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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 7, 2013 8:30pm-10:31pm EST

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and immediate action to slash and end that carbon pollution is the only way to assure that future generations inherit a habitable planet. additionally science -- scientists and doctors warn us the earth warms unhealthy levels of ozone pollution or smog will increasingly become more widespread. higher small levels mean more
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cases of respiratory ama such as childhood asthma and lung diseases. according to the american lung association 154 million americans half of our nation's population already suffer from unsafe levels of air pollution. holding operators of 30 power plants accountable for the carbon pollution they emit will mean less disease reduce health care costs and a better quality of life for tens of millions of americans. the fastest possible transition to a more energy-efficient economy and clean energy sources such as wind and solar power will not only cut the risk of catastrophic climate disruption but also create incentives for innovation that will create good new jobs in the clean energy economy. detecting workers must be an urgent priority. we flatly reject the notion that protecting human health and environment the environment are incompatible with a healthy economy. poll after poll demonstrates the public supports the
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implementation of the clean air act protections and wants epa to do its job to protect public health and confront the growing threat of climate disruption. young young voters in particular recognized the threat and the recent poll showed 80% of young voters support the president taking action to address the threat of climate change. in closing we strongly support epa effort to clean up dangerous carbon pollution and applaud this first step in the transition to a clean energy economy. >> thank you. >> good morning. on behalf of the national association of manufacturers i am pleased to offer the following remarks for the environmental protection agency's greenhouse glass -- guess regulations for generating units. manufactures are committed to protecting the environment and greater sustainability increased energy efficiency and conservation in the reduction of
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greenhouse gas emissions. make no mistake the regulation we are discussing today is about energy. how we generated, whether we can rely on a steady and secure supply of it how much it will cost households and businesses to consume it. energy is the life of the manufacturing a manufactures consume one third of the nation's energy. the cost availability and reliability of energy directly impacts manufacturers ability to compete in the global economy. today is the technological advancements in genetic manufactures and energy producers a diverse mix of energy resources energy is a bright spot for manufacturing united states pre-manufactures make investments in united states in energy is the main reason why. if done the wrong way this revelation will threaten energy reliability increase costs for manufacturers and in turn -- return a competitive advantage into a disadvantage.
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as the epa develops this regulation manufactures encourage you to consider two important limits. first there is a limit to what the law permits in the controlling statute the clean air act. in attempt to expand beyond what the law allows would lead to delays in costly litigation and regulatory uncertainty that will stifle growth and manufactures have been and will continue to be the drivers of the newer and cleaner technologies that we need to need know the rules of the game. weird cpa to carefully consider what is legally permissible to avoid years of regulatory uncertainty with this policy. we contingently the clean air act is the wrong tool for addressing greenhouse gas emissions and a belief supported by a statute. second there are limits to what is achievable. powerplant technologies are remarkable. today's plans can generate more electricity for fewer resources than ever before and do so in an environmentally friendly way. like all to knowledge he there are limits. drafting a regulation that
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requires more than what technology allows using existing plants with one choice shutting down. let's not take any energy options off the table that will cut manufacturing jobs in the process. with the right policies and access to affordable and reliable energy manufactures the united states will continue developing sustainable solutions that will fuel job creation and drive economic growth. thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. >> thank you. our next two speakers are on at the and james. a.
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>> good morning and thank you for the opportunity. my name is monica and i'm here speaking on behalf of the over 180,000 members of the clean air force. a community dedicated to clean air and children's health. as a member of the team working monitoring our social media channels and e-mail accounts i have the privilege of interacting with many of our members on a daily basis. hearing their stories and providing them with resources encouragement and feedback. i sit here today on behalf of all of our members. the stories i hear of those plagued with asthma especially children have struck me the most. whether it's north carolina preteen sisters raven and destiny severe asthmatics who had experienced their hot worsted symptoms during hyatt owns of days or --
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whose pediatrician prescribes steroids when media experiences the flareup of her symptoms. she calls them the crying medicine because they cause her to have nightmares angry outburst in episodes of uncontrollable tears. ray then destiny and mia are the tip of the iceberg. over 7 million children suffer from asthma and the united states. this number is growing. in june 2010 study from the center for disease control showed an increase in asthma for all ages from 2001 to 2009. how do we reverse these numbers? how do we ease the suffering of future generations when it comes to this chronic disease? reducing carbon pollution is a critical first step. power plants our nation's largest source of carbon pollution with 40% of our nation's carbon dioxide emitted from power plants. carbon pollution is causing global warming and hotter weather means more ozone.
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more ozone in turn causes more lung damage and children's lungs in particular. more locally here in d.c. the air received an f waiting for a zone at converting to the lung association 2013 report putting the health of thousands of children at risk. we know what we can and should do. the obvious way to start is with the largest individual source of carbon pollution, power plants. let's set meaningful life saving standards for all power plants that exist in our country today. sydney generally reducing the deadly carbon pollution emitted unchecked and breathed in by vulnerable lungs. this support is evident. over the past few months more than 13,000 members have commented in support of news source carbons standards and in favor of stronger climate regulations. and would likely show additional enthusiasm for standards that
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you more immediate results. on behalf of the over 180,000 members including raven destiny and mia i urge you to set strong and meaningful pollution standards for existing power plants. let's make the united states and easier place for future generations to breathe. generations were counting on to run this country someday. these future generations and their lungs will thank you. >> thank you. >> i am herbert nelson the director of the office of public witness here in wishing to d.c.. i am pleased to be here today representing our denomination but also representing the work we are doing with creation
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justice ministries the national equal justice program. environmentalist activists and others who are in the same place looking at reducing carbon pollution. the united states is producing more greenhouse gases than any country in the world. yesterday the world meteorological organization announced the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record in 2012. according to the environmental protection agency, your agency 40% of united states pollution and 67% of direct emissions reported under the greenhouse gas report. the general assembly presbyterian church usa entitled power to change, u.s. energy policy and global warming states emphatically that we both have a spiritual and moral responsibility to address the
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issues related to global warming in order to do this we believe that attendance is required are biblical understanding that calls people and nations to stop the actions contrary to god's desires for the sustainability of human life while turning to a new way of living that promotes life more abundantly. god can give us the power to change it we do believe that. at the core of this understanding is the belief that the psalmist was right in the bible when he wrote in psalm 21 the earth is the lord's and the fullness thereof and those who live within it. therefore we call upon this administration as well as the united states congress to look at the possibilities in encouraging decentralized and distributed power generation. renewable energy systems distributed generations of community wind farms can relieve asher on the power grid create new jobs and empower local
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communities. we ask a moratorium on all new coal-fired and nuclear power plants take place until related environmental concerns are addressed. thirdly we ask the limited exploration and exploitation of new fossil fuels across the nation where this can be done without adverse effects on people and environment. today we believe this environmental protection agency is a great first step. we believe all nations should share in restoring the burdens of the blessings the creator has given us in this world. thank you. >> thank you. our next two commenters bill and frank.
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>> good morning. i am here on behalf of the coalition for innovative climate solutions. the coalition for innovative climate solutions is a group of forward-thinking electric generating companies and electric service providers located across the country. our members reflect a diverse geography and widely varying energy resources and regulatory frameworks. there are eight companies representing all aspects of the electric industry from the integrated electric utilities public power electric cooperatives and merchant power companies doing business in 15 states. if epa develops its regulations to establish greenhouse gas standards for the power sector and her goal is to provide epa and the states with constructive input on how best to set such standards so as to achieve meaningful reductions for a
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process that is legally defensible economically rational one workable across geographic and regulatory landscape. our members have experience in implementing these local and regional measures that achieve significant reductions. our guiding principles for in developing his regulations for existing sources under section 111d is epa must recognize the primacy of the states in setting the standards and implementing their programs. second, you must encourage the states to be flexible and promote innovation. you have to love the states eliza wide range of measures to achieve the greenhouse gas emission reductions. any of our members have achieved dramatic reductions in the past 15 years or measures and policies in cooperation with their states. you have to recognize the broad regional diversity and the opportunities available to the states electric generating companies amongst our coalition
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we have operations from oregon to kentucky louisiana to north dakota and minnesota to new jersey. one size cannot fit all. and forth we have to allow the state the benefit of the measures and programs they have already undertaken to address climate change. we support an approach that builds on the years of hard work and innovation that leverages existing state programs by allowing the states to develop a portfolio of measures appropriate to each stage. existing source ring house gaskin achieved the deepest reductions will minimizing economic dislocations paid within electric industries and most cost-effective mission reductions obviously will curry and nonemitting sources in downstream activities. epa's authority under section 111 of the clean air act is limited. epa cannot require the states to adopt programs such as renewable standards energy efficiency programs or intrastate cap-and-trade programs. epa can recognize such measures
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in the programs may be more effective than the states can implement these programs. we think these flexible programs will result in the greatest reductions at the lowest cost that can be achieved through the federal program. thank you. >> thank you. just reminder to the speakers please talk into the mic as closely as you can. >> my name is frank hart a. a. >> i'm sorry. >> my name is frank with the international brotherhood of boilermakers in virginia. we represent about 1000 workers in the state of virginia and also west virginia. a lot of our guys make a living by repairing buildings and
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maintaining power plants and also constructing these epa required devices that take out the pollutants. we recognize the need to keep the air claims and we feel like these requirements are going to be too strenuous on on the owners that have put billions of dollars into these plants to clean them up as much as they can to this point. technology is starting to catch up with the part of cool that we haven't been able to figure out yet the carbon capture and sequestration. we do know that they it can be done but right now, we know that coal was her greatest natural resource and we can't just shove it off to the side at this point. we are the saudi arabia of coal and again there are a lot of things we can do but these owners are going to need more time to bring their plants into
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compliance but they're also going to need to have a little bit of help from you guys and allowing them to come up with these plans that will bring sequestration into play and solve this issue with carbon. if we shut down all of our coal-fired power plants or don't allow any more it's not going to be a will to keep up with with the 50,000 megawatts laws. the wind and solar projects are slow to bring us up to that's badger but nonetheless we do field this is a job-killing proposition for a lot of evil through the coal industry and i really do feel there are a lot more jobs affected by this than you guys realize. >> thank you. >> the next two on the panel will be set field and samantha.
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e. good morning. my name is seth -- >> closer to the mic if you can. >> good morning. my name my name is seth field and i live in virginia. i've retired a month ago after 35 year career in the department of justice. i did not work on environmental issues and i never really thought of myself as an environmentalist until a few years ago. i became more informed and aware about local warming and climate change and i'm here today on my own initiative. no one is paying me and i don't
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represent anyone other than myself as a concerned citizen and a parent and perhaps someday a grandparent. i'm also after a retired enrolled in the program at johns hopkins university studying for a master's degree in energy policy and climate. i'm in my first semester and i have homework. i was doing it the other way -- day. distinguished archer who wrote a textbook on global warming. he's a notional it is at the university of chicago university of chicago and i knew i was getting ready for coming here today. i came across a sentence that i thought i had to bring up today. the future of the earth's climate depends mostly on what happens to coal and you might as well have said the future of human civilization depends on what happens to coal. we all know that science tells us that coal burning and carbon
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oxide emissions are causing enormous problems for the country and for the world and are going to cause even more. when i hear manufactures and the electric power industry and the coal industry argue against taking any significant action we hear a lot about jobs and we hear a lot about the economy but they frequently fail to address the problems that are already happening and they're going to happen even more seriously in the future from global warming caused in large part by carbon dioxide emissions. justin august ceo of a group called the american coalition for clean coal electricity complained about epa standards. he said they are going to to kill jobs and they talked about all the pollutants that have been cleaned up so far by the coal industry but he did not mention carbon dioxide. you can't just ignore the problem of carbon dioxide and
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you cannot wish away the problem of global warming. these are serious issues and science tells us what needs to be done. the coal industry and electric the electric power industry have had lots of time to get ready for this. they have really not taken this seriously and i urge the epa to take strong actions to reduce carbon dioxide pollution. thank you. >> thank you. >> my name is samantha and i met pediatrician and alexander of virginia they fellow at the american pediatrics and i'm here on behalf of the aed two express our support of the standards for existing power plants. we thank the epa for giving us the opportunity to speak out today for children on the critical issue of carbon pollution and resulting climate disruption.
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children are one of the most vulnerable groups of the adverse effects of climate change critically to the world health organization more than 80% of the current health burden due to climate change occurs in children less than five years old. these health impacts include the broad effects of weather disasters increases in range shifts in climate sensitive infections increases in allergic and asthmatic diseases for and security and increased heat related deaths. the reasons for the unique vulnerability of children to the climax to change. allergies are different than adults. they even have more food and breathe more air per human body weight than adults and experience greater exposure to environmental and infectious toxins. the bathers of children are different. they spend more time outside during the peak hours of the day children are more vulnerable to the changes in air quality as well as insect infection disease. children are dependent on the caregivers for safety and as their proxies in decisions such as this which will have a great
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impact on their future. lastly children are still developing adverse impacts and physiologic effects that will last like on. the impact of early life experiences and environments on lifelong health has been called biologic embedding and results in the development of cardiovascular disease diabetes and hypertension and cancers. i would like to discuss briefly some children's choose life soup soup -- children whose lives have been affected due to increasing climate change. 2005 hurricane katrina devastated new orleans and cause the largest displacemdisplacem ent or nations history including 163,000 children. children as young as four experienced weeks of such ration from caregivers suffer suspected abused by strangers and homeless shelters and years of homelessness in school instability. approximately 40% of new orleans children develop significant mental health problems as a result and this is taken along time to resolve. his weather disasters hit communities with greater frequency due to climate change for families of children will
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bear the burden of his experiences such as this. i'm a change is also influencing infectious disease patterns could west nile disease is endemic in united states and lyme disease-carrying ticks -- canada. valley fever is caused by fungus highly sensitive to heat immunity. emily is a young girl in california who attracted valley fever when she was six and required treatment for over a year but remains at risk as most patients do. and summary climate is a major threat to children and as states across the row. we applaud the epa for taking this crucial step to protect the future of children by reducing carbon emissions on existing power plants. thank you. >> thank you. >> the next two we have todd
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keller and pearl mitchell. >> good morning. thank you very much for allowing us to do this. i know you guys have had a long day today. my name is todd keller and i'm with the advanced energy economy as their vice president of federal affairs. we support the environmental protection agency's effort to -- to the cleaner. developing these standards we urge the epa to provide maximum flexibility to incorporate advanced energy technologies and services into their implementation plans. as a national association of business leaders whose companies are making global energy systems more secure clean and affordable
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we believe establishing standards in this manner will move the united states toward a higher performing energy system for the 21st century. thanks to technology and innovation we now have more options in energy needs than ever before in history. we call those two options at dance energy. as documented in the report economic impacts of advanced energy is more than a 1 trillion-dollar industry worldwide and the u.s. advanced energy revenue grew an estimated 19% from 2,112,012 to $157 billion. advanced energy represents an opportunity to create prosperity across the economy as we modernize or methods of producing managing and using energy. the same time advanced energy provides a wide range of technologies products and services that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions as we define it. advanced energy includes energy efficiency demand response solar wind natural gas electric generation hydronuclear electric
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vehicles by a few smart grid and more. these technologies and service provide states with an array of cost-effective options as they develop implementation plans to meet the epa's standards in greenhouse gas emissions. in closing we believe that designing for standards to allow the states the flexibility to incorporate these technologies and services into their implementation plans are simply good policy. such flexibility is the best approach for achieving a cost-effective ring house gas reduction for power plants and the power sector across the country. thank you very much. >> good morning. my name is earl mitchell and i live in springfield virginia. let's start with what webster says about pollution. a harmful chemical or waste material discharge into the water and atmospheric to make
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unclean in pure corrupt contaminant dirty. what we are really discussing today is how dirty do we want to make a planet? the burning of coal the dirtiest carbon fuel actually harms both the air and water. my remarks will concern water. case in point, the solid residue from burning coal is known as coal ash into stored in man-made ponds. in december 2008 tda federal utility said that containment spilled more than 1 billion gallons of toxic waste including lead arsenic and saletti him which polluted over 300 acres of private farmland into rivers. ..
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it was contaminated with chemicals and dies. you can look downstream to determine what color cloth they were producing that day. after about three quarters of a mile, the stream dumped in to the cove. cove -- is an ideal anchorage for small boats. well protected on three sides with a narrow entrance. not much title -- tidal action.
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i shall say clams to most of you folks. whenever you get -- whoever you order clam chowered it's made with these and not soft shell claims. as many as 2 -- kept it tied up in the cove. they had to travel to the main body of water for the bay to work. as you see, the cove was cleared off limits during the '40s to the fishing by the state of rhode island due to heavy pollution. it took place before the clean water act. i visited there this summer. i went cove while there. i stood on a hill high above the cove and gazed back and thought of the earlier times. i thought of the cohoggers. i became sad. the cove is still polluted.
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the. >> it's time to wrap up. >> 50 years has passed and the pollution remains. it's the end result in the weak environmental laws. let's work to make the ruling as strong as we can. otherwise we'll have many coves all over the nation. it is in your power to make it happen. remember that clean air and water are necessary to sustain life. and yes, i was -- i would be happy to explain the trade to you during the break. >> thank you very much, both of you. we'll call the next two, please. patricia and ashley.
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remember to speak in to the mic. >> any name is trish tricia. i'm behalf here on creation justice ministries representing 37 christian dominations and the policy relating to care. our members exist on a wide spectrum from methodist to baptist and orthodox tradition. we do not agree on many things. what we do agree on; however, is the necessity to care for god's creation and for god's people. this morning, right outside of those walls, the faith community hosted a blessing to bring thoughts and prayers to this important process. standing in the overcast --
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28 people who care deeply about our planet and the help of all people gathered stoght. -- together. it was time to reflect on a great gift god has given us as well as the responsibilities that come with them. as steward of the land we are called to care for creation and ensure we leave our planet better for future generations. the faith community has sought to address climate change for more than two decade. we believe it's the greatest moral issue of our time. sustainable and renewable practices must be implemented. meeting our own present needs should not prevent our children and our children's children from meeting their needs. we're looking for cooperation between the epa w states and utility to protect god's planet and people in a way that makes sense and meets various needs. we need strict emissions
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reductions standards to reduce pollution, but these standards also need to recognize the city of culture and economies. the epa should do all it can to guarantee that prices do not skyrocket and we urge the epa, states, and you till to prioritize plans that protect low-income consumers from disproportionate and large increases in utility bill. we have a responsibility to care for our neighbors and ensure they do not carry heavy burden from the necessary changes. this carbon rule needs reduce emissions by 35 to 40% in order keep the u.s. on pace with the international commitment weapon urge you to require existing power plant to reduce the emission by at least the necessary 35 to 40%. we owe this change to our brothers and sisters around the world who are already suffering at the hand of climate change as well as to those that come after us.
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because for heaven's sake the time for climate justice is now. >> thank you. >> my name is ashley got. i'm a pastor. 50,000 honey bees called a backyard called it homes. three honey beehives are part of the urban garden. our honey bees pollinate the vegetable and fruit along with the garden along with the forest next to us, rock creek park. the eggplant, peppers, basil and beans goes to create meal for open table. our lunch every sunday afternoon
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for 40 hungry neighbors. on sundays our garden is alive. honey bees buzzing around pollen and hungry neighbors munching on the goods. on that moment our backyard is host and home. to living beans our society thinks are dispiece of equipmentble. honey bees are threaten by colony class disorder a disorder created by humans. hungry people are the most socially vulnerable of humanity starving off the lack of access to affordable food. we designed our backyard because the trust in the holy one. and with a moral vision our garden symbolizes how we're to live of people's god ways and shows what we live for. osama bin laden and right now the planet is poor from climate pollution impacting
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humans and insect like the honey bee. the greek word for house or house hold and it's also root for the wood ecologist and economics. for christians of the ancient church, oikos is not limited to the private home but referring to the planet itself as the whole house. god's home. oikos sets the intention in how to ab sacred neighbor. we are shared household where all who are born belong and all who live cohabit. the role of the epa is to real late the commons. we are doing just that. tending our ecolocation with the intentional to reflect our place in society and god's home. having no national car --
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carbon limits. >> thank you. >> the next two are james -- and. >> good morning my name is james and the treasurer and member of the board board of directors
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building tools. it's the leading voice of the deconstruction and building material reusing industries. it's a proud new member of the american sustainable business counsel. the esbc currently represents over 175,000 large, small, -- large and small triple-bottom-line businesses in america. it was extremely pleased to be able to host epa administrator -- business summit on building for a sustainable economy two weeks ago. the asbc is generally supportive of the epa's efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. the asbc has urged the state department to disapprove the construction of the keystone x l pipeline to -- to pump oils from canada.
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who teaches at the graduate sustainable design program at catholic university america. in 2011, community forklift inhibited the release of 513 more megatons of carbon equivalent in the annual operations than it emitted due to the fact that raw, virgin raw materials were not extracted. i believe that building material reuse is a significant element of our energy future. in general, the bmra and asbc are supportive of the proposal at hand. one element concerns me greatly. i speak now not representing any organization but as a citizens. i'm against the inclusion of enhanced oil recovery in the type of carbon capture storage
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that proposed standard promotes. i do not dispiewt that the science of carbon capture and storage -- i do not dispute the science. i'm dubious many of the claim with respect to the permanence and ethics of such storage. i object to the use as a mechanism to extract more fossil fuels from the earth that, for the most part, be burned for energy. implying, enhanced oil recovery is a form of fuel switching from coal to oil that works against the effort to reduce carbon -- and protect the environment. ly quote from page 280. the epa acknowledges that the can be downstream losses after capture. for example, during transportation injection or storage. a well-selected and operated site is expected to contain co,
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2 for a long-term. there's will a potential for unanticipated leakage. they expect the loss to be modest with incentives due to the market use of co2 is as a product purchase. there remains an issue of whether the standard i.t. should be adjusted to reflect these downstream losses. the epa is not proposing go so. more over the epa wishes to encourage rather than discourage eor using co2 since it makes carbon storage itself more economic and thus promotes the use of technology which the proposed standard is based. i dispute this. market -- [inaudible] >> yeah. market forces are a thin read on which to rest the clean energy and environmental policy. in conclusion, i just like to add that as a residents of capitol hill, i urge the standard to serve federally-run facilities like the capitol hill power plant not far from us today. i thank you for this opportunity to share my views.
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>> thank you. [applause] >> thank you epa on moving forward to develop standards to control carbon pollution and holding today's listening session. we have an obligation to protect our children and future generations from the effect of climate change. and speaking as a parent, i say this as a paramount responsibility. in order to meet this obligation, it is critical that we reduce carbon pollution from the very units responsible for 40% of u.s. greenhouse gas emissions existing power plants. to meet the president's goal of a 17% economy-wide reduction and climate pollution by 2020, in a
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role for existing power plants must ensure a 35 to 40% reduction from 2005 levels, which is a 25 to 30% reduction from 2012. to underscore the importance of achieving reduction in the electricity power sector, i point to california. according to the california air resources board, the state experience 29% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity power sector between 2001 and 2011. compared to an economy wide reduction of 6%. i would also add that california's energy production increased during the same period. it must seat clear rule for what it will take for states to get the plans approved. it is important for both insuring that the plans e feck wait the climate action plan and get legally sound state implement plans as quickly as possible the majority of our --
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the dirtiest coal plants in the nation are operating beyond the intended use for life. the clean air act contemplates that the epa and the states consider remaining useful life and setting performance standards for existing facilities. here that factor weigh in favor of setting protect sthashedz help promote the shift to clean energy already underway. the clean air act is a successful law that is helped to reduce the levels of many conventional air pollutants and saved the lives of hundreds of thousand of americans. much of this progress has been the direct result of the successful enforcement of the law by the agency and citizens. making progress on reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants will be dependent on both the vigor and enforceability of the role and the state or the federal implementation plans that implement it. therefore, it is vital that the implementation, the --
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therefore it's vital that the emissions reductions adopted in the rule be measurable, verifiable, and enforceable in the subsequent implementation plans. thank you. >> thank you. our next two will be james and joelle. my name is jane and i'm here representing myself. thank you for hosting this session on standard for carbon emissions. your generosity is not lost on me. we like to add things out and evaluate the consequences and by my reckoning you're going to be sitting through one or two
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thousand of these three-minute testimonial. i hope you have a deep bench. thank you for accepting mine. i'm a middle-aged mother of two with a busy job. as a clinical research scientist. i work on tuberculosis and the search for a bio marker that help treat the disease that kills 1.4 million people a year. most of thement outside the u.s. but poses a grave threat to our population given the advances of drug resistance. i'm booked up to my eye brows with family and work and my community. yet every day i get up and wonder what else i should be doing to enhance my disability at the climate activist. i've hosted for the last two years joined protest and media campaigned, i've hosted meetings and provided beds and meals for young activists in town to protest the keystone pipeline. i've logged, divested, i've engaged in civil disobedience
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action including one that got my arrested. to be here today takes me so far outside my comfort zone that you wouldn't believe it. i'm here because we need to do more without correction on carbon emissions and climate disruption. curing tuberculosis won't matter. nothing will matter. i'm scared. one day two years ago i lived at the decision to engage as a climate activist. i'm courageous and -- why i was i shrinking that from which i most feared without a good answer i faced and i joined up and it's been better since. there are a lot of people like me who have engaged in many more who want to but have not out of fear. and uncertainty about what to do next.
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please lead. we need to leave the car bonn in the ground. i'm here to ask you to leave the likes of me and all of these people here and you can feel it. to engage, to think, to press, tokingking a at a time, to sacrifice and demand results. thank you. >> thank you. >> i think you want to be closer to the mic for that. hrnd of local congregations of all religious traditions work together on energy and climate issues. this morning as you've already
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seen i'm only one of over a dozen religious voices you will hear speaking out in support of strong safe guards on carbon pollution from existing power plants. and we are joined by religious voices around the country who are participating in the epa's other listening sessions. the teaching for my own tradition that informs my thought on carbon solution from a rabbi a 124th century scholar of jewish law. he wrote: one is for bidden from gaining livelihood at the expense of another's health. one is forbidden from gaining a livelihood at the expense of another's health. simple, ethical wisdom. not bad for the middle ages. for too long, here, now those who operate our power plants have been forbidden to gain their livelihood at the expense of people's health. there have been limits on other kind of pollutants will there have been no limit on carbon
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pollution. here in d.c. we have one of the nation's highest asthma rates particularly among children. nearly 134,000 children in our nation's capitol city sometimes struggle to breathe because of our dirty air. someone is making their living at the expense of these kids' health. we'll be hearing a lot from polluters today saying that any limit on carbon pollution will interfere with their job. they have every right to make an honorable living, but it should be forbidden in this country for anyone to make their livelihood at the expense of people's health. in the religious community with which i work, people are heart sick about the role of fossil fuel in producing the heat trapping gases that cause climate change. they are working to reduce their electricity use in the sanctuary and home. they are climbing on ladders to change to more efficient lightbulb and working together to support clean energy flu -- through the energy bill. they fought hard bring wind power to the coast and willing to spend many hours figuring out
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how to finance solar panel. so often we are told that the change we are trying to make is unrealityist because clean energy it so expensive while dirty energy is cheap. but who pays for dirty energy? who bears the cost of bad air call quality in the cost of kids with asthma? seniors having heart attacks, pregnant mothers with mercury in the body. who bears the cost 6 stronger storms, extreme drought, devastating floods, and other scary weather caused by climate change. any energy we pay for through the permanent destruction of our climate. any energy people pay for with their health isn't cheap energy. it is intolerable expensive. on the historic morning the epa stands poised to set national limit on the nation's single largest source of carbon pollution. please proceed to -- for existing power plants.
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next up we have dustin weise and robert blakeland. >> thank you, sir. hi, i'm wearing three hats right now. another is that of the west virginia-based ohio valley environmental coalition, and the third is that of an eighth generation southern west
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virginia resident. why did i feel the need to travel all the way from southwestern west virginia to attend this listening session? because i want you to hear that there are people in west virginia who support the epa's action to establish. as a member of a faith community i believe i'm called to be a steward of god's good creation and care for the most vulnerable populations in all communities. as a member of an organization which actively seeks to preserve clean air, water, and equal justice for all citizens in west virginia. i'm here to urge the epa to set strict standards for overall emission reductions while also working with states and utilities to prioritize shifting energy sources to truly
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renewable sources like wind, solar, geotheythermal, and microhydropower. instead of shifting to seemingly lower cost of fossil fuel such as shale gas, which in fact, has huge hidden costs. west virginia, by the way, is the only state in the country that has both gas fracking and mountain top removal coal mining going on. we are are being ranched by both. and head water stream of the eastern coast is at stake. i urge epa states and you utilities to prioritize plans that will protect low-income consumers from disproportionate and large increases in utility bill. i urge the epa to move quickly with a proposed and final rule so that the u.s. can begin to address the increasingly urban america jebt dr urgent problem of climate change.
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the they recently put out a report. it was a strategic plan to addressing asthma. 2011 to twowfort. i want to mention a few highlights from that. the right of asthma hospitalization has more than doubled among seniors in west virginia since 1996. west virginia adult females are nearly twice as likely to have asthma. the dhhr study concludes that west virginia have low socioeconomic status. adults without a high school diploma and an yule household energy of less than $25,000 are significantly more likely to have asthma. >> time to wrap up. >> in short from west virginia's
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example it seems clear that asthma-remitted health effect of living near a coal-fired power plant which we do through our state. we have no other alternative often costs people who can lest afford it. children, seniors, and women. please establish strict rules. >> thank you. >> good morning. i'm dustin with the ohio valley environmental coalition which is a member group of the alliance for appalachian. i want to taunt -- talk about for the opportunity to speak today. i'm speaking and the the community where they mine the coal for the power plants. u i'm from the community of the navajo nation to the powder
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river basin and my home who live in the wake of the extraction process can attest that coal is harmful to public health. i'm from southern west virginia and i have been around coal my entire life. we need to talk realistically about the human health impact of carbon pollution not just the contribution to climate change. as a west virginia person i support epa's effort and believe me there are many more who do as well. i feel you cannot realistically talk about emission without discussing the extraction because they are -- by regulating the amount of coal power pollution that is produced by plants, you are also helping the communities where the coal industry on a daily basis rip coal from the ground and blow up entire mountains. let's call it what it is. coal pollution. whether you're living with a coal-fire power plant in the backyard or mountain top removal mine site over your community and your neighbors are getting
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sick because of the impact to air quality among others. the extraction process is poisoning our air, water, and land. i'm not a scientist. i can't sie statistics. i do not deal with numbers and statistics. i deal with reality. and the reality is people are getting sick and dying from this pollution. we know this. there are numerous scientific studies that state this. and i know that the epa has the studies. i don't have to quote them. i amount; however, living witness to the illness and death back home. i can spend hours telling the stories who suffer. like the 19-year-old girl from my home county who is diagnosed with multiple type of cancer and given two months to live. i'm outliving people i played with as a child at 30 years old. all because they live around coal. i'm certain there are resident
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-- even if it true to clear no one has a job that is more important than someone else's life. contrary to what the politicians and industry say we know there are safer and cleaner ways to produce electricity. >> time to wrap up. >> we must come together and end coal cycle death. this starts with meaningful regulations. no one should have to live with the issues, birth defect to cancer and other human issues human health issues that coal is responsible for. for the sake of our planet and
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public health, and the sake of future generations let's stop talking. epa, do your job. thank you. >> thank you. thank you for making the drive here. on what people think about the future carbon regulations on existing power plant. i couldn't help but notice the sessions are scheduled only for
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states where coal does not have a large presence. like california and massachusetts. other regions of the country; however are well aware that coal provides nearly 40% of our nation's electricity. as such, i ask all of you folks to hold a hearing in kentucky. to hear the concerns of coal country. but since epa i refuses tocom to kentucky, i decided on behalf of kentucky's coal miners and families that i would bring their concerns to you myself. the epa won't come to listen to us, we'll come here. to the epa. by now it is clear that this administration and your agency have declared a war on colt. for kentucky it means a war on jobs and our state's economy. the president outright stated his intention for the coal industry. this is what he had to say. if somebody wants to build a coal power plant. they can.
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it will bankrupt them. they're going to be charged a huge sum for the greenhouse gas being emitted. a direct quote from the president of the united states. one of the first things president obama did upon taking office in 2009 was to push through congress' cap-and-trade bill to try to push it through -- i might add. designed to hike utility rights and bankrupt the coal industry. back in 2009, his party, the democratic party controlled both houses of congress. they held a super majority in the senate of 60 votes. they could actually pass anything they wanted to. but the bill only narrowly passed the house and could never pass the senate. it idled away and did not pass in the senate. that is how extreme this president's agenda. he proposed setting unheard of cap on greenhouse gas emissions.
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before you do, you're going to hear from us. coal employs more than 13,000 people in kentucky. i think it's important to note the beginning of the administration employed 18,000. we have gone from 18,000 coal miners to 13,000. we have a depression in eastern kentucky. not a recession. a depression. for every coal job there are three or four additional jobs. so this administration's declared war on coal. as far as my state is concerned, since 90% of our electricity comes from coal from our generation. we can anticipate higher utility rates. it's one of the great ways we've been able to attract new visit to commonwealth. so we're here to remind you that coal keeps the lights on for
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kentucky and for the nation. i want to introduce you to a man who will speak for kentucky coal miners today. as a fifth generation coleman he truly understands the central role coal plays in kentucky's industry and in our economy. in our history and, yes, in our future. bryan's great, great grandfather was a coal miner in ireland. his father managed large coal mines in kentucky. and today bryan is the president of service at the james river coal service company. he knows full well how kentucky coal miners work 14-hour days to bring affordable energy to the state and the country. he knows because he works just as hard himself. if you're truly interested listening to the people his way of life you will affect the most. you need to listen to bryan's voice of wisdom and experience. so i would like now to call on bryan for his observations.
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as he said before, we have a descrption in eastern kentucky. when i left eastern kentucky yesterday after a 48-hour workday over two days, we furloughed and/or laid off over 2,000 employees. our company as a whole over the last six months had to do it furlough 725 employees. these are communities of just 1,000 to 2,000 people. 3,000 people. and when you have that type of an economic impact due to
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regulations, many of which are regulations that come from washington, d.c., that have very little understanding of what the outcome is for local folks. i find myself coming to washington, d.c., to discuss issues. it's not first u visit here. i've been here on numerous occasions. but i would very much wish and invite you to coal country. i think there is a -- you've heard people speak previously saying they're from coal country. some of those folks are. some maybe visit. but there are thousand of folks right now that would love the opportunity to sit and discuss with you the issues they have at hand. those issues are basic. they want a job. they want to go to work. they want to provide for their families, they want to provide college educations for their kids, they want to have a decent
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retirement. as simple as they want to buy a boat. just the american dream. it's all that simple. and in appalachian without coal, and without the industry that provides jobs, we have very little left for the people remain employed. there may be alternative fuel measures and the other things that can pop out of the woodwork, at this point, there is no alternative. so i ask that you consider the real people of appalachian. the real people of coal country, the people that really matter in this argument because if you take away our livelihood, and i don't know what we have left. and so, again, invite you to coal country. thank you. we're going take a ten minute
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break. then we'll reconvenient -- reconvene. [inaudible conversations] you can see the hearing in the entirety online at c-span.org. here is a little bit of the testimony from marine corps.. s >> our exhaustive research backed by independent analysis w determined a force of 174,000 marines is the largest force we can afford.lysis assuming that the requirement170 for marine remain the same over the foreseeable future. c a force ofan 174,000 will drives the marine corps. to. it will be that way for will dr virtually all our operationalcos units. to
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six months deploy, 2012 month ty home, recuperating, setting witl and six months deployed again.d, it's dangerously close to the rs same combat tempo we had in iraq, afghanistan, while fighting in the multiple theaters.intaining when our nation commits itself to the next major theater war.4f as there areor significant acpts reductions in my service in ground combat and aviation unitr reductble for the fight. under sequestration, we will ndou availaevely lose a marine divisions worth of combat for power. this is a marine corps thatill deploy to a major contingency fight and not return until the war is over. co will empty the entire bench. there would be no rotation ory, relief like iraq andis weghanistan. marines who join the corp. during the war would likely go
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afghanistan. marines who joined the corps during that law will likely go straight from the drill field to the battlefield without the benefit of pre combat training. we will have fewer forces arriving less trained, arriving late tore the fight. this would delay the buildup of combat power, allow the she ran a tight ship at the white house conducting white glove inspections and approving all the menu for a record number of state visits. watch our program saturday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. and live monday night our series continues. >> mrs. kennedy is very well known as a style icon. admiration of our fashion sense. mrs. kennedy put a lot of thought to her wardrobe when she was representing the cub at the white house and traveling abroad.
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as respect for the red of the canadian maple leaf. i admire the thought that mrs. kennedy put to her wardrobe . that is here on c-span 2 at 9:30 a.m. eastern. later on c-span president obama will be in new orleans for a speech on jobs and the economy. that is a little after 1 p.m. eastern. at 3:00 p.m. the center hosting a panel of senior u.s. officials and other exfor thes on efforts
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to keep weapons of mass destruction away from terrorists. over the next hour and a half we'll focus on energy policy and renewable energy. in a half hour, a look at the future of solar energy followed by a discussion of wind energy. first we'll focus on how environmentalist effect energy policy. >> michael is syria club executive director. >> "washingt" continues. host: michael brune of the sierra club joins us. that began with the obama administration's record so far. how would you grade it? guest: pretty good, but incomplete. certainly, what the administration has done on health standards has been important in performing the --
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improving the informants of our utilities and protecting our air improving the of our utilities and protecting our air and water. we also have to recognize the president's leadership in supporting efficiency standards for automobiles that will simultaneously save significant amounts of oil over the next couple of decades, and also reduce renounce gash -- gas emissions. the standards will raise fuel economy to 55.4 miles per gallon. by itself, that will cut greenhouse gas emissions in the u.s. by 10%. those are things we are excited about. is piece that is undecided whether or not the administration will adopt a
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supply-side strategy to their climate land. -- plan. right now you have an energy policy that is often undermining the president's climate goals. when you talk -- here the president talk about exporting, that sets us further back from where we need to be in terms of stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions, and it is undecided whether or not the president and the administration will show strong leadership on the. host: let me show you from the white house, the president's plan to address climate change and four key points -- has he succeeded on any of these fronts? you talked about café standards,
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but otherwise? yout: it depends how quantify success, taking a long- term view, what are we doing to build an economy that is 100% power with energy that is clean, renewable, safe, secure, and sustainable? you would say we are making great progress. we have secured the retirement of more than 150 old and out plants.irty coal fire energy use has declined as the economy has grown. cars and trucks are becoming more efficient. all of that is good. at the same time, when you look at the affect that we already see from a destabilizing climate, droughts, wildfires, severe storms, you know that we need to be doing everything we can to accelerate a transition
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to a clean energy future, and weeks -- when we set the standard that high, that is when the president does not always reach the right marks. the way the president has laid out his priorities from mitigation, both from power plants and mobile sources, cars and trucks, is sound. it is a comprehensive, strategic approach. but, in the face of persistent, unyielding opposition, both from most segments of the republican party, as well as the oil, coal, and gas industries, the president has not always reached -- the strongest long-term view, and sometimes steps back from what actually needs to be done. host: michael brune, let me show you what the president had to say last week, touting his strategy on energy. [video clip] of theave pursued in all above energy strategy, so we are
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producing more traditional energy, more noble energy than ever -- renewable energy than ever before, more natural gas come to we have cut our pollution in the process here at -- process. host: what do you mean -- what do you make of the all of the above policy? itst: we do not support because it means more of the same. this is where the administration is at war with itself, without the president has talked about how climate change is a moral obligation and an economic opportunity to transition to clean energy. at the same time, when the president talks about an energy policy that is all of the above, expanding oil drilling, expanding fracking, expanding exports of fossil fuels, that only undermines his first goal.
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the opportunity here is under the obama administration, the price of wind has dropped by almost 50%. the price of solar has dropped more than 75%. so, we have a chance right now, to leapfrog over fossil fuels. not right away, and not entirely, but when all of these coal plants are coming off line, we can have a majority of the energy mix -- a super majority of the energy mix, come from solar, wind, and in aggressive renewable energy. that is starting to happen at the utility level, but it is not being pushed as much as it needs to at the federal level. there are a lot of great examples. the omaha power district in nebraska recently made a big investment in wind, so by 2017, they will be at 30% of their power coming from wind.
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a warren buffett subsidiary, mid-american energy, was considering building a nuclear power plant, backed away from that, and made the largest economic investment of any kind in the state of iowa's history, and by 2017, mid-america and iowa will be powered 39% by wind. we see in oklahoma, texas, colorado, minnesota, all of the states, big investment in solar and wind hitting penetrations of 30% and 40% by the end of this decade. similar level a of ambition from this president, going all in on clean energy and pushing out as much oil, gas as we can. host: viewers are waiting to talk to michael brune. in northp first carolina. democratic caller.
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caller: good morning. in the mid-2000's, "the st. -- st.urg" time petersburg times" put on an article about use you in florida, and i travel on the highways, night and day. i would like to know if you are mixing to michael's and pumping the chemicals in the tanks and adding water to it to make our fuel. in the old days i saw nothing but all four corners with gasoline stations, and now there are fewer gasoline stations, more cars, and i cannot understand why these tankers are off of the road. can you answer that question for me, and thank you, c-span, for not cutting me off. a nice day, sir. but i.
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-- bye-bye. host: michael brune. guest: thank you, john. it sounds like you are spending a lot of time on the road. because of state and federal mandates, policy has been put in place to address two things -- lowering air pollution, all different kinds -- compounds that affect locally as well as greenhouse gas emissions, and also, to make vehicles more efficient at the same time. there has been attempts to reformulate gasoline, to make it cleaner, but the biggest move that happened over the last decade or so federally has been to make our vehicle more efficient -- to go further on a gallon of gas. california, where the air quality is pretty poor, about 10 years ago, the state set policies to make our vehicles more efficient, and
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those policies were copied by, eventually, 19 other states across the u.s.. then, when obama became president, he made easy efficiency standards ubiquitous across the country. the country had one set of standards to take the average efficiency from 22 miles per gallon, up to 35 miles per gallon. a second set of standards have been formalized and finalized, which will increase efficiency up to 55, or almost 55 miles per gallon for an average vehicle. automakers ins detroit and elsewhere that are able to lower the energy cost or bysumers -- for consumers getting the same types of cars and trucks to go much much further. host: florida. republican caller. span.r: praise be to c-
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here in florida, we have a unique program that is combined with getting families to camp out one day a month in their backyard and incrementally get used to being off of the grid, and i would like to invite joe biden and ralph nader to come visit us. the citizens only utility company, and i would like those three people to come help me deal with our new mayor he you asked. his name is howard, and he won a moral way, because he bear false witness against his opponent. host: will move on to art. independent caller. .o ahead, sir
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all right, one last call for our. -- art. let's move on to john, brooklyn, new york, democratic caller. caller: good morning, c-span. thank you for taking my call. since we have had efficiency improvements in the united states the last couple of years, since we talked about, why is oil production increasing in the united states, and my second question is about buildings operating efficiency -- efficiently. are there training programs for kids coming out of high schools and colleges to maintain buildings to operate efficiently moving forward. thank you for taking my call. guest: thank you for calling in, and congratulations on your new mayor. programs for
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efficiency, and some have been extended by the administration, acceleratesory that progress -- employment in communities and gives people a leg up into the jobs market. in california, there is a small group called solar richmond which takes youth from urban , and helpse bay area them get a leg up on the solar economy. we have similar programs in the central valley and all across the country, either to help install solar panels on the roofs of each -- churches, buildings, and homes, or to make buildings more energy efficiency -- efficient. can you remind me of the first part of the question? host: i blanked.
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john, are you still with us? increasingwe are efficiency, why is oil production increasing? thank you. guest: that is part of the untold story. 22 billionalmost use barrels of oil every day, and now we are down to 19, and most estimates have that declining to below 15. and how do you reconcile those? we are becoming a major exporter of oil and gas, so here, in the u.s., we are bearing the pollution burden from fracking gas, and theal pipelines being constructed go through special places in the
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watersheds, and a lot of that oil is being exported to other countries. the keystone xl pipeline, if it is built, would go not to the united states, but through the united states, and most of that oil would be exported to other countries. so, we get the risk, as taxpayers and citizens of the united states, and often it is the oil industry or gas industry that reaps the profits. host: michael brune, where is the evidence that this will be exported? guest: go on an earnings call for any refinery based in the gulf, and they will state clearly that the majority of oil will be exported, and they say that because investors in these companies know they will command a higher price overseas. so, if the oil is exported as diesel products for latin america, they would get a much higher price than they would in the united states.
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so, you hear the refineries talking quite clearly and candidly that they expect an increased profit potential from exports down south. host: earlier this year, you laid out five essential presidential actions. the keystone xl pipeline was number one on the list. why? guest: for two reasons >> these are the type of choices the administration needs to make. one of the things the president said in his speech in july is his climate speech at the end of june. what he said was that building the keystone pipeline is not in the country's interest if it expands the challenge of stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions, and that is true for keystone. it's also true for a variety of other energy decisions that the country's making, and so keystone has become a high
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profile issue and it's important as well. we have to remember that the tar -- oil from the tar sands in alberta, canada, is the most carbon intensive, the dirtiest sources of oil on the planet, and you cannot reduce carbon pollution and expand investment in the dirtiest sources of oil on the planet so we have to have a reconciliation of the president's policies. if we're serious about stable climate, we have to cut emission, and if we cut emissions, you can't grow new sources of dirty oil. >> host: there was a piece, the keystone fight is a huge environmentalist mistake, and in this piece he notes that estimates differ on how much approval of the keystone pipeline would increase carbon emissions, but a survey of studies by the congressional research service found the
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pipeline adds equivalent of anywhere between .06% to preponderate 3% a year. by contrast, the natural resource defense com's proposal for epa's regulations reduces u.s. emissions by 10% a year, 30 times the most pessimistic estimate of keystone's impact. a mistake to make keystone the number one fight? >> well, so i read that article and there's a few others like it. two things about it. there's two faulty assumptions in the article. the first is the level of carbon pollution from the pipeline. what -- his assumption is that the oil comes from the tar sands no matter what, whether it comes from -- whether it's transported through the pipeline or goes by rail to the u.s. to other countries or whether it goes on
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trucks or wherever, you know, it's put on horseback, however it comes, the assumption is the oil comes out no matter what. that's a cynical projection. if we actually extract the oil from the tar sands that's economically recoverable and extract similar amounts of oil from other oil fields, we have zero chance of stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions. scientists have now agreed that if we want to keep global warming to a roughly manageable level and limit warming to 3.6 degrees fahrenheit, we have to keep two-thirds of phos fossil feels in the ground. that's a hard task. we have to limit the sources. the second assumption in john's article that is not true is that e we only do one thing in the environmental movement, only focused on one issue, and i run the largest grassroots
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environmental organization in the country, and i know it's not true. look at our budget, which is publicly disclosed every year, and you can see that both at the sierra club and many other environmental organizations, we spend significant resources in other areas. the largest campaign in the history of the environmental movement right now is focus on retiring dirty coal plants and expanding the use of clean energy. at the sierra club, we have more than 150 full-time staff doing what john said, which is working to secure strong rules to limit carbon from power plants and to work state by state, utility by utility and coal plant by coal plant to make sure that each individual boiler is retired on a thoughtful, smart schedule and replace the with solar, wind, and other energy efficient sources. >> host: on that point, james
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r. tweets in, ask the guest how many millions of dollars they contributed to natural gas drillers to cripple coal. >> guest: we have not contributed to natural gas drillers in any way. they are wealthy and successful and profitable in their own right. they don't need any contributions from the environmentalists. there's partnerships between environmental groups and natural gas industry which was ill-advised and something that shouldn't be done. we recognize the natural gas industry is fossil fuel, it causes significant air in water pollution. it's not a bridge fuel. it doesn't take us to a clean energy future. it actually distracts us from building a clean energy economy, and so what the sierra club believes is there's enormous potential, enormous potential in investing in solar, wind, and energy efficiency to meet our energy needs now until the
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future. increasingly, many utilities agree. we installed more solar and wind in 2012, new power sources, than oil, coal, and gas and nuclear power come -- combined. >> host: charlie is next from new york, republican caller. >> caller: yes, good morning, can you hear me? >> host: we can, charlie. >> caller: thank you. we elected a president every four years, and the american people are asked what issues are most important to them, and the environment comes in at the bottom at 4%. it's not that the american people don't want clean air and clean water. the american people are smart enough to know that no one knows less about the environment than environmentalists. if you people with respect so destructive, you'll be even more comical. let me highlight one of your more humorous comedy routines.
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about ten years ago, at least ten years ago, one of the upper mid western states, there was an area where ranchers grazed their cattle. some environmentalist group sued because this area was the home for some prairie dog. a federal judge ruled in their favor and when the cattle stopped grazing, the grass grew so tall that the entire area became uninhabitable, and the prairie dogs left. my point is, most environmentalists are not sign -- scientists, and judges are not always the smartest people in the room. thank you. >> guest: well, thanks for the love, charlie.
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environmentalists, we're not just folks who get up early in the morning and get on tv and suits and ties. we are your friends and your neighbors and people who are in the republican party and the democratic party. people who live in cities or out in the country. all that we have in common is basic values that regardless of what our job is, our sexual orientation, our religious beliefs, we believe in clean air, clean water. we believe in producing jobs in industries that are sustainable. we believe we have the potential to power the economy with energy that is clean and renewable and safe, and we think that when we work with businesses, we can establish policies that grow the economy, improve the quality of our life, and make our air and water clean. i know there are controversial issues that some environmental groups have taken.
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i know there's controversial things that i have said or others have said. i know we're living in a hostile and polarized political environment right now, but i think there's a lot that brings us together, and there's a lot of common values that environmentalists have because most of america believes in basic and environmental values. i would just say there's a lot more that brings us together than sets us apart. thanks for the comment. >> host: on the poll numbers talked about, here's a recent one that sounds the nation's energy problem has declinedded as a priority from 60% four years ago to 52% last year, and now stands at 45%. mercedes in florida, democratic caller. >> caller: yes, good morning, thank you so much for the sierra club leading in this coaching argument, despite the other caller, who was a gnatterring nabob. there's intelligent people who
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are scientists who do not voice opinions on the environment because we are all entitled to breathe fresh air, clean water, and have a vibrant and vital environment. however, my main comment is regarding nanotechnology which really is the cutting edge of something we could learn from nature. we are, obviously, all, you know, favorable to nature, but we can actually utilize nature by studying components of things like sharp skin and shapes, feathers, things that can actually have a -- no net loss of energy because everything is utilized to perfection by nature; thefer, the principles in nature are applied to different types of energy pursuits in building design and things like air-conditioning that can be actually modified
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and structured on these natural occurring structures of nature and applied to physical science, and therefore making us far more conducive to a healthy environment with no net loss. >> host: okay, leaving it there. >> guest: great comment. i don't have much to add to it other than viewers woo are not familiar with the terms. it really involves what the caller said. there's lots of ways to interact with nature. some of us go on hikes, camp out every now and then, but there's a lot of scientists and manufacturing engineers who want to understand in great detail the processes of nature, how the ecosystem interacts and how different organisms, plants and animals, interact with each other and so see what lessons we can learn that can be applieded to a modern economy. how can we produce materials in ways that don't also produce pollution? how can we find ways to minimize waste because in nature there's
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no land fills or garbage dumps in nature. nature operates with enormous efficiency, and so the feel really involves understanding nature so that we can apply the lessons of the natural environment to a modern world. it's a fascinating idea. >> host: tom next in illinois, a republican caller. >> caller: yes, hello, glad to talk with you today. yeah, i'm from illinois, and i live in flyover country, and i never hear the debate. i'd like to ask the guest how many times he flies in a jet a year. there's two or three years ago i calledded into c-span, and they had a nasa scientist in here, and i asked him some questions because out here in flyover country, i look up, and there's 5,000 flights a day that fly across the united states that each jet uses 2,000 gallons of
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diesel fuel. i have a 1500 acre farm. i don't use that much diesel fuel on my farm in a year. it's always blamed on the cars and everything. i asked the scientist, i said, well what effect do the jets have on the environment? he -- i said, because they fly at 25,000-30,000 feet putting out carbons. c02 is a food for plants. when you -- i asked him, i said, well, what's that do? he said -- i said, have you ever tested the environment, the upper air environment. yes, he said, on 9/11. i remember those days. 9/11, four days, no jets flew. the air got clean because the -- and he said the other thing is that the jets, if you've ever stand beside a road and a semi
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goes by going 65 miles per hour, that knocks you off your feet. what do you think a jet flying at 35,000 feet the size of a football field does to the turbulence of the atmosphere? nothing's ever brought up because most of the elites of the country and the people fly in those jets. >> host: all right. >> guest: well, tom, thanks for the call. you know, you're right. when you look at the sources of air pollution, relatively thinking, there's little attention paid to airline, air travel jets, as you say, and it's probably the far -- the fastest growing -- shouldn't say "probably," but it is the fastest growing source of carbon pollution and fastest growing critter to climate change around the world, and most of the agreement that have been put into place international agreements, they don't yet apply effectively to air travel.
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you asked about my own travel and how much i'm flying and i'm traveling too much. i'm traveling extensively, most hi within the u.s., to help establish policies that would address that. i suspect that you're trying to find some inconsistency there, and what we need to do, i think, in this country is to find ways to make our economy more efficient and effective so people who need to travel to be with family members, for their business, can do so in ways that don't pollute so we want to offer -- we want to offer insentives for airlines to be able to use fuels that don't contribute to a destabilized climate. we want to find a way for -- to get people from place to place efficiently without causing such negative side effects. >> host: michael, timely, the eps a holding listening sessions around the country on best ways to reduce emissions from power
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plants. they have one this morning kicking off here momentarily at epa headquarters in washington. what's the best way, in your opinion? >> guest: to reduce emissions from power plants? >> host: right. >> guest: through a variety of sources. that's the good news here is that we have flexibility within states where states can apply their own experience to this challenge. carbon from power plants is a significant cause of climate change, but it's the pollution coming from power plants, the soot and smog and coal ash, the air toxins like mercury and other poisens causes significant impact on the health of americans all -- almost all across the country, and so what the sierra club -- we send out hundreds of volunteers and our members to the listening sessions in dallas, in philadelphia, san fransisco, chicago, this morning in washington, d.c., but we are encouraging is for policymakers at the epa and throughout the
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obama administration to recognize that we have economic alternatives. we can take dirty coal offline and use energy more efficiently, invest significantly in solar and wind and begin to displace pollution from coal plants with clean home grown renewable energy resources. >> host: c-span will be covering that listening session here in washington. go to c-span.org if you're interested. michael brun, e executive director of the sierra club, thank you, sir, for your time. >> guest: thank you, greta. >> host: we're back, and joining us from san fransisco this morning to continue the conversation with renewable energy is the senior vice president of marketing government affairs for bright source energy here to talk about the largest solar installation in the world called ivanpaw. desmond, what is this? >> guest: concentrating solar thermal power plants. when we talk about solar, people
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think of the panels that you see on the rooftops, but in our case, what we're using is a field of mirror, and they track the sun on two axis throughout the day to focus sunlight on to a tower. that tower, we use water to produce high pressure, high temperature steam, in turn, runs through a turbine to produce electricity like a fossil fired power plant. >> host: where is this taking place? >> guest: this is taking place just op the edge of california next to a town called prim, nevada, 40 miles south of las vegas, has fantastic sun, and in the desert, some of the best solar resources you find anywhere in the world, so that's exactly where it is. the projectth is located adjacent to a 36-hole golf course across the highway from three casinos, a shopping mall, and a roller coaster. it's there along highway 15 heading north into las vegas.
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>> host: when did construction begin and when it is ready to go? >> guest: the permitting process began in 2006, but we broke ground in october of 2010, and we certly closed financing in the spring, may of 20 # 11, and we are now nearing completion. we installed the last mirror, the two mirrors, number 1735 # 00 about two weeks ago, and so we have achieved first sinkization to grid on unit one, and we are putting flux on all the towers, but those units come online commercial operation between now and the end of the year. >> host: and so what are you expecting as far as generating power? >> guest: sure. what we expect is the project to consist of three towers. each tower with a long term contract with a utility of 20-25 years. the output is presold, and this, in total, the project serves approximately 140 # ,000 poems per year.
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>> host: so given california's population, how -- how much will california power be generated from this? >> guest: going from california because it's connected to the utilities that are required under the state law to meet a 33% renewable portfolio standard. the electrons go where they need to go, but for accounting purposes, all that energy is providing to california, but, obviously, this is just one of many projects california has undertaken in the solar and wind and geothermal and biomass space. i don't know the exact percentage, but i can tell you the power plant itself at 377 megawatts will be the largest of its kind in the world. i think by the end of this year, in fact, in this category called concentrating solar power or csp, it will be almost 800 megawatts installed by the end of the year coming online. >> host: who your investors? >> guest: our investors are nrg and grade google for the pr,
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the project, and brightsource itself is a technology company, and we focus on the solar field managing the flux, the software control, and integration, and investors include vantage point, many traditional venture capital investors. >> host: what about the taxpayers? >> guest: the taxpayers, actually, provide a 1.6 billion-dollar loan guarantee for the project to be paid back with interest over the life of the project. >> host: this comes from the federal loan guarantee program, the same one that -- >> guest: that is correct. >> host: -- that gave money to solyndra. >> guest: yes. >> host: how confident are you that this succeeds and taxpayers will see their investment succeed? >> guest: i'll answer in two ways, first from a technology perspective. this is not the first project that we built, but it is the first at commercial scale, what the department of energy's loan guarantee was designed for to facilitate the commercialization of innovative projects at
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utility scale, but we have a research and development facility, and we even three years ago built a solar steam facility for chevron for end hained oil recovery. we demonstrate the technology along the way, and through the doe loan guarantee evaluation process, we funded about $2 #.5 billion of independent third party evaluation of the technology of the project on behalf of the federal government and on behalf of taxpayers. with respect to how the loan gets paid back, as you know, there's a federal tax incentive. that immediately goes to reducing the loan the day we begin operations. we reduce that by nearly 30%. the second is that those considerates is very different than solyndra. we have power purchase agreements that we negotiated through a competitive process with the california utilities which they'll buy the output of the power plant, and so the analogy is like if you built a hotel, and the day you open, you guarantee 1 00% occupy.
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>> host: because of the arrangement with the ewe utilit? >> guest: with the utilities and their credit worthiness, but you have to recognize there was many in addition to the loan guarantee, due diligence done on the part of the project investors and google to ensure they are confident that the technology works, and, in fact, we've begun demonstrating at each step of the way through the process known as ascension bringing the plant online and testing it, and we'll continue to finish that process here by the end of the year. >> host: those california companies making the utility companies making that commitment because of the ru newble energy standards set by the california legislature and government. >> guest: that is correct. >> host: you say taxpayers made a loan of 1.6 billion. how much total does the project cost? >> guest: the project costs in total 2.3billion. >> host: most of the money coming from the taxpayer. why was that?
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>> guest: it's necessary. most of the projects, in fact, almost all large infrastructure projects rely on debt, borrowed money to match up against the equity or the private capital invested in the projects, so the federal government is providing a loan guarantee in the event of default, but it's that combination of the loan guarantee with the equity investment that is used to finance these projects. >> host: could it not stand on its own? >> guest: well, as a project should be able to stand op its own on a going forward basis, but at the time we were doing this, these are innovative technologies. the size of the prompts, the first of its kind. as i said, we had demonstration projects, but this is what you call commercialization, so scaling up, being able to drive costs down, but as we go forward, we're not looking necessarily for loan guarantees. you would point to the market place being able to say they understand the technology, you managed to derisk the aspects of the project, and that also
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allows you to access lower cost to capital in a market where you have access to that capital. >> host: let's get viewers involved. >> guest: sure, great. >> host: first caller from michigan, democratic caller. >> caller: yes, good morning. >> host: morning. >> guest: morning. >> caller: i'm calling from michigan, and michigan legislators all make ordnances against wind powers and solar powers. a, renewable energy, they are making it hard for any taxpayer to create any kind of self-sufficient power sources. they can't rob tax from that because they don't have any legislation in order. they rely on fuel like gasoline and all those taxes to create infrastructures, but the infrastructures are not for the people. it's for the government.
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>> guest: i'm not sure exactly the question, but i can comment a little on the role of ewe till -- utilities. going back a hundred years, we had, essentially, regulated industry put forth because utilities were natural monopolies and you couldn't provide the service cost competitively through competition. in fact, go back through old photographs in the 1890s and see sets of transmission lines down the highway, but the energy industry is regulated because it provides an important source and reliability is job one. what a utility's obligation is to provide energy, electricity, lively, at the most reasonable cost subject to maintaining environmental standards and stewardship, and then, of course, balancing security. what you have, i think, is in different states, people have different views of to -- about what the social policy objectives should be, how much diversity is needed in the system, how much comes from, say, energy efficiency, what the
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rate structure should be, but by and large, utilities are regulate the business governedded by a commission, appointed by a governor, and then, of course, in the wholesale market, rules are subject to the energy regulatory commission. >> host: bill in california, independent caller. >> caller: hi, good morning. >> guest: morning. >> caller: the area is part of the great basin. there's very little water in the desert. >> guest: yep. >> caller: and i noticed you mentioned the prime valley golf club there. along the back fence line, there's three or four well heads where the well itself is on a concrete pad, apparently lev stating above the ground, and that's caused by ground subsiding. once you remove so much water, so much water from the aquifer, you have the skeletal system of
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the aquifer collapse, the crust of the earth collapses into it. that reduces the capacity of the aquifer forever. regardless of future flooding, raining or whatever recharge, the aquifer is not recharged because they replace the area where the water used to be, so my question to you, sir, is over the life of the solar plant there in the valley, what is likelihood you'll have enough water for the antiquated skin you have of steam? >> guest: sure, first off, excellent question. there's two parts. the first is that is a closed loop system. we recirculate that water in the tower through the turbine and recondensing that back and running it in complete cycle. that's how the water operates in the closed loop. the second point, and it's
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something i think you might be surprised, is we actually don't use traditional wet cooling. one of the innovative aspects of the technology we demonstrate is the use of air cooled condensers, so we consume 95% less water than traditional cooler meftds, wet cools methods for the power plant. second is the -- we serve approximately 140,000 homes per year. the amount of water used each year is about a hundred acre feet, and people say, what's that mean? that's the same amount of water that 300 homes would use in a year or another way of thinking about it is it's the same amount of water that two holes of the golf course next to us use to to keep the grass green. we're sensitive to that. second point is the technology is innovative in that we don't grade the land. what we've dope is develop technology that allows us to sort of loosen the soil and vibrate a pylon, what we call, a
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post, into the ground to maintain the natural contours of the land, and so we saw just by doing that and maintaining that natural landscape and avoidcepstive areas -- excuse me -- of habitant, and we saw the benefits of that in the first three months of construction with the seven-year flood. we have the set of mountains just to the west of us, and when the rain comes in the desert, it comes just a few times a year, but it's a lot and washes down quickly. the technology has been designed to withstand, and it did, the 70-year and hundred-year floods scouring at three feet, and we have dwret to see anything. the benefit is innovative technology to minimize environmental foot print and take into account the issue you raised which is how important water is in the desert. i appreciate the question. >> host: is that why you chose this location, all the reasons you just gave? >> guest: that's part of the reason. i'll back up a little. there were several reasons we chose this location. number one is it

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