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tv   Sec. Ryan Zinke on 2019 Interior Budget  CSPAN  May 13, 2018 4:20am-6:59am EDT

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didn't have a lot of meaning to them until more recently. a defining issue of the deed .tate -- deep state this form, if it is the same thing. >> in my terminology, it's the deep state. others may call them the shadow government, because there affecting their own bureaucratic wishes, election donald trump. donald trump has termed it the swamp, which is probably the term most americans immediately understand, because washington was at one point the swamp. the creatures are fighting back for their turf. tonight atfterwards" 9:00 eastern, on c-span twos "book tv". now, interior secretary testifies before a said
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committee on his fiscal year 2019 budget request. proposaliscusses his for oil and gas drilling projects, and a backdrop for national park facilities. this is just over 2.5 hours. hours.
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>> good morning. the hearing will come to order today. we will review the fiscal year 2019 budget request for the department of interior. i liked welcome back to the committee are witnesses this good morning. i would like to welcome our best today. welcome to you all. mr. secretary, welcome back to the committee. this committee held its budget hearing in march. toppreciate the opportunity further discuss the details of your budget with you today. we have been able to work closely on a host of issues crucial to us. i thank you for your commitment and attention to these important matters. abundant, natural resources. >> we are going to adhere to the earlybird rule this morning. calling members in the order they arrive. it is my hope we will be able to
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do a couple rounds, in an effort to give everybody -- issues we can raise. forrequest is $10.5 billion the interior subcommittee. below, $2.5 billion reduction of 19%. request, there are portions i support and others i will note my concerns. i appreciate the emphasis on greater energy security and development of natural resources. an important effort is to work on a new five-year plan for offshore leasing. i am pleased that the draft proposed plan includes the arctic ocs and has enormous potential. i know members from other states have different views on including some new areas in the plan and stakeholders in the public have offered extensive comments. i support a plan that balances greater access, while maintaining protections in areas where development and not be
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appropriate at this time. i, along with the rest of the alaska delegation, have made clear where those protections offshore alaska should continue. i'm also pleased with the budget emphasis on our nations mineral security. this is an issue of working on for many years i appreciate both you and president recognizing the importance of reducing our nation's dependence on foreign sources for critical minerals that are essential to economic security. there are reductions in the budget that i cannot support. on example is with the state of election and natives who are still waiting for the department to convey title to millions of acres of their land more than 50 years since statehood. it's hard for me to accept the 30% reduction in the program. we have already waited far too long to title to the lands. alaska also has one half of all federally recognized tribes. the bureau of indian affairs provides essential programs for alaska natives and
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american indians that are fundamental to the federal government legal publication to our first peoples. i'm concerned by many of the proposed reductions to the bia some of the programs that i will note with concern are the first limitation of tribal courts program in small and needy and these provide critical resources to some of the poorest and most remote villages in alaska. we had an opportunity yesterday in indian affairs to have the president's nominee for assistant secretary to the bia, for us and was made very clear by members both senator castor and senator udall that we have high expectations for the
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assistant secretary and it is a difficult job but she needs her department and resourced appropriately. mr. sector, you highlight in your testimony deported of addressing the deferred maintenance problem across the department. the budget request proposes to establish a new public land introduction plan to address a multibillion-dollar maintenance backlog at our nations parks, refuges and the bureau of indian education schools. similar proposals have been introduced by members of the senate including senator alexander, i look for to working with you and my colleagues on this issue in both my role as chairman of this committee and chair of the energy and natural resources committee. we had made significant investments in deferred maintenance across department with the tweeting on the bus appropriation bill, the national park service construction account received $150 million increase. it's the largest annual percentage
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increase ever for the appropriation and funds are provided to other land management agencies as well. the bia was provided an additional 162 million included one of 5 million for education, construction and 24 million to restart the facilities to replacement and construction program to improve public safety in the indian country and 31 million to replace badly outdated dams and irrigation. i know that the on the bus was passed just over a month ago and the department is still working on the spending plan for the individual bureaus to submit to the committee but we do hope to get those details soon. >> denies that the fiscal year is testing ugly and important to get those resources out on the ground. with a budget agreement in place for the outset of the appropriations process i am optimistic that we can move quickly and in regular order and i think the chairman of the full appropriations committee in his ranking member, mr. leahy, for their commitment to moving these appropriation bills forward and doing so quickly and in an orderly manner. know that my commitment and i know my ranking member here we have pledged to
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work aggressively with you to do just exactly that. we can't expect apartment of interior or any of the other agencies funded by this bill to function efficiently when we don't pass final preparation bills until roughly half the fiscal year has passed. i think we saw the play out in 2017, 2018 we need to do a better it up. i look for to working with my colleagues to address their priorities for this year's interior bill and mr. secretary, i know i look forward to working with you and your staff to show less text 00:07:48 patrick j. leahy patrick j. leahy identify the highest priorities so we can ensure that you have resources that you need to fill your goals for the department. i turn to my colleague the ranking member for his comments and i know we wanted to provide the
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vice chairman of the committee an opportunity to make comments. >> senator leahy, go ahead. >> i think senator udall and i also appreciate what you said about regular order. you and i have served on this committee for a long time and we see them work well i think of leadership and one of my dearest friends from your state when he was chair we made it work. it's no secret that senator shelby and i have spent a lot of time talking about this. he is chair and myself as vice chair we have every intention of bringing it back. the senate and the country
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will be better. i know we have expressed our concern to you last year when the president proposed a reduced critical programs in the fy 18 budget. he reportedly said you were not happy about the budget proposed at the white house, which had a 12% overall cut to the interior department. but now you are in charge. you weren't happy with the 12% cut. you requested a 19% cut. you cut the environmental protection, travel programs, the administration tried and failed to eliminate it it last year. towas founded in its ability find safeguards and cherish our public lands.
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the commitment to our public lands has always been a bipartisan one. it goes back to the days of teddy roosevelt. teddy roosevelt but not only would you starve the department of those needed but would pay more public lands and fossil fuel extraction. now the administration has proposed billions of dollars for a border wall to be built without complying with our nations bedrock environmental laws and abetted shocked a lot of landowners and rangers and to see what it would mean. our unique system of plans was created so all americans from all walks of life rich and poor young and old from alaska to vermont and everywhere in between the outdoors and the benefits of our public lands and
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the lands provide public health benefits for recreation for a system preservation and your budget would have been in the land and water conservation fund and congress has promised bipartisan promised the american people for more than 50 years the land water conservation was important funding source for state and local outdoor recreation facilities with city parks in critical green info structure and wildlife refugees, parklands. vermont like everything state represented his benefit from investments [inaudible] we need to create an expanded community parks to develop recreation facilities, implement local support of recreation plans, and
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i have concerns that you have delayed the obligation for funding given the administration lack of support even though congress in a bipartisan effort appropriated funds. the first quarterly report shows more than 134 million in prior years [inaudible] it troubles me that such delays could harm our ability to safeguard natural areas threatened by development or auctioned off to the highest bidder or special interest. this committee will define what we are as a country. it will set priorities. it will work to chair this committee and i'll work with the chair of the full committee if we set priorities and if we've written it into law and expect everyone to follow the law
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including you. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. senator udall. >> thank you madame chairman and senator leahy, good to have you here today and help us lead all. mr. secretary, thank you for appearing before the subcommittee as we begin our examination of the fiscal year 2019 budget for the department of the interior. we appreciate been able to hear from you and ask questions about your budget request. i also want to welcome the deputy assistant secretary for budget and finance performance and acquisition and ms. denise flanagan, director of the budget. we cannot do this without the support of the budget office so want to recognize the terrific work that you and your staff do everyday as in the face of a
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challenging budget request. thank you very much. as he began to talk about the department's budget i want to emphasize just how important the department is to my home state of new mexico. the decisions made were determined our natural and cultural resources are protected and managed responsibly and whether we uphold our trust and treaty responsible these for the tribes that lived there. that's why i want to begin by thanking you, mr. secretary, for taking three important actions within the last year to help new mexico but first, i appreciate that you personally helped work through a number of issues to allow land to be donated and no cost to taxpayers and to finally provide public access to the wilderness. it's a stunning landscape that is now open for hunting, fishing and recreation. public lands booster local economies and add jobs and
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special places like las vegas new mexico benefit greatly and i will never forget are horseback ride down into the [inaudible]. i want to recognize the department's effort to finalize to build the new laguna elementary school which was just signed in the last week. been working with the pueblo and the be i eat to replace the school and this funding is great news for the entire laguna pueblo community. finally, thank you for containing the main effort started under the previous administration. it will ensure that energy development does not encroach on culturally significant areas around chaco canyon. muscle please the blm recently walked back the decision to offer at least sales in the area. this is particularly important at this point process is still underway. i remain concerned that there is
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still a directive in place for blm to offer quarterly at least sales that have the potential to impact chaco. i'm also concerned about recent changes in the blm planning process will impact the ability to protect a significant cultural resources at chaco canyon and others across the country. i also want to say i appreciate your focus on improving outdoor recreation and public access. you are committed to working with congress to address the deferred maintenance challenges of the national park service and interop bureaus that this committee has made a priority. frankly, mr. secretary, the goals to match the reality of your budget request. for starters or budget request walks away from the decades long federal commitment to the land and water conservation fund by ending federal land management acquisition and cut most discretionary programs.
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given your previous support you have to know how critical the land and water conservation fund and whether it be funding projects to acquire in buildings so we can manage federal lands more efficiently providing access to landlocked pieces of public land or funding parks and other projects at the state and local level. you said repeatedly that you wanted to provide resources to the field and the budget request is -- by double digits. and proposes to cut thousands of jobs including assertions that are on the frontline of caring for our public lands. it proposes cuts to the department partners and doesn't include the full funding our counties depend on from the payments in lieu of taxes program. you said you want to uphold our
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nation's trust and treaty responsibilities and support tribal self-determination but travel programs are decimated by this budgets. funding for the bia is cut by 21% including significant cuts to education, public safety and natural resource programs. my concerns are not concerne lio the budget. is my job to speak up with the policies and actions that i believe are flat out wrong. the monuments revealed that the department conducted in the decisions to eviscerate grand staircase are a travesty. i have serious doubts whether these actions will survive scrutiny by the courts and until that question is answered i believe that moving forward with land management plans that will open these iconic areas to development is reckless. could not agree more with the decision to roll back the previous administrations rule to reduce methane waste or with the
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lack of meaningful public involvement as blm craft the new role. i don't support the demonstrations effort to post them ahead on the plan to drill in the arctic national wildlife refuge. i still believe the plan to develop this pristine landscape will not stand up to environmental review. concerned at the recent decision of high fees which will put a bigger financial burden on the american families we want to visit the parks. i remain concerned that today on the 146th anniversary of the 1872 monument law we are still not having the necessary conversations about reforming this antiquated law. we are allowing nearly 161,000 abandoned mines through the west to go unaddressed. at least 33000 of these mines are committed to be contaminating our environment. the next goal mining disaster is run a corner and it is a ticking
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time bomb. the budget reduces already inadequate resources for abandoned cleanup at the same time you are boosting mineral development. have serious questions about a number of management issues that the department is starting with the reassignments of career members of the senior executive service and the lack of documentation transparency regarding these moves. mr. secretary, you want our permission to reorganize the entire department but it's not in clear whether you have the policies in place to manage your most senior career staff members. the department is not provided sufficient detail on its actual plan for reorganization including how much it would cost to congress or the public and i am particularly troubled by the lack of tribal consultation so far. finally, i'm concerned by reports the department has been slow to spend the funding car is provided in fiscal year 2018. we enacted an omnibus bill that
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included more than $860 million worth of programming increases for the interior department this year including major investments in national parks and tribal infrastructure. we also provided $425 million in total for land conservation fund priorities at the interior department in the foreign service. members of this subcommittee want to make sure that these funds get spent as congress intended and ensure that the department doesn't walk away from the bipartisan budget that congress passed and the president sign. the administration is not proposing to rescind any funds on the interior department at this point so there is no excuse not to get funds into the field as quickly as possible. as you can see we have a lot to talk about this morning and i look forward to hearing your testimony in delving into the
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issues i raised when it is time for questions. thank you very much for being here. >> thank you, senator udall. secretary sankey, the floor is yours. take the appropriate time that you wish to outline your priorities and know that we will have plenty of questions to which to elicit even more discussion and i don't know whether you also will be speaking but you are welcome. thank you, mr. secretary, please proceed. >> thank you senator murkowski. thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify as part of the president trumps fy 2019 budget. i like to submit my entire statement for the record. upfront public lands is not a republican or democrat or red or blue issue. it's a red, white and blue issue. public lands should bring us all together for the benefit of our great public lands.
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i'm a teddy roosevelt republican. i think he set our nation on a journey which we benefit from. it is time to look at the next 100 years to look at how we can best manage our treasures. the president has been very clear about his priorities in his keeping his promises to the american people. the budget supports one of those promises in a big way and it rebuilds our national parks infrastructure and it calls for the largest investment in the history of this country to public lands. in specific, our park service, indian schools and are wildlife refugees system. as we agree on our public lands as a greatest treasure but they have suffered serious neglect over the years and deferred maintenance backlog and $16 billion. 11.7 billion of that is our
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national park service approximately one point to billion is our wildlife refuge system and just under 1 billion for our indian schools. the president's budget proposes legislation for new public land in the structure fund to address the deferred maintenance problem of this legislation is our top priority. the fund would provide $18 billion over ten years for maintenance improvement over national parks national wildlife refuges and a bureau of indian education funded schools. it would be funded from all energy revenues and similar to the land water conservation fund except it includes all. i think of the secretary it's a fair proposition that if you will gain wealth through energy development whether it's oil and gas or wind or solar on public lands then you, too, should have an obligation to maintain and
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support those public lands in perpetuity. in 216,230,000,000 visitors entered our park system and spent an approximate 18.4 billion in nearby communities and supported a lot of jobs. overall, recreation is an 887 billion-dollar industry in our country and growing. our park system is being loved to death. recreation trends are up and americans should have the opportunity to enjoy our national parks in our public lands. we need to invest in an infrastructure to go along with the record-setting number of visitors otherwise, quite frankly, the park experience we will have grown to love will no longer be in existence. the public lands and structure fund will also fund 150 indian schools and we three states and primarily in the last with the school maintenance backlog is at
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least $634 million. interior has a responsibility in the honor of educating about 48000 american indian students and their families rely on quality education and state environment and our schools are in her sleep partitions and underfunded. i think american indian kids deserve a world-class education to pick the budget prevents the opportunity to re- organize the department for the next 100 years which i look forward to talking with you in as much detail as we have about the reorganization. the budget includes about $80 million to begin shifting resources to the frontline. i've been to the frontline a lot on the frontline is undermanned. from our former navy commander's perspective if the frontline is healthy, so is the first in our frontline is not healthy.
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in planning the reorganization we continue to take in account feedback from congress, governors, interior employees, conservation groups and all stakeholders. i'll walk through each and every group that we have talked to and where we are in the process. last week we held employee listening sessions and stakeholder meanings again in colorado and new mexico and wyoming and more are planned in june. we are facing a new unified boundaries on science to include watersheds and wildlife corridors in the ecosystems we can better manage our public lands and waters in a more coordinated way based on the american conservation ethic of best science, best practices, greatest good, longest term. the budget also recognizes the american strength relies on american energy. under president up we are going
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after dominance. i'm happy to report that it has been successful. across our public lands, public and private, america is producing 10.6 million barrels a day. the first time in 60 years we are net exporter of liquid natural gas we are on track to become the largest oil and gas producer in the world. we are also preparing the largest offshore lease of wind and continue to highlight and all the above energy portfolio which is prudent in the years to come. president trumps tax cut are helping to grow the economy and increase our energy portfolios to achieve american prosperity. our total budget request for this year is 11.7 billion in the budget clearly lays out the administration's top priorities to rebuild our production support american, being fiscally responsible. with that, again, i continue to
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appreciate the bipartisanship support of this committee and i appreciate all your hard work and again, our public lands are our greatest experience and greatest treasures in this country and i look forward to working with you to put it together to make sure we achieve that goal. >> very good. thank you very much, mr. secretary. i take it neither of the others will make a comment. thank you. let me begin with reorganization because i hear a lot of back chatter about what does it mean and how does it coming and who is involved and you and i have had several conversations, multiple conversations about your desire to prepare the department for the next 100 years and really trying to gain
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an efficiency so that these bureaus function in a more harmonious fashion. i think we recognize that that has been some of what we've been dealing with over the years. ... >> and i have been refining that as you gain input from the outreach you have been engaged with. whether it's from within the agency, senator udall, and about not engaging as much with tribes. it's important we have that consultation as well. in my five minutes here, can you
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discuss where we are with the reorganization. how have you incorporated what you have gained from this outreach and how to envision this reorganization been implemented? >> the chart is however currently organize. imagine a business that hasn't been reorganized at 150 years. welcome to the department of interior. let's have a trout and salmon in the same stream. upstream is a dam and downstream is irrigation. and it passes by u.s. service holding. this is how we manage our resources. the trout is managed by me through fish and wildlife, this salmon by the department of commerce. upstream water temperature and
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flows by the army corps of engineers but not always. sometimes through the bureau of reclamation. downstream arrogation is oftentimes the bureau of reclamation. surfaces the department of ag by the u.s. for service, sub services blm. when we have an indian compact about water, it is the state bia and the tribe itself. same stream, same issue. whether it's replacing a bridge, or repairing a bank. we are likely to have multiple biological opinions produced by different bureaus with different missions, and different regions.
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it is an impossibility structurally to manage. so, this is our proposal. let me give you an example. this is currently just interior how we organize. it reflects an old department of interior. every time a barrel came into existence, most of the projects route west. i challenge you to figure out on this map how we can manage. this is what we did. similar to unified reasons and how the military has combat commands overseas, we were asked to strip current boundaries and look at science.
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how would we be the best stewards and what would be the divisions based on watersheds, ecosystems, wildlife corridors and others. they came back with a map with dividing our country in 13 regions based on science. then i took the regions and broaden my senior executive service, not political appointees. they looked at it and offered recommendations. i didn't agree with everything but i took every recommendation. what you have before you is a recommended reunification of regions so the park service has the same region as the bureau of reclamation, the same region as the blm. then i brought in the governors. a principal concern is making sure the blm state directory remains in place. i did that. then i looked at making three functional areas and doing them joint. by joint, i mean that within the
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new regions that recreation because trail system should connect wildlife should connect them by paths should connect and there's no way a trailhead cannot start in a forest entrance into a park. all stakeholders at the table in the very beginning of need for rather than individually commented. and terminate. each of those will have those areas stand jointly. the makeup is different. if you're in alaska you have a different recommendation of florida. the different divisions will be made up of interior staff from different bureaus but reflect
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what's in the region. were push and the authority of power out to make more decisions on the region level. if you don't know the level between the yukon and the potomac, maybe you're not in the best position to make a decision on the yukon. today, 16% are retirement age. in five years, 40% of the interior is retirement age. racine your department. someone retires it as a gf's 15, we can recall that to a gs seven and send them closer to the field. lastly, our indians. i'm a sovereignty supporter and it should mean something.
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the decision of whether to incorporate the bureau of indian affairs is a one-on-one relationship with the tribes. we have made no decision to do that because consultation should be among equals. i think it's too the advantage to be at the table with these critical decisions about permitting or nepa. but to change from our current structure to this is a decision the tribes themselves should make. as equals. i think it's too the advantage to be at the table at the very beginning. the consultation is beginning. what the structure will look like, were not sure. the reason why, i can tell you the different groups.
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you can show the third in the office, the third greatest icons in the history of conservation. i've had roundtables with national geographic and liotta bends society. before i bring it to congress in this body, i want to make sure we have it right away walk-through unintended consequences. this will be the largest reorganization in the history of this department. i just want to make sure we have it right. >> i appreciate you giving them walked out. it's an issue collects have race. another colleagues will want to drill down more in specifics weather at this hearing or other locations. thank you for sharing. >> thank you very much madame chair. just comment initially in the
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reorganization. girls have management issues because by law to have conflicting missions. i don't see how changing regional boundaries resolves the fact that the blm has a different legal responsibilities in the bureau of reclamation. it is your job as secretary to take all of those responsibilities and work it through. my initial thought, as i don't see how changing boundary lines deals with conflicting missions. as you know, on the public lands and most of it you're doing a lot of multiple use in trying to balance endangered species. i don't know how drawing the lines really makes a difference.
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but before we start, there's been focused recently on ethics issues across government. i want to make sure we do due diligence while recognizing we have limited time. so i want to ask a question which i hope will be an easy yes or no. in keeping with the public trust, your currently in compliance with standards of government conduct. the trump ethics pledge. >> that's correct. i may quote the office of inspector general's most recent report. we found the use of charter flights realm of law, policies, rules and regulations. >> i also want to ask about the plans to execute the fy 2010
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budget. the department has not yet released its budget to the field. even though no funds are being proposed for rescission and even though you made prioritizing resources for the front lines of personal priority. i've heard concerning reports that apartment may choose not to follow congressional direction, including in the omnibus and a bipartisan basis. including implementing federal land acquisitions programs such as usgs and research grants. it's critical the subcommittee has the confidence that will pass a budget they will execute it. what day can we expect the root budget to be released and can he commit the department will
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follow congressional intent including direction provided both the omnibus bill and the explanatory statement, and spend the funds congress pervaded. >> were not holding up funding. >> what data are we releasing the budget. >> we should have control numbers as soon. >> a couple of weeks. >> the budget is supposed to be done and i don't fault anybody but the is supposed to be done in october. the omnibus was recently passed. we had to review what was in there and put the control numbers up. as a former congressman, i fall below the law of congressional intent. the way our government works and should work as you make the laws, you put in the budget my job is to execute it. i get called by members soon where's the money they say the same thing.
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some of the processes in place particularly on grants is the way we're doing it was that money had to be put in the account before the field could put in a request. so we are making preapproved to make sure the paperwork is in, the grant is done the tracking to make sure when money is allocated congress determines that's a reasonable expenditure then it's preapproved. when the money comes in we can automatically deliver the grants. i apologize that last year i inherited a process, were making it better. we did not have a database between darrow's to track different grants. they're going out the door but
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there's no way to track them on whether not there are being spent per congressional intent. we're fixing that. >> what i gather is that you intend to follow the direction provided in the omnibus and the explanatory statement. you have said that here today. >> yes. >> madame chair, i will let other members going to questions. i know we'll have a second. >> thank you for being here. your great advocate for montana and the rest. i'm happy to work with you to ensure that dedicated revenues go into the parks. great bipartisan support. i'm excited about moving it forward in working with you on that to be an opportunity to fix the problem. thank you to come into
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yellowstone gateway withdrawal. while we work for permanent withdrawal congress. i commend you for prioritizing oil, gas, and coal leasing and other parts of our stay. congress recently partially reverse the ninth circuits decision. i thank you for supporting that decision. unfortunately, the recent action in congress doesn't apply to all bmn lands. to support my efforts to apply the cottonwood fixed all b blm laws? >> it's prudent policy to remove the cottonwood decision to provide interior better management decisions. so, yes, we do support being
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more aggressive. the omnibus has a good beginning but it did not go far enough to give us the tools we need to manage. >> i agree, the language only protects two of the seven national force plans from litigation related to great consultation. further, the omnibus to not protect lands or projects from challenges from reinitiating consultation when the information is not been previously considered. the forest service has received notice of intent to sue is only matter of time before legal challenges are brought further the further delay implementation
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of projects. to support my efforts to likewise reduce this red tape federal agencies receive new information about species? >> i support legislation that provides a better management tool. we are mismanaging by this action. we sat on the for service roundtable between secretary purdue and myself and members were here. we were stuck in the modern regulation and perhaps a lot of it was good intention, but it's not allowing us to actively manage our holdings. in this case it doesn't allow the department it feel to actively manage. when we don't manage, we mismanage. destroying the habitat we want to protect. >> the outlook looks to be above average. we'll have a tough fire season. it's time to get the french
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litigators out of the forest and put the loggers back into the forest. i want to talk about land and water conservation fund. i'm disappointed to see the reduction in funding for owc up. i'm encouraged by your budget, i'm optimistic that this committee in congress will maintain our commitment to that program is one with robust bipartisan support. do you agree it's a good program that benefits montana? >> i've long been a supporter of the program. as a congressman i've seen the benefits of it. it's hard to justify taking in more land when we have not addressed the maintenance
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problem of our current holdings. i'm hoping a bipartisan bill that their sponsoring on maintaining getting the system in place where we can maintain our current property is a big step. if are maintaining what we have been i agree with the expansion of the program. also there's a difference between appropriated and authorized. authorize the gaps of about $18 billion. that means that have been authorized that hasn't been appropriated as our current system i think is why we need a permanent authorization. >> i agree. i want to thank you for visiting the reservation earlier this year authorize the first
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transfer of funds to that settlement. i know you understand as well as anyone how crucial this is for the state of montana and the blackfeet nation. all appropriations must be appropriate if we get where we need to be by 2025. over $50 million a year must be appropriated to the settlement. i'm going to do everything i can to make sure the settlement gets realize. i've secured language with your support in the bill to allow earlier access to appropriated dollars for the settlement. we'll explore fy 19. will you work with me in securing as much funding as possible to implement the settlement so it can become into law prior to 2025?
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>> yes. i'm committing to work with you. at the end of the day, waiting until an account is full, it's present value of money. some of the projects that could have been addressed earlier a lower-cost could've been made. but to ask an indian nation to ask until an account is fully funded in order for them to begin to process, i think that creates hardship. all work with you on that. i think it's an admirable goal. >> thank you madame chair. thank you for being here. you tucked in your opening statement about the national treasure in the public lands. he said that teddy roosevelt you
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are teddy roosevelt republican. i appreciate it. teddy roosevelt someone i really looked up to. what has made him an icon it's his ability to come into an area that was a most all while and realize that it would not always be that way unless he did things like set of parks. that vision sets teddy roosevelt apart from just about any president that served when it comes to public lands. this brings me to the water conservation fund. $900 million of offshore oils. from the question that senator dangerous asked, your statement to him was that he did not want to bring more land into the
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public lands because there's a maintenance problem, did i miss hear you on matters that correct? >> the land water conservation act removes acquisitions. it does not remove properties that would come into conservation easements. it does prioritize what we have. love front as you know the budget is a proposal on this is where the two branches come together and discuss priorities. >> i appreciate that. the chairwoman talked about tara sweeney yesterday. here's the problem, we all come from different parts of the world. public lands is a western thing.
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for people to understand how important it is we need an advocate in the administration. that's you. to say that 8.1 when it should be funded at 900 million. don't let me put that in your heartless it really is. we need someone to stand up and say stop. as a .1, what was the justification for that? were there no projects nationwide? the quest thing is these will not be around ten or 20 years. now, they are not. we're seeing lands being sold and checkerboard's been taken away. highlight your opinion. it's not all on us. some of it is, but a portion is
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on you. >> i agree. it takes working together on it. i have been an advocate of the land water conservation fund. we also need to address the $11.7 billion backlog in the parks. and then the $1.2 billion in wildlife efforts. parks and in the west rethink all public land is out west, it's not. we have great public land battlefields on the east coast but also need to be maintained. the priority of the budget is infrastructure repair and backlog. and bring a discussion between the two groups. the revenue for rebuilding the national parks so i can to be taxpayer dollars. it will come off of all energy projects lw cs is funded a
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contents, 8 million what should be 900 million. why should we think this proposal will be different? well, the proposal which is bipartisan was a recommendation from numerous commission studies. it also expands it in the idea that it's a sound improvement policy. >> lw cf is a set of prudent policy too. they're not near as much now as they were in 78, and were funding it 1% of what it should be. >> this is why there's two branches of government why am committed to work with you moment. >> good. i appreciate that. i want talk about role water projects. $50 million for blackfeet water
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settlement to take impact. we have project in north-central in northeastern montana. when i was first elected in 1998 they were 100 million-dollar projects another north of 100 million-dollar's. fy 1784.6 billion which wasn't enough. in 18 it's hundred 20 million. your proposal is 33.9, blackfeet will require 50 each year. north-central water project is 75% on finish that will get under $4 million. were talking water infrastructure. living up to our trust responsibilities, making sure
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these projects get built in my grandchildren's lifetime, because at this point or not. how do we justify this. >> so, what happened and why are we here. this was the great promise to the bureau of rectal reclamation. over time, they would pay projects often that title would be transferred. the problem the borough of reclamation really transfer the titles. were in the process of transferring well over 300 titles to free up maintenance money so we can maintain her obligations. student happen overnight. it's been decades. >> you're right, but this is the lowest number i've seen an 11 and half years i've been here. these are indian water settlements, stressed responsibility. two other communities get it
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advantage to take an opportunity? yes there is not enough money in this budget to take care of operations and maintenance much less putting pipe in the ground. >> the budget does include about $173 million. i understand the obligations far exceed that. we also need to remove our overhead and transfer those titles. that would be significant to put more money in places it's needed rather than to continue, march on a not transfer these titles. >> thank you for being here. these projects will get taught unless there's real money in the accounts.
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whether it's native american water settlements, didn't even get into manpower. their big issues. thank you for your service. >> thank you madam chair. thank you for being here. i want to thank you for some of the regulatory reforms have made of the osm guidance memo which ordered the agency staff to have a backdoor to the buffer zone that's been nullified by the congressional review act. that was the right thing to do and i thank you for providing regulatory certainty. i also want to thank created your department of support i want to hear your comments on the national park restoration act. it would use mineral revenues to address the backlog. i think it would go a good way
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in assisting the renewal of all of our parks. harpers ferry has 15 million and backlogs. >> i support the legislation. the budget it has the largest budget in the history of this country for park service. and you're correct. all energy and public lands whether offshore or onshore, lw cf is only onshore but it also doesn't affect current programs. its net dollars going into the treasury. there's a number that it includes all energy on federal lands. it is that to her screen into treasury. half of that would fullback and
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go into a parks wildlife refugees in indian infrastructure account. >> seems like a good way to solve. >> i want to move on to an issue that's a concern in west virginia. i repeatedly received insurance at the replacement of the valley of the national wildlife refuge which is falling down. this been the highest priority in the region. i was informed to have moved to the top the list once the one in front of it was completed. it happened but was again
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leapfrogged in number two in the region. separated by new northeast project by 14 spots on your national review. i put into language about how important this is. i would like some comment on that. i want the assurance that this is a top priority. i know it is for the northeast. and any comments you may make on that would be appreciated. >> it was brought to my attention on the product. when we released our budget controls you'll be very happy. >> enough said. i will take that. i know into quit when i am ahead. thank you. >> thank you. >> welcome mr. secretary. thank you for your service. want to start with an issue close to home in my state of
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maryland. but over 16 years ago when 2002, the national park service and -- entered into management agreement that gave my camry county maryland management authority over the park. that agreement is set to expire shortly on june 7. been working for about two years to try to get the parties together to negotiate in good faith at the bargaining table. i would like your commitment to get your team to the table next week. i can assure you all get the montgomery representatives at the table. if it expires it will create a situation with chaos and uncertainty. >> my understanding is that you personally have gone to the reading. >> i have.
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i hoped would be able to resolve this quickly. >> if i have to go personally with you you need to get a time. >> i say the negotiations are going well, but i personally am involved in. >> i'm grateful for that. the clock is ticking. june 7 is the agreement and this actually saves the park service a lot of money. >> hopefully they can resolve this. if not, i look forward to sitting down with you. >> now, a little more controversial issue that has to do with the january 4 announcement where you set up traffic regulations to open the
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atlantic coast to oil and gas drilling, including my state of maryland. within a short time you tweeted out, take florida off the cable for offshore oil and gas. then he attached a statement, removing florida from consideration for many new oil and gas platform. sure you can understand why states like maryland had their eyebrows go up with that. so, my first question is does that still stand? is florida off? >> yes. i'm committed to remain no new oil in class gas platforms off of the coast of florida. they're still in the process legally. allow me to tell you what i did.
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>> zero base. i put everything on and if it would've left florida off it would be capricious. >> it may have been arbitrary and capricious to leave them off. in my view it's arbitrary to buy tweet say that you're taking them off. and at the same time testify that there still in the process legally, but you have made the decision politically to take them off. what i would like is a commitment to put maryland in the same category. i say your testimony before the energy national resources committee, and angus king asked you about this. and has to about this and he said this with the criteria,
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florida was different because every member on both sides of the out wrote you a letter saying they were opposed. >> that is true. >> so the maryland delegation is on record opposing this in a bipartisan way. >> in maine he said the man governor was in favor of it but in maryland the republican governors on record against it. >> given we meet this criteria, can you tell me we will be treated the same as florida? >> you'll be treated the same under the process. >> in terms of tweeting out later today that were off the list. >> florida has a moratorium in place. >> this is about the atlantic
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coast your delegation was unanimously against the. >> and off the coast of florida it would not allow the join of oil and gas. >> i have good news for you. there are no known resources off the coast of maryland we take in the local can views and consideration and there is no infrastructure off the coast. and statement waters matter.
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>> i think you're gonna be very happy with our planning process as we go through. you should release the first draft. >> i hope we can put this on the hyper speed like you didn't florida. you have to admit, it look very political. meeting with the government making that announcement by tweet. i hope marilyn and the others that meet the criteria gets the same consideration. i may ask you more in the second row. >> now will turn to senator merkley. i need to excuse myself for seven minutes while i ask questions in another subcommittee. senator udall will have the gavel. >> thank you for this productive
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exchange of concerns that critically involves the opportunity to understand these issues better. i appreciate the cooperation with fire borrowing. something that is so damaged the service year after year previously. heaven the 2020 date of ending the practice in national disasters is very appropriate and helpful. going to keep pushing the budgets for more funding, for being in the forced 1.6 million acres that have gone through the environmental process. last summer in oregon the fires we have thinned and taken the fuels off before the force there were fire resistance and it made a big difference.
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i want to turn to the omb that has allocated -- there's a budget that greg and i work for leading up to the delivery. we looked at it and omb intends to allocate 10.3 million. it's on the verge of the check being written. my understanding is it has not been written yet but it will happen soon. is that your understanding? >> i met with congressman walton on the issue. were going through the legal part of that language. the solicitor in sacramento had said that language would not allow us to poem, even though in good faith interior and
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yourself, they all look to get the language in. and if it were to have a legal standing to do it it was to do were looking at it because an objection was brought up that the language may not give us the opportunity to do it. it's a prior because interior made a commitment to do it. you moved heaven and earth language in there. we need to work to get affects if in fact the language did not allow us to do it legally. i think there's fixes to it. >> i think my colleagues -- we understood as of last week the pumping was okay but the land i going may have to be repaid. that will be part of ongoing
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conversations. >> if that's the case we can't pay, we have to ask the irrigators for faith on it and then support corrective language to do that. >> thank you. that region has gone through this tough down there. >> on july 25 -- expires. as during a time when many of the rivers are virtually disappearing. the relevant congressman said that we have written to you and asked for your help extending that so congress can try to fit that in when we do a collective
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bill. were just not sure what the time of that will be. >> and our staff is working together on that. but i asked for it to come on. >> on the last minute alternative on the oil drilling many states are very concern. we don't have too many tracks that are prime drilling territory but there is one for sale. because we have crab and shrimp and oysters and probably three or four more, plus the tourist industry is the most beautiful
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coast to be found in the world. because we love the coast in a big tourism about it folks are lines i would love to have as you noted you were taken into account the local and state voices. i would ask that you would take into account look at were very concerned about this. >> you have our commitment that the local voice will be heard. in oregon and washington, three things. no significant resources off the coast. no infrastructure to support oil and gas. three, there is opposition you would have to go through state waters and fourth, the president
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has made it clear in his guidance to me that the local and state voice would be heard. >> there are some resources and also the type of echolocation and explosions don't get more information's, that can have a big impact on the oil migration of fish stocks. we are concerned even about that should elyse be made. >> and seismic is also used for win. and extraction of sands to restore the coast. so carefully done i was a seismic is far less destructive the mining of sand for coastal restoration. science is prudent.
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>> thank you. >> good to see you first, i like to thank you for your visit to tennessee. my colleagues may not know about you turned out to be a good samaritan someon woman had a ded battery and asked for help not knowing he was secretary of the interior. c-note was over the news because of her. but thank you for your visit for the purpose of emphasizing the importance of dealing with the $11.6 billion of deferred maintenance backlog in the 417
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unit of our national park system. you visited the campground and as an example of that it has been close for five years. it's where 5100 families here would camp but they haven't been able to do that because no money to fix the water treatment system and a pledge to find $2 million to fix it. i think senator udall and senator murkowski for the increases in funding. the subcommittee recommended and it was approved.
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thank you for that. in the larger way, look rock campground has $2 million in deferred maintenance to fix it up. but the great smokies has 215 million and the appropriation is only 10 million a year. several hundred million is the national mall, you're saying even the george washington parkway as part of that. so, these are big expensive. if we don't do something extraordinary to do that, it will never get done. that's why i want to salute you in the administration for taking a tried-and-true principle which is to some of the money from royalties from energy exploration on federal lands and
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use it for environmental purpose. the rockefeller commission recommended that in the 60s. every conservation group i know has supported the idea of taken money from offshore drilling and using it for land water conservation funds. diminished she was here we work together to take more money out of gulf coast oil and gas drilling. now, you have propose that we use money from all of royalties to address the $11.6 million backlog. we got at least two pieces of legislation with bipartisan support. several members have joined with me, we have a pretty good start in bipartisan support. senator portman and warner have another bill. looks like something that might
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become low. we have many people behind it. what can you tell us about our chances for success with legislation to deal with deferred maintenance and parks? >> i think that is not a democrat or republican issue, it's an american issue. there are certain things that should transcend bipartisanship. think dedicating a fund to address what america loves. america loves their parks and their wildlife refugees. we have a treaty obligation to make sure her indian kids have a world-class education too. even though the memorial bridge and our project was released under budget and ahead of
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schedule, it was $239 million. it's not just things you see, it's things you don't see. >> the memorial bridge cost more to fix than the entire maintenance backlog. >> in a water system in the grand canyon would nearly cover your backlog. about half is roads. i apologize because i did say something that wasn't true. when i said smokies said the new road was competitive. i would say it rivals any of our road system in our parks. it's a beautiful road.
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but that link was going to increase traffic. there's no doubt america will want to be on that road. that's going to incur a larger maintenance issue on the roads. our parks are being loved to death. i think every american will want to go on that road. it's an epic completion of a long project but it is majestic scenery on that road. >> you looked at the foothills parkway around the park which was authorized first in 1944. in this section of it being opened toward the end of this year. >> that's great to hear.
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>> when you talk about these needs, that's the reason he say we love our parts there is a high numbers that senator tester talked about better to have additional parks at the local level, state and national level. that's why it's important to get the funds out the door. my understanding is they're stuck right now. return to the reorganization first. the subcommittee has a long-standing process for reviewing and improving departmental reorganizations before they're implemented even
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if they have no funding impact. we expect to to work closely with us. what is the department's plan for submitting this proposal to congress. to intend to support a reprogramming to to wait till the budget is move forward. will you move before tribal consultations take place wishers crucial? >> were going through stakeholders. we started out with usgs on basic science than brought scs as an to change the boundaries little. the were brought in stakeholders we continue to talk on the house side and ask for meetings. to make sure we do a programming letter that it is not a surprise. water stakeholders are having a conservation group roundtable
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next week. this is a large spectrum across the board. they grow through it and get input. on the tribal consulting we have begun the process. we have not bee made a determinn if the tribes are part of the reorganization or remain as they are. when i say tribes are summer, that is a decision they should make. we need to articulate why i think it's to their advantage, that ultimately it's a decision they have to make. we are prepared either way. i want to emphasize, doesn't really affect a park unit, or a wildlife refuge in the new regions. what it affects is the decision
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on recreation, nepa, and permitting that operate on the landscape level. trail system should connect. there's no reason why trailhead cannot start a blm property and transcend into a park. at present you talked about different missions and there are different missions in each of the boroughs. but where we can harmonize and connect resources think it's important the bureaus most critical components that lead to healthy environment and better stewardship, those areas we should go trying to make the decisions along with the state for a better outcome. >> we submit for the record a schedule for travel
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consultation. >> we should be able to have that to you. >> i think it's real important. sounds like you're leaning to including them and then he will make the case. we are being asked by the tribes. >> you need the commitment, i'm not going to include the tribes unless they want to. . . >> with the plains tribes i
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think it is an advantage to look at those traveling systems with recreation because the tribes have a stake in that and to be at the table and organizationally it is a good thing. >> the other issue is 573 tribes so what if 101 to and the rest don't? we will probably be flexible in the regions and to have the preponderance but the good thing is. >> a clear preponderance you mean with a robust minority to say no? >> no. we will work with everybody with 573 tribes it becomes challenging and maybe we look at a test he how it would work
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and i respect the sovereignty it is unique and i enjoy representing the tribes and the champion those decisions and freedom of choice. >> thank you for being here secretary and coming down to florida to talk about the everglades with us and we are making progress. i do want to take exception to the complete untruth and that just isn't true.
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but i needed to correct the record. i want to talk about the everglades and you can make that argument and with the completion of several projects. so the integrated delivery schedule assumes federal contributions of $147 million across-the-board to the department of interior and then an of more than 185 million this year the administration budget is 118 million after requesting 131-2015 and headed in the wrong direction i hope the budget is not reflective in the commitment so my question for you is this the direction
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we are headed with everglades restoration? because if it is that translates poorly to the future of this project it is a critical project not just to florida but to the country. >> it remains a priority i think it is as much structural as it is funding. talk about ways for the army corps of engineers rather than have approval of one project each a subcomponent has to be categorized as a new start. that in cells lengthens the amount of time in these projects with the army corps of engineers so just throwing more money at it i don't think is a solution but to streamline the process to make better decisions sooner. there is no doubt in my mind
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that the health of the everglades depends on the water and that is the priority. it will take a serious effort between all stakeholders to prioritize the plumbing first. if we don't get that right the rest will never ever be healthy. >> i think most would agree to have a more efficient way to get approval on these projects to move forward but it still gets back to the question of the total sum and i actually agree the longer we take to complete the projects the more sensitive they become. so why is the number in 2019 significantly less than 2018? not a proposal is 118 is that a function of their projects that are ready that could be
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funded? what is behind the reduction since we know in order to continue the pace on this project to truly say we are on pace we need to be the 1.7 that is what it is budgeted at if it stays on schedule and every year we fall off schedule the price tag goes up so what is the new number that is lower than last year? >> i will work with you. i think some of that has to do with the ability to execute again because if we can work together, it isn't just a question of money we agree it is a priority item committed to make it a priority with you but we also have to make it structurally easier so when we have the fun it actually goes to moving ahead we are not getting far. i would contend we could double the money and we would not make double the amount of
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movement in the field because structurally we have to work together and on 14 june i think i think we have the south florida ecosystem task force and i would invite you or a member of your staff to be a part or one -- of that to prioritize your efforts with it and then we come to what we need with the laws to tweak the prioritization to make sure we streamline and the money itself brings the money to the field to get things done rather than continuing their bureaucracy because right now as you know following this issue better than anybody is that we are on pace never to get it done. to be quite frank. we need to shorten the time. we can do it if we allow the right people to flexibility in the power to get it done without having to go through
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line by line by line by line of approval on each of those if we do it as a system we can get the project done. >> and i was a clearly i don't believe in throwing money at things but in this particular case this project has been ready to go in the money has been available we can move on that but i do want to make clear because you touched on something people agree with that it is your position that individual everglades projects should not each be subject to narc on -- to a new start designation we should do that systemically. >> some are actually ahead of schedule it isn't all doom and gloom. there are some that are actually ahead of schedule. >> thank you senator rubio. mr. secretary, a few broader questions before more
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specifics but i had mentioned earlier that we had an opportunity in indian affairs to hear from the president nominee from the secretary of indian affairs to be imminently qualified a woman who can move into places where perhaps she is not invited to make sure the voices of our native people are heard and you have provided that support to her but those of us on the committee yesterday shared we thought she had a pretty hard job and you have noted the deficiencies within the bureau of indian education and your efforts to try to address some of the backlog issues with schools to make sure native children receive a quality education. there are other areas of
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course that we all feel very strongly about we don't feel either this administration or the previous administration or before them did enough when it comes to providing to be able to meet our responsibilities to our native people and from a public safety perspective. this is where we feel we have extreme vulnerability senator chester said yesterday and i have raised it but i will just cite my concerns that in the proposed budget, with an effort to eliminate funding for certain programs that we
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have been working to advance to provide that safety rather than tribal court funding, additional support, to set aside native people, the small and need each tribe funding which for us in alaska is incredibly significant because these are smaller tribes that otherwise have very limited opportunity for resources. the initiative which is a pilot program to really help provide our level of safety and to put pathways forward that can help not only with family and social services that prevention and intervention.
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so i would just ask you for your support because we will put a lot of pressure on ms. sweeney when she is confirmed and is in this position. when we think of the trust responsibility and we have had this conversation so many times i know where your heart is on this. you have shared it with me directly and publicly saying that you respect the responsibility and obligation you have as secretary for the native peoples. i have heard your comments to senator chester that this is where we have the executive proposing and the legislative branch but know that i will be very aggressive in trying to ensure that we continue to
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make headway with many of these projects. perhaps smaller amounts but when it comes to providing for public health and safety and well-being and education of our native people, we want to work with you on the. >> thank you. in regards to the assistant secretary of indian affairs, i do think the best most qualified individual to be a secretary and in this case was the first female native alaskan in the history of department of interior as well as the first female director of the bureau of reformation and i can tell you i get more than seven out of 16 through the senate there will be more first. the frustration that it took over one year for my director
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of the u.s. gs who also is an astronaut with a phd in earth science, top egret and security clearance probably the most intimately qualified director of the u.s. geological survey in history and that says a lot and it has taken one year to get him through the process. and i was talking to the ranking member and reminded me when his father was secretary of interior he had everybody even his complete staff in place in their seats within two weeks. it is unlikely as a secretary that i will have a director to the park service or director of blm efficient wildlife by two years in.
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>> that is unfortunate because we need them all and my commitment is to help move the individuals through the process as quickly as we can recognizing that the job on the ground is pretty significant. let me ask some more questions. we have been trying to move the sterling highway near the cooper landing this is for the ground for the big king salmon we have the juno creek alternative virtually everybody involved agree it is the best option and last week the department of transportation and state of alaska reached an agreement to finalize it. the longest-running in the
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country we are very proud not the first of that but it is a big moment for us and thank you for helping us to get to this place but the next piece is to complete the land exchange between the wildlife -- wildlife refuge so what i ask of you this morning is to give me an update where you think that exchange will be and when we can anticipate and when we can initiate. >> eis was signed march 8, the record of decision arrived is nearly done and we should have that done shortly within days. and then we start with the regional corporation and we will look at that. given the success of key code
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one -- cove i think we can get this done. it is a priority of the secretary working together with this body actually interior can work quickly. >> no that we look at this particular project and we don't need it quickly but we were welcoming the opportunity to do it quickly. >> i can say with 100% confidence that we will be faster than eis. [laughter] >> that isn't saying much but i do appreciate that. but it does say that what we deal with our multi generational many decades long projects people grow old and retire and move on and we want to get this resolved.
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>> madam chairman i understand that on a scale of alaska 20 acres and surrounding error somewhere 20 acres and surrounding error somewhere. another legacy project for us. but we have been dealing with basically since the 1940s with the federal government coming into alaska to authorize the private firms to explore for oil and gas inside the national petroleum reserve the operators walked away and failed to properly abandon and cap many of those wells and you know this well 736 wells. the government spent 96 million plugging those egg is -- legacy wells 1980s
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through to him -- 19 a teacher 2013 and then more in cleanup. we have directed and this was one of my early priorities i recognize it is challenging to get to those remaining wells for cleanup and i understand that. but just because it is challenging does not mean we don't advance that but the way we advance that is to put sufficient resources into the budget to address the final cleanup. so i need to know you will continue to work with me to address the backlog on this cleanup. we need to have our annual update on how many wells we have fully addressed and how
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many remain in the average costs going forward. i need to know we have an action plan and in addition to that we have the resources that will allow the completion of this very unfortunate legacy left by the federal government we would now allow her a private operator to do that and we know that we would find them until they had nothing left. we need to rectify this. >> 24 of the 50 have been addressed the average cost is about $1.8 million. having said that the first were the easiest with the omnibus and think it had 10 million we think that will cover another four wells that some of the wells we are looking at in the future will
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be more expensive. we have a plan the read mediation team has identified the sooner we get to with the last cost it will be. >> it is also coordinating with other projects that may be going on in the region as you know when you set up there literally at the top of north america in the area where you don't have access to roads, mobilization for a project is extraordinarily expensive and often times what we see is you put the equipment on the barge in the spring that comes in july and you do the work and move it back down to the lower 48 we can facilitate a couple different projects. but knowing that the
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department of defense might be doing a cleanup where they have an operation that needs to be done to coordinate between interior and department of defense i think we do have room for efficiency i don't think we talked to one another like that but it is something of like to sit down to explore with your team as we get that update. >> i did talk to secretary mattis a lot. he is a great general and we do share and collaborate on a lot of issues. this is probably one we just need to bring him into the fold. >> thank you madam chair. mr. secretary i appreciate you wanting to improve resource to her chip to get the bureaus to focus on regional landscapes
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and work across federal state and local but i would also point out we should have an example of where the bureaus were able to do that already with those plans that your department that it is now in the process of scrapping those. the department is moving from regional plans to the extensive stakeholder input to those that allow each day governor if oil and gas projects of current federal land how do i reconcile your rhetoric about the importance of regional collaboration with the reality the department is choosing those state -based plans when we all agree that conservation is a regional issue? we know that wildlife don't look at state lines. they look at the habitat of where they live. >> first of all state to
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matter. the great state of new mexico matters. >> but they didn't on the sage grouse. >> error-free governor but one asked for amendments on the one size fits all plan and had that ragged -- reorganization been in place likely would have been on regional basis and the states get to say the governors get essay but every state but one asked for formal amendment and the state did not ask for changes but amendments. the one size all i'm convinced is not proper stewardship. some states focus on the sage grouse or habitat or removal of vegetation on juniper trees, son is captive breeding
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i think states flexibility to address the issues with their fish and wildlife professionals is prudent policy. >> but i think the reality is that states that we had to have deteriorating the habitat for the sage grouse but now moving on our you planning to move the blm headquarters or significant part of the staff out of the washington d.c. region during fiscal year 2019 or any other bureau besides blm and have you done a cost analysis of the additional cost if so? that these moves would include including staff relocation cost as well as long-term travel and management? >> we have not made decisions we are evaluating the cost what it looks like and consequences and unintended consequences. the three areas we are looking
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at is blm, most of the western states have a high percentage of blm the bureau of reclamation which is all in the westside and a long shot possibility fish and wildlife issue but there are both coast that are significant. we are looking at what that would be anything from the management point of view when you have such states as nevada which is over 80% of nevada is blm and new mexico has an enormous holding it is best to put people closer to where the issues of the day are but we have not made a decision i cannot give you numbers because we are still looking at the consequences. when we do have the numbers that there is no doubt i will be talking to this body. >> mr. secretary i was very
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concerned about the decision to reassign a large number of senior executive service members that we discussed in the hearing last year. have you fully implemented inspector general recommendations and is being followed to any reassignments that are currently pending? >> s es is a -- interesting the last administration moved 100 ports they use the same procedure that the ig commented that they made no changes and the comments and recommendations for 2003 the last administration moved hundred 40 i moved 27. but today i'm glad to report we have made every recommendation of the 2003 because it now that i know it is in existence and quite frankly when we informed the
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board with that procedure as a last administration i didn't realize there was iag recommendation we found and i read it and we made the changes. >> and specifically are they notified in advance and consulted throughout the process with the rationale for their move based on clear criteria how the reassignments benefit the agency? the one we follow our procedures and the board to my knowledge every policy procedure regulation and transparency by the letter of the law. >> you and i have talked a lot about the development there and we appreciate the delay of the lease that was scheduled for march.
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there is still too many questions around resource protection for the 5000 acres documented cultural sites in the sam on base and i am glad to hear that blm will work together with the park service on the resource management plan amendment. i urge you to continue a full suite of alternatives including a no action alternative i also understand the march lease sale is on the block again in december and i strongly urge you to not lose the head unless the plan amendment has been signed with robust tribal consultation and input from stakeholders but i'm also concerned about resource protection in the basement around carlsbad cavern national park as well i have heard that some of the potential parcels could impact the cavern systems that are
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located in other environmentally sensitive areas and i also understand the park service has shared his concerns with blm about the impacts to this cave in the ecosystem from gas drilling are you aware of these objections and will use id. until a full assessment can be done as we have done to ensure the development will not jeopardize the national and natural treasure of carlsbad. >> i do agree to are some places oil and gas production is fine and other places that are too sensitive and the reason why we delayed because there is a legitimate reason based on science either cultural or scientific or with an impact then we with draw we are looking at it closely.
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sometimes the park superintendent will relay a concern. we ask that is based on science and studies if it is gut feeling then say that and we will investigate it or look at it. but a person that is out in the field day today has a better feeling about local community because they live and work around that environment because they live there so i tell you their opinion more than i would consider from the lovely people that we have here but those that live out there is a different story. >> mr. secretary raised skiing may be senator murkowski is up to date on that but can you
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give an update? i think i sent you a letter last week on that. >> with eis projects it is on schedule. i will get back to you i don't know the specifics i didn't look at it in a couple weeks i know you have a letter but i think it is proceeding and we are waiting for eis to get the actual permi permit. >> thank you very much mr. secretary. >> tourist season is coming on us and as you know the national parks is one of our nation's most visited and we are very proud of that. one thing about tonelli if you
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want to get in there is one road in and it is the same road out into nelly it is narrow and winding and all one -- long and in serious disrepair in certain parts of the road because of mudslides and other issues i have been visited by folks who are very concerned about how we address that deferred maintenance and more specific to the path very technically challenging component of the road but we are engaging with gravol backfill on the annual basis but everybody knows we are going to have to invest probably significant dollars probably hundreds of millions of dollars to reconstruct or
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reroute. so i guess the question mr. secretary is what you think the long-term solution will be for the path? and using the funding through this annual maintenance and i have been told by doing this it could affect our ability or eligibility to receive funds from larger sources like the line item construction or the park road money accounts. we want to keep this from being an accident waiting to happen but i am concerned how we will address this going forward. >> my understanding is they
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have started geotechnical studies and 2016. i will see where the study is. i don't think it has completed on the recommended course of action on. i believe it will be challenging and expensive. i have never seen anything that isn't challenging or expensive in alaska. but it doesn't preclude eligibility of different programs on it but right now we're in the the critical maintenance mode to make sure it is passable. that is what we are currently engaged in and the longer-term effects i will look where that study is done to make sure we have in a timely we may have outside consultants because the geology is a little challenging. >> i know there is a lot of
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folks that are looking at it so just knowing it is on your radar is important. i mentioned the inclusion of the arctic with a five-year plan. and one item that i noted in your budget is to request additional funding with personal resources in the fy 19 proposal with the implementation of the program to require extensive outreach and with respect to the broader plan in consultation and coordination. but one of the things that i would ask that alaskans have shared is the desire for the department of course to focus
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on good science and consoled frequently to require a best practices in stipulation for various for those that are utilized for subsistence. i want to encourage those to utilize the research partnership we have in place whether the alaskan coastal marine institute and support the environmental science necessary going forward and again to make sure it is prioritizing environmental work and i just wanted to share that concern to let you know we think that is a very important part going forward. >> no doubt offshore oil and
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gas presents a greater risk and that is why we focus on the regulatory framework corporate innovation and best practices to increase reliability safety and environmental stewardship and we are very aware that offshore gas and oil production can lead if not done properly to catastrophe especially in areas relying on tourism and fishing these are important issues. the regulatory framework should not be punitive or set up where industrial industry innovation and best practices can be incorporated and to some degree and is working
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together to properly evaluate innovation nobody is more innovative than america as far as energy goes sometimes the regulatory framework doesn't allow the innovation that does improve safety and reliability and stewardship and we have to be cognizant of that and our people of the very best in the world nobody is better than providing the framework at innovation. >> thank you. let me differ to the senator's comeback and for the second round. >> thank you for your earlier response. have a couple of follow-up questions with respect to drilling and the chairman just
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asked about the safety question but i understand there may be proposed ranges that would scale back the safety provisions put in place after the deepwater horizon fiasco. is that correct? the market is not. the regulatory framework, our goal is to use innovation best science and best practices to increase reliability safety environmental stewardship so sometimes the regulatory framework does not allow industry best practices and in order to allow the incorporation of innovation there was a lot of devices that far exceeds the regulatory framework and in some cases we need to catch up i have seen offshore oil and
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gas and risk the industry knows that nobody wants a spell. the framework does not skirt we increase safety and reliability. >> sr recently in response to some of the concerns there were some inspectors sent down to the goals that did some spot inspections and actually uncovered some very serious violations. is that the case? >> a former military officer? >> i think they need to be held accountable i am and supportive of inspection. this is right. >> and those findings underscore the importance of not feeling back those protections that we have got. another question related to the damages from the oil spills because i understand
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the changes you made rv interpretation of the migratory bird act would mean that oil companies responsible or oil spills no longer have to pay damages for loss of massive birdlife under the migratory bird act. was that the finding? is that correct? >> that is not correct. >> if there is an oil spill today and millions of birds are killed when the perpetrator or the person caused still be responsible for damages as in the past? >> absolutely that change the migratory bird act had to do with accidental. criminally or accidental. let's say an oil company drives down the road in montana hits a bird accidentally showed that individuals be held criminally
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liable? >> our legal staff said that was not legal. >> correct me if i am wrong that there has been no case in the united states ever brought under that kind of situation. here is my question obviously the deepwater horizon disaster exxon valdez. >> we concluded the modification would not affect the company to be responsible there are multiple have two keep a company responsible with migratory damages this does not affect that. >> because that distinction that you drew in your example between something that was accidental or intentional. >> criminally make -- negligent there is a difference between willingly and knowingly wedges
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accidental of an oil still that is not. >> i just want to clarify because obviously. >> that is the framework to oil old oil company or any company. >> i just needed the clarification. >> i agree they should be liable. >> i appreciate that. the last question just for the record know the chair of this committee is in a different position than im with a national arctic wildlife refuge but i would be interested in the scientific data that you believe needs to be collected in order to make a sound decision there is a lot of concern that process will be short-circuited and it would be helpful if you could get back to me in writing with
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a scientific information you think needs to be gathered to make a sound judgment going forward. >> i assure you we will follow by the letter of the law and skip no steps no doubt i was sued six times the first day i was in the office no doubt i will be sued multiple times over any decision especially oil and gas but we will follow every regulation and policy .the eyes and crossed the tease and skip no steps because i think the american public deserves that. >> thank you. and with this issue hopefully we won't have to be present but i commit your commitment to be present if necessary. >> if necessary you and i will be at the meeting and i hope
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the parties listen to us. >> thank you mr. secretary. >> thank you senator and i will just note following my colleague's comments about the process going forward i note that the public hearing and comment has begun and was released yesterday with regard to the seven communities that blm and their representative are in with village and they are all areas that are in the region not necessarily in the 1002 but in the region and in remote communities but
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everyone could be heard so the effort doesn't just go to fairbanks and anchorage but to gain these comments is appreciated so i do appreciate that you make the effort to go to the most remote of these communities as you prepare i think we can all recognize every high needs the dotted and the process needs to be robust and transparent so we look forward to that. a couple more questions.
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thanks to the seismic array as you know the less array that currently operates by nsf commissioned this year and to put $1 million in the omnibus and working toward as well as 1.4 million i hope we give you enough resources to do this and i ask if you know if it starts a dialogue with the transfer and purchase can we do this in time?
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it looks like we are getting there and if you don't have the information i understand that but it is something we want to make sure it lines up. >> i think we are on track considering the importance of the scientific data. >> in the most seismically active and in some cases to be identified as the leading science body of the world in some cases the systems are antiquated and the people that we need to advance our systems some buildings have been deteriorated from the infrastructure that we talk about in the parks also the
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infrastructure needs of the u.s. geological survey. to have the right tools some are better sharing between public-private partnerships so we look at that. and how to get into the field the fastest away from the bureaucratic labyrinth we're looking at how to achieve that. >> if for any reason you think we are not on track with the transfer in the purchase let us know that we greatly appreciated into stage the infrastructure with volcanoes we have been working with you all and we understand and then
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to have that conversion within the system take place. we have included language in the omnibus bill and 12 million for the digital conversion so we are hoping the funding has been approved for the distribution and it is sufficient to be updated. >> and i think that control number but i can't emphasize the example of why the early warning is important like hawaii with the housing development but as they
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continue to advance eventually it will break with that huge volume of laws breaks will displace an enormous amount of water, the west coast could be at risk. so those warning devices that is public safety that what we know that we just read the news yesterday cleveland is on alert again next question is nothing to do with alaska but
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and i had the opportunity to travel to the pacific islands a couple months ago so the energy committee has oversight of the territories here. many of these shares some of the same issues that we face and to help to advocate and i could visit with the president when i was there and deliver the news that after seven years the omnibus finally made good on our commitment that went on for too long and then in the pacific and the
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department is making an effort to do right and the issue raised is you said this would happen but when will we see funding? so the question is what is the current status of the contact and the situation regard to funding that was promised? >> for the general comment a lot of people don't realize stretching from the virgin islands and you're out there allowed to us to influence the
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chinese that are billions of dollars of cash flow every month and china can expand the influence on the western pacific when the budget lines in comparison commitment to those territories is to be as flexible as you can and to remove the administrative burden and understand sometimes one-size-fits-all does not really fit with those territories so the more flexibility we can give them
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that if you have billion dollars per month of the cash flow on a casino it is a concern to make sure we honor those obligations with dignity and support. >> it is something when we make that commitment to be there that we have delayed that it does cause them to question that relationship and then to wielder the influences.
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it is the associated states of the marshall islands like micronesia we have put in place financial assistance provision enacted back in 2003 at the end of fy 2023 and again there was concern that was raised and you probably heard it as well what happened when we come to the end of this five-year period with the discussion of how we maintain u.s. influence in this region and i know that we think five years is a long ways away but
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doesn't feel like too many people back here they are worried about that timeline so we put that on your radar screen and you note to the reality of your jurisdiction of 12 time zones moving from one ocean to another so your responsibilities are significant and very diverse in many ways. i do know if you care to comment whether or not they have of you with those dates after 2023. >> we share your concerns we are scheduled to have the first day visit to the
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president shortly in june but i do they -- 80 think they feel neglected and an important part of the united states there issues are our we need to step up the level of commitment and it has been a long time so i am late to go back out. >> i know they will welcome you. >> in january blm issued new guidance how to conduct the oil and gas lease sales that makes it optional allowing only ten days for the public to protest and directs
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agencies to avoid doing any environmental review this takes away flexibility from the field staff to use their best judgment where when and how and with those decisions to remove those parcels made by the deputy secretary as has been previously the case. all of this is in contrast to the previous memorandum to solicit robust public input before leasing to provide ample time for ample review these public engagement opportunities are essential to be successful for the government not to end up in a cycle of lease sale delays and litigation. . . . .
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directors have an enormous amount of say so with consistency sum is quite praying -- quite frankly 300, 400, 500 days.
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i agree with you that the public has a say and should. >> thank you. your own department produced documents during the review showing that the potential for energy admitted there was potential for energy and mineral development and these include the maps indicating a high potential for oil and gas in the monument boundaries and energy fuel sources. the owner of a processing facility also sent you a letter on may 25, 2017 asking to reduce the boundary specifically because there are uranium deposits located. how do you reconcile with your
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own agency records and if you did not review of those created what did you use to reach recommendations from the president? >> there are little if any resources within the boundaries. oil and gas leasing activities was never part of the discussion. after the revised boundary and his 400,000 acres, after the national forest. the real action is to open up public land for public access to the.
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there wasn't one square inch of land removed from federal protection. but i do listen to states and when every member of the utah delegation, both in the house and the senate and the governor and the state legislature all probably want it to be rescinded, it was a decision of recommendation to me that the borders be revised to protect the assets that are in there and the antiquities that are absolutely true. and in new mexico, you and i went out there and what made a difference iitdifferent is the n mexico, the preponderance were for it maybe they were a little bit of a stretch.
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you couldn't see it by google earth and it was told it to me ito me in astraight face that la world war ii battleship. i thought it looked like jesus. but even that i said at the end of the day the good citizens of new mexico, both the state senator and most of the representatives were all comfortable with it, so there lies the decision. thank you for your service and we look forward to following up with questions to you and hope to get some prompt answers. >> mr. secretary, thank you. as it has been noted i'm sure other members will have questions that they would like tsubmitted for the record.
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we will keep it open for a week and your promp prompt replies ae always appreciated. thank you for the leadership. obviously significant issues and we want to make sure the expectation that we have for you and your team to do the job as it relates to the public land, treasures and economic opportunity to get the resources to do so, so we will be working with you. with that, the committee stands adjourned.
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>> [inaudible conversations]
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tonight, on q&a, university of california santa barbara english professor -- on his book "inseparable" about the life and times of conjoined twins -- , these areimagine two married couples that cannot be in the same beds. twoalso -- when they set up separate households about a mile from each other and they stick to a very rigid schedule. live inl say -- stay, this house for three days with his wife and during the three days, he is a master of the house and he can do whatever he wants to.

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