged $200 million for fuel for our troops in iraq. and hewlett-packard just settled a $55 million of overcharges and that came from the time that my opponent was the c.e.o. there. >> senator boxer, still, $1
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trillion, that will help to pay down this deficit. but the ongoing concerns are about what programs must be cut or scaled back in order to meet these deficit concerns. apart from what you are talking about, where are the cuts could to be made? >> the war will be $1 trillion. collecting from people who are ripping off the government and other uncollected payments to the government is another $1 trillion. stopping tax breaks to the millionaires and the billionaires, tax breaks that my opponent supports, that's almost another $1 trillion. so you go on and on. we should end tax breaks to companies who ship jobs overseas. tax breaks -- >> would you cut federal spending, senator? would you freeze the pay of civilian government workers? those are ideas from mrs. fiorina. >> yes, i've seen her budget recommendations. they're a disaster for california. they would cause draconian cuts in social security and medicare. that's not from me. it's from the center on budget
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priorities. she said she wouldn't even ask for or fight for local spending priorities. >> senator, let me -- >> yes. >> let me go to ms. fior nirks a. you talk about extending the bush tax cuts to everyone, also cutting the deficit. there have been analysts including the tax policy center that said you cannot do both at the same time without shutting down government. where do you make those cuts? >> let me respond to a couple things that the senator said. first of all, i am not an apologist for the spending in the bush years, but let us remember that our deficit has grown from $10.7 trillion roughly to $13 trillion in just the last two years. let us remember that with regard to the stimulus, both the mayor of san francisco and the comptroller of los angeles has said it was a failure and since the stimulus bill passed, our unemployment rate has grown from 10.2% to 12.4%.
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let us remember that senator boxer has voted against a balanced budget amendment six times. she has waived pay-go 12 times. she has voted against a bipartisan effort to curb federal government spending. the sessions mccaskill bill, she's voted against that four times and it is one vote short of passage. >> apart from her record, where was it that you would cut? would you cut the military? would you cut social security? would you cut medicare? homeland security has accounted for some of the biggest -- >> let me tell you exactly where i would cut. but with all due respect, her record is the issue. she has been in washington, d.c. for 28 years. she had plenty of time to give middle income californians a tax break, but right now as of january 1, middle income families in california will be faced with a $1,600 tax increase on average because she hasn't done anything about it. here we are at the end of september. where would i cut? first, let's institute a spending cap in washington, d.c.
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i would return spending as a beginning to 2008 levels. i would call on the federal government to freeze pay. i would call on the federal government as well to only hire one person for every two that leave government service. second, let's give earn -- every american the possibility of designating up to 10% of their federal tax dollars towards paying down the debt. if every single american designated 10% of their tax dollars, we could reduce the deficit by $95 billion a year. >> still i have to ask you, would you cut military, social security, and medicare? that's three programs that seem to be very important to -- >> i believe that there are many -- much opportunity to save money in the defense department. i served on the defense business board. however, i believe our military needs support. i would not cut funding for national security. senator boxer has campaigned since 1992 on a platform of cutting the military budget in half. she's refused to support money
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for body armor for our troops in iraq and afghanistan. let us start, however, with the 22% of the programs that g.a.o. has demonstrated over the past five years do not meet their objectives. lit -- let us remember that the government has grown every year for the last 60 years and most especially and most dramatically in the last two years. barbara boxer in her 28 years in washington, d.c. has done nothing to curb spending and everything to vote for increased spending. >> thank you. senator boxer, you have criticized ms. fiorina for yudt sourcing jobs. before we go to that, i do want to get to a question from one of our listeners. here is a question for you, senator. >> hi, i live in los angeles. senator boxer, you have strongly
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criticized ms. fiorina for outsourcing jobs. my can be licenses web based services to nonprofits. we would have a tough time remaining competitive if we couldn't outsource our development work. for us it's a chance to pay a single worker $85 an hour or paying a team of skilled workers in indsya or russia $17 to $20 an hour. are you against outsourcing in absolutely all cases? >> senator boxer, that question from gary from mission hills. >> a good question. the fact is our nation needs to incentivize companies like yours to hire american workers. we need to see the words made in america again. right now tax breaks that my opponent source, she would not do away with them, are giving big tax breaks to companies who ship jobs overseas. i know that's what she did. she laid off 30,000 workers, shipped their jobs to china, to india, to malaysia.
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she said she's proud of what she did. the fact is, i've met some of these people who she laid off. i've heard their stories. we have the most productive workers in the world. it seems to me there are ways we can go. we just had a vote on the senate floor, proud to stand there and say we are taking away tax breaks from companies who ship jobs overseas. we want to give thome -- them to companies right here. if i could just say one thing here, my opponent has gone off on a lot of tangents on budgets. the only candidate in this race who ever voted to balance the budget and create surpluses is me. i did that under bill clinton. i supported those policies. 23 million jobs and surpluses. and the way to do it is not voting for a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. it's voting for a balanced budget. that's what i did. >> senator, that having been said, he is competing against people earning $17 an hour
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versus $175 here. is it time for americans to go down to adjust to some of these world standards to keep the jobs here in this country? made in america is a brand you have talked about. is it time for wages to adjust to a more realistic level? >> absolutely not. if we were to lose our middle class, and it's starting to happen right now, we lose america. i am a first generation american on my mother's side. my mother never graduated from high school because her dad got ill and she had to work. the fact is, the middle class is what builds our nation. when you have c.e.o.'s like my opponent who while she was laying off 30,000 workers enriched herself. that is not the kind of model that we need. >> senator, excuse me. ms. fiorina is not running for the head of h.p. right now. she's running for senate. there is a big difference between running a company where you have to make those choices and running the government.
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so what is the approach to wages, what is the approach to taxes that could save us from this crisis? >> wages are set by the private sector. we have a minimum wage. i support it. i don't know if my opponent does or not. but the fact is she is still supporting tax breaks to companies who ship jobs overseas. so this is a very relevant conversation. the fact is, i believe in collective bargaining. i believe in an educated work force. i believe that it is very important that we not lose the middle class. the words made in america can be real again. for example -- >> senator, thank you very much. we don't have time for your examples right now. next question is for ms. fiorina. >> ms. fiorina, on immigration, in june you said on fox news that the obama administration had defunded securing the border. you also said that a latino told you that crossing the border is the question of criminals crossing the border. but the department of homeland
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security says that president obama is spending more on border security than president bush did. how do you square your statement with the statistics from homeland security? >> i think however much money is being spent, the facts are clear. the border is not secure. and when we see murder and mayhem being committed just south of our border, that is increasingly a national security problem. i met recently with some sheriffs from fresno county, and they told me that the drug war has reached california. i met with an iraq war veteran who was told that he could not go hunting in mendocino county by local law enforcement because they could not guarantee his safety because drug cartels from mexico are growing marijuana in california. we have a border that is insecure, and i believe that it is the worst form of politics to
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-- >> ms. fiorina, let's say that the border is secure. >> but it isn't. it isn't. >> it's going to be -- >> it has never been. >> why don't you want to confront the question of what to do with 12 million, 15 million unauthorized immigrants in this country? >> gabriel, the reason i don't want to breeze past border security is because we have not secured it. and the reason we have not secured it is a matter of political will. it's not money or manpower muscle. it's a matter of political will and people are playing politics with it. so we have to secure the border and frankly i believe the answer is to have governors certify that the border is secure. however, i must also say this. we need a temporary worker program that works in this state. we don't have one. agriculture depends upon it. restaurants depend upon it. technology depends upon it. when we had an opportunity to
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have a guest worker program with bipartisan support in twetch, barbara boxer was the -- 00 , barbara boxer was the deciding vote who voted for something called the dorgan amendment. when she cast her vote to destroy the guessworker program, her comment was immigrants are a source of cheap labor that threatens the american order. >> ms. fiorina, there are still 12 million people living in this country illegally. if the border were sealed tomorrow, what would you do with it? >> on the presumption you could, we have to act on the idea that you could close the border and then what do we do? >> i think that's what people are tired of about washington. we always skip over the problem that's right in front of us and want to talk about something else. the problem right in front of us is the border is not secure. we don't have a temporary worker program that works. we have people here who want to work legally. we have farmers who have to -- >> what do you say to the illegal people that are working here and to their friends,
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cousins, brothers, fathers, who are many millions of people here in california? >> you know, i am very proud that i have received the endorsement of so many in the hispanic community and so many in the agricultural community. the reason i believe i have received their endorsement and their support is because they understand that you have to deal with the most pressing problems in front of us. the most pressing problems are we do not have a secure border. senator boxer vilifying people in arizona doesn't help with that. we do not have a guest -- >> we have to move on to senator boxer with a question about immigration as well. >> senator boxer, you have the opportunity to answer because it's true that in 2007 you cut the key vote for the amendment that -- the guest worker program
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and you said you oppose it because it would provide a pool of cheap labor. you repeated that in your meeting with us and it will take jobs from american workers. ms. fiorina says your vote killed a chance to pass comprehensive immigration reforming. your response. >> my response is very direct. the temporary worker program that my opponent supports and that i opposed was so draconian that one of the newspapers said it was inden turd servitude. the way it was drawn up was not like the act jobs bill, which is a very good bill. the way it was drawn up -- imagine this. you get to be sponsored by your employer. you work for two years. then you had to leave the country. it could well be at that point you were leaving your family. and you had to leave for a year and then you had to beg your employer to take you back, that same employer. otherwise you couldn't come
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back. we were told in writing that it would have led to an additional one million illegal immigrants because people simply would have gone underground. it was not the solution. i believe in a guest worker program that is humane. i believe in a guest worker program that is clear. i believe in a guest worker program that senator feinstein and i put hours into, which will put people on a path to legality. and i believe in comprehensive immigration reform. i don't vilify anybody, but i believe in comprehensive immigration reform. >> the other part of the question, what about security? what about border security? what part does that play in your plan? >> it's a very important part. we have to stop this arguing. we have to come together. the way my opponent treats this, she's pitting border security against everything else. as a matter of fact, she said anything else is a distraction.
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she doesn't want comprehensive immigration reform. now, it is not a distraction to make sure that 11 million people, the vast majority of whom are part of our community, if you follow her thinking, they will all have to be deported. we need to take care -- >> what about sealing the border and having the governor certified like -- >> since i came to the united states senate, we have increased border patrol fivefold. we have sent the snarble guard there. we have built fencing there. we just got a report from the california border patrol that says that they have that border in far greater shape than they ever did before. they said the apprehensions were down 80%. so yes, there is still slippage. we should get it that there is nobody coming over. the best way to do it, comprehensive immigration reform. we need to come together. >> why not simply close the
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border as has been suggested and reset our immigration policy from there? >> i don't know who is suggesting closing the border. we have tremendous commerce with mexico. they're our neighbor. i don't think we should close the border with a country -- actually it's california's first or second biggest trading partner. >> senator, thank you very much. another question, this one for ms. fiorina about the environment. in the first debate, you said senator boxer supports extreme environmental groups. what groups are those? >> all i can tell you is that it is the only explanation i can come up with. >> no, what are the names of these groups? >> the only explanation that i can come up with for senator boxer's refusal to step forward and help tens of thousands of people who are standing in food lines in the middle of the most productive farmland in the world and being handed canned goods from china is that she must feel
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that she is beholden to a set of contributions coming from a variety of organizations. i think if you will look, you will find that barbara boxer is perhaps the largest recipient of money from environmental interests. i am not saying every one of those interests is extreme. >> but please, if you are -- you have to single them out which are extreme and which are not. to say extreme without singling them out, that raises the question that they may all be. >> i think the point here is not what various organizations have in their charters. i think the point here is what is it that senator boxer believes she is supposed to be doing in washington, d.c.? is she supposed to be serving the interests of the people of california, tens of thousands of whom were thrown out of work, or is she supposed to be representing the interests of those special interests like big labor leadership or like a set
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of environmental groups? who is it she's representing? the special interests or people of california? >> ms. fiorina, excuse me. let's go more specific. you opposed -- i think you opposed proposition 23 and that will stop a.b. 32 from starting in california, and from addressing our nation's climate and energy challenges. why that when this -- a new industry, a new industry dedicated to green energy and put california back in the front of the country? >> well, first, we are falling behind in innovation and we are falling behind in energy innovation. all of these thousands of clean, green jobs that senator boxer keeps promising, the reality is that we spend less on energy r&d
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than many other nations in the world. we must be the leader in innovation and we must be the leader in clean, green technologies. we are not on a path to do so because we don't spend as of. our federal government doesn't spend as much on federally funded energy r&d. we have great research institutions here who could use the support and because our r&d tax credit is now 17th in the world, not first in the world. however, the reason i believe a.b. 32 is a bad idea is because to deal with global warming requires a serious global solution. >> a.b. 32 is a state issue and you talk about this needing a national solution. would you oppose cap and trade? how does it address states' rights issues like california to set its own policy? >> scientists agree that a single state or single nation acting aclone have no impact on global warning. i would immediately own gauge in
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serious bilateral discussions with china, a nation that uses more coal than we do but also that researches more into clean coal. i oppose barbara boxer's cap in trade bill. it has been called the most expensive piece of legislation in u.s. history. economists agree it would cost this nation millions of jobs. economists agree too cost us trillions of dollars in lost economic output. barbara boxer has been chairwoman of virm and public works. we don't have a national energy policy. we don't have a solution to global warming. she failed in her sleedership responsibility. >> one of your colleagues, democrat balkous said your committee has accomplished very little under your leadership. he found it disconcerting -- john kerry in a sense was taking through the cap in trade bill
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rather than yourself. have you been ineffective in your leadership when your own members have said you have not accomplished what you should? >> max is one of my stronger supporters. he was misquoted. the fact is i am the only chairman in the senate who ever got not one but two comprehensive energy -- clean energy jobs bills out. every one of them was deficit neutral and every one of them would have created millions of jobs. the fact is, senator lieberman and mccain had two votes on their bills. they got in the 30's and one got to the low 40's. i got to 54 supporters. we fell short. the fact is, big oil and dirty coal, very strongly supporting my opponent, weighed in and i understand that. so we are trying to broaden our reach. we are trying to broaden the group that's working on this. it took 10 years to pass the
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clean air act. i have to say i am proud to have the support of the sierra club. i am proud to have the support of the league of conservation voters. who was so hostile it the environment when actually a clean environment protects our health and creates jobs. >> senator, excuse me. can you answer to ms. fiorina's assertion that the only way to impact global warming is to act globally? you said that if california doesn't take the lead, then china and others will. but doesn't ms. fiorina have a point when she says that the global approach would be more effective? >> our president has met with china. they've reached some tentative agreements. we have had conference after conference. the fact is, we have to act. california is not a state that sits around and lets anybody else lead. that's why i so strongly oppose prop 23.
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and i have to say again, it is shocking to me to see someone trying to get to the united states senate from california who would turn her back on the environment. she actually was named one of the dirty dozen by the league of conservation voters. they looked over all of the candidates for senate nationwide, and she made that list. this is bad for our state. take our coast. our coast as pristine as it is, it supports 400,000 jobs in recreation, in tourism and fishing. my opponent would actually open up federal waters to drilling even after the b.p. nightmare. so she stands with big oil. she doesn't stand with the people of california. they revere their environment. it is a god-given gift and it also is an economic asset. we have to fight to make sure that the air we breathe is clean and that the water we drink is pure and that we preserve our coastal economy. >> senator, thank you very much.
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we will be back in a moment with more questions from our candidates, ms. fiorina and senator boxer. this is a special u.s. senate debate co-presented by 89.3 and la opinion. we will have more questions for the candidates in a moment.
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>> welcome back to a special u.s. senate debate for the seat occupied at this moment by the incumbent barbara boxer. we are talking with her in washington, d.c. and here with her republican challenger, carly fiorina. my colleague is an editor at la opinion. i am pat morrison. the host and come umist at the l.a. times. the next question goes to carly fiorina. >> on health care you have pledged to try and repeal and replace the huge health care bill this year. but would you vote for a bill
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that would guarantee that some of the 50 million americans without health insurance would be able to get it? >> of course. we need health care reform in this country. we need to be sure that every american has access to quality affordable health care. i am a breast cancer survivor. i take this personally. but this bill has created a host of problems. we were promised that it would help reduce the deficit. we now know it contributes to the deficit. we were told that health insurance premiums would stop rising. they are now rising. it is not compassion to throw 16 million uninsured people into medicaid, a program that is already virtually bankrupt. it is underfunded in the state of california. we have yet another $3 billion unfunded mandate that has just been handed to the state of california. jugs the other day, i read the heart breaking story of a woman in los angeles who discovered a
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lump in her breast and was told that she would have to wait five months for a biopsy. she was on medicaid. she was on a state plan. in other words, we are not helping people. >> how would you grant health insurance to those that don't have it right now? >> first, we missed an opportunity in this bill. the health insurance companies are regulated oligopolies. the insurance companies are regulated, they're not subjected to real competition. so let's open up the health insurance market for real competition. let us subsidize a high-risk pool for high-risk individuals. it would cost us much less money than this health care bill. >> ms. fiorina, we have the biggest competitive market in california right now, and we also have questions about quality and affordability. one of our callers who was herself a cancer survivor asked how you could justify your opposition to allowing any insurance companies to discriminate in any fashion or to price out of the market
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people who have pre-existing conditions? >> i don't support that. i certainly don't support that. let me state at the outset -- >> that's part of the provision of the health care law. >> but what we have done with this health care law, think about what we are learning about this health care bill. when president obama first stepped forward and said our goal was -- goals were to make sure every american had access to quality affordable health care, i cheered. but what have we done? what we have with this bill are people are being thrown off their insurance. premiums are rising. people are not -- no, i am sorry. that is not correct. we are learning now of health insurance companies saying they are increasing premiums as a direct result of this health care bill. we are being told that patients are being denied care under medicaid because medicaid cannot handle the influx of patients that they are now being asked to deal with. we are being told by small business owners all across this state that suddenly they're being asked to fill out a 1099
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for everyone with whom they do more than $600 a year to help pay for this health care system. we have created a huge host of problems and haven't solved the fundamental problem. >> on the public option, the supporters say that it will increase competition and keep the private insurance companies honest. >> quick answer from you, thank you. >> i know that the breast cancer survival rates in this country are 30 points higher than in the u.k. and in canada. we have seen the outcome of public option plans. senator boxer has supported a public option since 1992. but i think we have plenty of evidence to suggest that we have the highest quality health care in this country. let us not destroy that. let us instead make it more accessible and more affordable. >> thank you. a health question for senator boxer from gabriel. >> senator boxer, on the same issue, you were an advocate of the public option in the debate. you said it would reduce the deficit, increase competition,
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if you are re-elected, would you support an effort to add the public option to the law? >> i would, and here is the good news. the way we drew up this law, it allows the states a lot of flexibility. the states eve can decide how best to do that. i like that provision. that would include their version of a public option. i think it's important listening to understand that when somebody says repeal and replace, watch out because once it's repealed, you are not going to see a very quick replacement. i would have to just say right now, if you have a child who is up to 26 years of age, you can keep them on your policy. right now seniors are goat getting back $250 to help them with their prescription drugs. does my opponent want to take the checks away? they're going to be able to get two prevention treatments. there are no more rescissions. the insurance companies cannot
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walk away from you when you get sick. if you have -- already my opponent says let's put high risk pools in place. i don't think she understands that, that is in place now. part of the law -- >> senator, excuse me for the interruption. but ok, you know, the call for repealing is not just ms. fiorina. what do you think all this health care law is so unpopular in so many people in the public? >> i think most people want us to mend it, not end it. clearly we can make it better. i am very willing do that. but i will be darned if i am going to go back to where we were before. 62% of our people were going broke do to a health care crisis. you know, like i don't want to go back to those days. i don't want to go back to the days when thousands of people died every day because they had no insurance. we have community health care centers in this bill. california will get about 800 of
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them to take care of our working poor. we had -- women were paying twice as much as a man. that is outlawed. if you had a pre-existing condition such as cancer or anything else, you were out of luck. now a child, if you have a child with asthma, you can get -- you must get insurance. so it -- >> senator -- >> we need to mend it but don't end it because it took 100 years to get this done, since teddy roosevelt. >> senator, ms. fiorina says there are now some companies who are refusing coverage. for example, to children because they say that they can't manage it under the terms of the health care bill. she says we need more competition than we have already built into that bill. how would you address these concerns when companies do refuse coverage and when the competition doesn't seem to be up to snuff? >> right now an insurance company cannot turn away a child, so if there is someone that my opponent knows, please have them call us because we will get right on it. >> there have been stories about
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new policies not being issued, senator. >> a child has to be able to get coverage. they can be on their parents' policy until 26. if a company is not taking your child, they are disobeying the law. we have to enforce the law. >> all right, senator, we will have to leave it and move on. >> can i make one last point? >> quickly. >> my opponent says we are doing great. we are 29th on infant mortality behind cuba? we can do better. >> senator, thank you. the next question is for carly fiorina. in the debate, you said you are not running on the issue of roe vs. wade, but quote, if there were an opportunity, you would overturn that decision. how would that work if you went to the united states senate? would you introduce legislation? >> i would not introduce it. the way this actually works, it would have to be the supreme court that overturns roe v. wade. let me just say something else happened in that last debate. barbara boxer engages frequently in a shocking misrepresentation
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of my record. but nowhere is that more unconscionable than her continued assertion that i support the criminalization of abortion. she knows very well that this is not true. there are no circumstances under which a woman in california would be denied an abortion. she knows this very well. barbara boxer is engaging in this kind of misrepresentation to change the subject, to change the subject from her own extreme views, which are that a baby doesn't have rights until it leaves the hospital, to change the subject from her own extreme views that a girl seeking an abortion at 12 shouldn't have to notify her mother, and -- >> ms. fiorina -- >> the subject of this election is not abortion. every voter in california agrees it's jobs. it's out of control government spending. >> you had talked about -- we are talking about a ban rather than making it a crime. >> senator boxer has -- >> you talked about your experience -- >> that is false and she knows
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it. >> so one of the points you make up is that your husband's mother was advised by doctors to have an abortion. shy chose not to. of course you are married to your husband who you said you love very much. why would you deny those aspects to other women, a choice and doctors to advise women whether or not to proceed with a pregnancy? >> i am sure you didn't mean this, pat, but what you said was a story that i made up. it was not a story i made up. >> in any case, this is a fact of your husband and your mother-in-law's lives. >> i understand that not all women agree with me. i understand that this is an emotional issue for many women. i happen to be pro-life. barbara boxer holds a very extreme view that taxpayers should pay for virtually any abortion, anytime, anywhere but -- >> what about the -- >> i am only describing her
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views on this subject. >> i am asking about yours. >> there is no question that in california, there is no circumstance under which a woman would be denied an abortion. >> so what about -- >> i think this is typical politics when people want to talk about the issues that matter most to them, where is my job, why is government debt out of control, barbara boxer always punts to the divisive issue of abortion to try and change the subject. >> ms. fiorina, you said it's a question for the supreme court. let's say that come january you sit in the judicial committee and it's considering a new candidate for the supreme court. will his or her position on abortion be a litmus test for your vote? >> absolutely not. i have said publicly for many years that i do not have litmus tests for any supreme court justice. >> all right. that question for ms. fiorina on the same subject the question for senator boxer is the point made about funding abortions with federal money.
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the hyde amendment is in place. would you change that especially under the health care law? would you have women able to use or access federal moneys for abortion? >> for rape, incest and life of the mother, absolutely. but the hyde amendment allows for those exceptions. and we all supported the current law. now i just have to say, and we just have to take a deep breath here. roe v. wade is the law of the land. my opponent says she would "absolutely vote to overturn roe v. wade." what does it mean? it means that women and doctors could be put in jail in any state of the union. that is the fact. we have voted on roe v. wade on the united states senate floor. luckily we were able to stop those who want to overturn it and criminalize abortion. >> but senator -- >> my view is that i have respect for everyone's views and
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i am not going to put my views on anyone else, on my opponent or anyone else. i support them completely. roe v. wade, i believe, is a decision that brings us all together and says look, this is a tough, tough, personal, religious and moral decision. it says in the early stages, a woman, her doctor and her god and her family will make this decision and i don't want to see the senate in the middle of this personal decision. >> so senator boxer, when ms. fiorina says that she is concerned about your regard for the rights of babies that may not comprist until they are born and leave the hospital, what about her criticism? >> i don't understand what she's talking about. i gave birth to two premature babies who are now my beautiful kids, have given me grandkids and i cared about them for the entire time that i was pregnant. the entire time that they were in that hospital for a month until they came home. >> senator boxer, about the hyde
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amendment, would you try to overturn it? >> well, at this point, there is absolutely no point in going down that road because i do believe there are these exceptions and i think it's a good compromise right now. so that's my position. that's why on the health care debate, not one pro-choice senator or member of the house that i know tried to overturn hyde. >> so it's ok for you to ban federal funding of abortion? >> except for life, incest, rape of the mother. at this point it's a compromise. the states take this up in their way and they can decide state by state. >> senator, thank you very much. the next question goes to ms. fiorina. it's from gabriel lerner. >> about mexico, the fight against drugs in mexico became increasingly bloody and could spill across the border into california. do you think the united states should consider providing military assistance to the government of mexico in its war
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against drug cartels? >> first i think that we must do as the government of mexico asks us to do in terms of supporting them. in some cases we have not provided to them all of the support that they have asked for. but just to put this in context, i think what we are looking at here is the potential that mexico is approaching a failed state. i use the term failed state, but the failed state is wren a government cannot -- when a government cannot control the security situation within its borders. i have been many times to the beautiful city of monterey in mexico. when you have people being beheaded, bodies hanging from bridges, it would be like bodies hanging from bridges in pasadena. we must provide to the government of mexico all the support that they are asking for. frankly we have not yet done that. we haven't provided all the support. you know, my -- senator boxer
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mentioned nafta a while ago. she said mexico is one of our largest trading partners. she is correct. she hasn't supported trading agreements in the past. but making sure that we are living up to our end of the bargain both with regard to nafta as well as with regard to supporting the government in mexico is an important first step. >> one of the things you really ask is about weapons, firearms. in recent studies concluded that most of the traceable automatic weapons used by the cartels are here in the united states, in the border towns and then smuggled into mexico. assuming that, why do you oppose reinstatement of the federal ban on assault weapons? >> first of all, assault weapons and semiautomatic weapons are not the same thing. it's a definitional issue. but here is the important point. it's illegal today to be buying semiautomatic weapons. most of these guns are purchased illegally. that's a huge problem. so of course we should be
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enforcing the laws that we have. because when drug cartels are buying semiautomatic weapons in the united states and transporting them across state lines. they are breaking multiple laws and we need to make sure that we hold them accountable and make -- prosecute the laws that we have. owning a semiautomatic weapon is illegal today. >> ms. fiorina, in the last couple years the supreme court has extended the second amendment right to individuals to keep and bear arms. but you said in the first debate the government's curtailing citizens rights to carry guns. >> i don't believe i said that. i believe i answered a very specific question which was senator boxer likes to confuse things purposely. she likes to say that the terrorist watch list is the same as the no-fly list. she knows very well that they're not all the same things. the quo was about the no-fly list which is an overly broad bureaucratic list. my sister-in-law was on it. my best friend's husband was on it. ted kennedy was on it. when the t.s.a. keeps a list that doesn't work, you shouldn't be denying american citizens
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their right to bear arms. if someone is on the terrorist watch list, oh, have you ever tried to -- it took my sister-in-law years to get off that list and she's a 72 -year-old grandmother. >> thank you. the next question goes to senator boxer and it is from gabriel. >> senator boxer, also on mexico, in the four years since mexico militarized its drug war the death toll is close to 30,000. the cartels are running rampant. the police forces are riddled with corruption. what do you say to those who argue that that military approach has only made the problem worse? >> let me say this, mexico is its own country with its own elected leaders. the best thing we can do is try to work with them and help them. i would never tell mexico the way to go after these drug cartels. but clearly we have to make sure that we help mexico in their efforts.
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>> very fast, senator, your opponent said that you want to give terrorists the same institutional rights as your citizens. your response? >> i don't know in what context she's talking about. it was in the first debate. >> if she's talking about the ability to get a trial, this is my opinion. i would leave it to the prosecution. either go to a military court or a civilian court. wherever you can get justice and swift and fast and the ultimate penalty. >> senator boxer, is the government in afghanistan worth supporting? >> i think we have to make sure that everything we do with the afghan government is transapparent because i worry about the corruption. i worry about the corruption in iraq. the fact is i don't believe in nation building. i believe in nation helping. if they can't get their arms around the corruption, then i don't see why we would


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