Skip to main content

tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  May 18, 2012 9:00am-12:00pm EDT

9:00 am
you might want to do to take care of your family and reward yourself for the work that you've put in, um, should be none of our business. and i desperately want it to be none of our business. but recognize the fact, um, that you are not here today because of what you do, you're not here today because of stock that you sold or any of you here because of what industry you participate in. you're here because you've asked us to be here. you've brought this on yourselves. and i hate to tell you that, but it goes beyond the loan program. i mean, we'd be silly, we'd be foolish to think that representatives of your industry -- even if not yourself as individuals -- have spent time walking up and down the halls of these buildings in washington for the last decade asking us to make people buy what you sell. ..
9:01 am
but under the stimulus program, out of the 1705 you didn't even have to pay that. the taxpayers had to pay that. so a little skin in the game y'all would have under the 173 program isn't even there under the 1705 program. it is effectively a free
9:02 am
program to you folks. that is why we're here. we're not here because we don't like you as private business and that we don't want you to be successful. on the contrary i want the companies to be successful. i want the stock to go back up to $300. it benefits all the employees with a retirement program that buy the stock. you have to be involved in the business and have to be here when you ask us to make people buy what you sell. i encourage you to consider next time you come walking up and down the hallways, i think it would be great to took the renewable component from 10 or 15 or 20, 25%. wouldn't it be great we have more electric vehicles. wouldn't that be great. i'm tired of people coming to the government as part of their business plan. say look if we figure out a way to make the government buy our stuff, that will really help us. and you know, conversely, if we could make the government make what our competitors sell illegal, that would be even better.
9:03 am
we see that every single day. and quite frankly, gentleman, as somebody who came from the private sector i'm sick of it. i wish you would compete on your merits and that we would compete on our merits in my business. mr. ahern, i hear what you're saying, low cost producer. down to 73 cents a kilowatt-hour. tremendous success for your company. please stop asking us to help you do that. as bad as i feel for what you've had to to through here today, mr. ahern, explaining your stock purchases you brought every single bit of on yourself. we know it. mr. kucinich does. everybody up here knows. we filled out our financial disclosure. what we have to tell everybody in the country every single investment we make worth more than a $1,000. we do that every single year. we choose to do that to ourselves when we run for these offices. what you gentlemen have endured today and will endure. it will not get easier. it will get worse. what you, what you brought
9:04 am
upon yourselves today you have brought upon yourselves by coming here and asking us to help you. mr. chairman, i know that was not going to be my line of reasoning. i took my five minutes and i appreciate the opportunity. i thank the gentleman. to the gentleman's point we have with you, mr. nelson. did what you described. he didn't come ask for help. his company is succeeding. we applaud that. we'll turn to the chairman of full committee. mr. sighs is a. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. woolard, on september 2nd, 2010 your name appears as the ceo of bright source alongwith peter darby as chairman of pg&e. holding at brightsource energy in oakland, california, a fund-raiser for friends of, friends for harry reid. do you remember that? >> yes, sir, i do. >> so the senate majority leader was pretty important to you and important enough for you to hold it in your corporate offices.
9:05 am
>> with fg and e we did this and also have projects in nevada as well. >> yes, i know. let me ask a question. first of all did you speak -- what was the last time you spoke to the secretary of commerce bryson? >> it would have been before he was appointed secretary of commerce. i have not spoken to him since. >> during the time though he was the chairman, right? >> he was chairman of our company. >> right. >> until he, until he was nominated to commerce which would have been middle of last year. >> okay. now my understanding it takes awhile to get vetted and takes awhile to get nominated. doesn't happen overnight. my question is when he was the chairman you were the president, and he wrote his e-mail to mr. daley, that was two months before he got the job. weren't they already in discussions? wasn't he essentially lobbying for
9:06 am
your organization as the heir apparent, person they were looking at to be secretary of commerce and at the same time lobbying for you? >> no, sir, i don't believe he actually sent that e-mail. we basically decided that was not appropriate to send and ultimately -- >> were there other e-mails that were sent during that period of time to the white house or others at the white house? >> no, sir. there was nothing to my knowledge that was sent. >> this was a draft hanging around? >> exactly. we decided it was not appropriate and did not send it. >> now -- >> in addition, we were very careful with every organization that john worked with. he was very, very careful from that perspective. >> what is interesting, the secretary is the the founder of the natural resource , while he was heading a public utility that group actually produces
9:07 am
and participates in lawsuits that drive up the cost of energy, don't they? >> they are an intervenor in a lot of siting issues with renewables. >> sort of amazing, they drive up the cost of energy, particularly conventional energy through a series of lawsuits and incumbent utilities get paid markup whatever their costs are even if costs are driven up by organization founded or participates with people who are insiders. so i do find it interesting that he now is supposed to make, be in charge of making america competitive but in fact has driven up the costs. mr. woolard, and for that matter each of you on the panel, your company would not exist today if not for the loans and the mandates, is that correct? at least as we know it? >> no, sir. i think it would be fair to say we would not be doing, as much business in the united states. we would be working in other countries, other just exdids
9:08 am
more heavily without the loans or the mandates. >> mr. ahern would you say the same thing, that you would, your malaysia factory would be still selling in europe and you would still be in business and s&p 500 listed company if not for domestic mandates and guaranties? >> we would still be a successful company but we would not be in the financial condition, sound financial condition we're in and we would not have successfully entered the u.s. utility market. we would be a smaller company without this. >> isn't it true that if not for a waiver as to the car sin owe against, that are in our pvs in fact you wouldn't even be in the european union at all? you needed a waiver for your technology to be fielded? >> no, that is not true. the product isn't car sin owe againic. there is a material, that is stable compound.
9:09 am
>> but need ad waiver in the european union for you to field it, didn't you? >> it didn't, no. >> it didn't? you didn't rely on a single study paid for in order to convince people of that? >> no, we didn't. >> didn't pay for it or wasn't heavily relied on? >> i don't remember paying for one, nor, that a single study would have been relied on european commission undertaking analysis how to regulate photovoltaics, and all the various sub technologies this question came in what do you do with cadmium, and brook may have -- brookhaven. ad done studies and we funded studis. >> a study or studies? >> multiple. >> multiple. if you could give our committee copies of those
9:10 am
studies because we were not able to find the quantity you were referring to. >> be happy to. >> mr. chairman, thank you, hope there will be a second round. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentleman from new hampshire, if he is red did he to go we could go to him. five minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you all for being here today. i want to talk to mr. fairbank about your, your loan gainty. my understanding your loan guaranty was 98.5 million, is that accurate? >> that's correct. >> okay. can you tell me what it means when a generation facility is placed in service and online? >> that means power plant is up and running and operating at least 20% of its capacity. >> okay. can you tell me what the blue mountain project was placed in service? >> was placed in service in
9:11 am
october 2009. >> and when did nevada geothermal receive its loan guaranty? >> we relieved -- received our loan guaranty on september 3rd, 2010. >> so a full year after you were online and operational? >> that's correct. and i guess the process from when we submitted our application until we got the guaranty, that was a 10 or 11-month process. >> okay. what was the reason that you wanted the loan guaranty when you first started the process? >> we were wanting to have a permanent financing. we actually had worked with john hancock to work on a loan from john hancock and they made the application to doe. >> so you had an existing, either line of credit or loan from john hancock? >> no, sir. >> did you have -- what
9:12 am
money did you use to get this online? >> we used, we, we actually had a facility on commercial terms with a senior investment bank in new york to construct the project. they with drew that commitment through the summer of 2008 and we needed to scramble to obtain mezzanine debt loan from tcw which was $180 million facility at the time we thought about a bridge loan and we would be borrowing, we thought, $70 million and then we thought we would go back to the banks for the remainder of the money we needed to build the plant. as it happened several months after that as you know the banking crisis was, none of these banks were operating.
9:13 am
so we ended up borrowing $180 million from tcw to build the plant. that is how we built the plant. and then that wasn't in any way any permanent financing. it was, we thought of it as a bridge loan. it was very expensive interest rate and we used it for construction. so we used a john hancock loan that was backed by the doe loan guaranty to pay back a portion of that loan. we also hadn't finished our work. we had built the plant as i think you are pointing out and that is only a portion of the project. we had not finished our work on the well field, so a portion of the fund were also to be used to finish the well field. >> okay. so you, so you had, did have financing albeit not permanent and at a high interest rate? >> that's correct. >> and you could not get through normal channels a bank loan? >> we may or may not have been able to get through normal channels with bank --
9:14 am
>> you mentioned that is around the time of the banking crisis. so i'm infering from that your position would be that you couldn't get access to -- >> when we were wanting to build the plant? >> yeah. >> we were forced into that loan because we had started with our epc contract and they were given a limited notice to proceed and if we hadn't acquired the rest of the money that we needed to finish the plant we wouldn't have been able to hold schedule relative to the ppa and we wouldn't have been able to hold the costs so that the apc contract had guaranteed a delivery time and a cost. >> okay but you did have that financing in place? so you did actually get the plant up and running because the plant was prayingal back in october 09. i guess my point is, why would you then get a loan in september 2010, a year later? to me it sound not like a loan, sound like a bailout your business plan? >> it wasn't a bailout of
9:15 am
the business plan. it was putting in place senior debt financing which is one of the primary goals of the 1705 program. >> could you get that financing anywhere else? >> we utilized the program that was there. we, the banks -- >> could you get the financing from the private sector? >> it is possible we might have been able to, that is speculative whether we would have or not. i'm sure we would have found a way. >> did you try? or did you just choose to go solely into the 175 program? >> well we went to the market. >> yeah. >> and we had, my recollection was four commercial bankers, investment houses, make proposals. john hancock made the best proposal. so we basically went with john hancock to see if we couldn't put together a commercial loan. and john hancock made the application to doe because
9:16 am
that program was available and it was a great assistance for them to be able to do that. i don't know if hancock would have done it without the loan guaranty. they said they might. they, but obviously the doe loan guaranty helped them make their decision. >> well -- >> we weren't involved with that. i mean, we weren't the applicant for the doe loan guaranty. that was john hancock. we were involved peripherally. >> you were recipient of the money. >> we were the recipient of the joan hancock money, that's right. >> you know they were going for 1705? >> yes, sir. >> so you have the plant in place. you file the application. you say that you've had an opportunity in the private sector but for whatever reason you opted not to utilize those loans. probably because this one was a better rate. you then repayed the
9:17 am
existing dollars. so the point of this is that the stimulus, whether you agree or disagree with it, the point of it was to create jobs. what jobs did this create? this was repaying existing loan for an existing plant that was already in operation? >> it was operating at, at 22 megawatts at the time that we received the loan. so we had placed it in service but it wasn't operating at its full capacity. so we had to finish the well field and i think it's been very transparent in our part one application for the loan exactly where the money was to be spent. a portion was to pay down the tcw facility and a portion was to finish the well field. >> i just don't see, business practice for the department energy -- reclaiming my time sir. i don't see it as a good practice for the department of energy to use taxpayer
9:18 am
subsidized loans to provide to an entity that already has an existing facility. >> well i -- >> that is my personal point of view but i don't think taxpayers, in this country want doe providing taxpayer loans to a company to pay back a loan under an existing facility. my time has expired. the chairman has been very gracious. i appreciate it. i yield back. >> i didn't hear a question there so i will just not address that. >> great. gentleman from california is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and, just following up on the gentleman's statement, i share his situation which is, if doe had said look, we'll give you x-amount of back your own associated parent company, you would have still taken the money? effectively as part of it something that, as i understand it, is prohibited by doe but i'm not going to
9:19 am
ask you if it is prohibited were wrong in the kise of these loan guaranties. mr. woolard, i want to make strong support for senator reid and direct of staff and the president, i wasn't implying there was anything wrong in ultimately most of the energy companies including all the public utilities in california have money. it's just i wanted to make it clear that senator reid was very important to you as he obviously was to mr. ferren. i want to go back to mr. ahern. i want to be sure i get your statement correct why i asked to go first this round. you said you had multiple studies but isn't true by your own powerpoint which we have, when it case risk wee
9:20 am
we almost completely reliant on bacilius and his team. that is multiple studies done by one person, isn't that true? basically your support for your risk, our research ultimately if it proves unpersuasive, essentially, this carcinogen incorporated and you say not a rick, you had to convince the commission and his multiple studies were a big part how you convinced them and risk was you wouldn't sell in europe which his studies which you hadn't paid for hadn't helped bolster your case. isn't that a more accurate statement and there were multiple studies awe didn't remember you paid for it? you paid for the organization. you relied heavily on it in your own power point statement, isn't that true? >> i respectively, i mead to break that down -- >> did you. >> did vacilis reprieve sieve money from your company for any or all of these studies?
9:21 am
>> not to my knowledge. >> okay. would were you heavily, almost completely reliant on his studies? your own powerpoint shows that as a risk? >> i don't know the context, you know, this slide where it was made. >> it was made by you following and delivered under our discovery. >> it is done at a period of time or what was prepared -- >> i apologize. we got it from a whistle-blower, you didn't give it to us. but are you saying that you don't believe it's yours? >> no, not at all. i'm saying i can't, that particular quote without the context i'm not sure what it means. okay. in discovery reliant completely on this individual. the whistle-blower informs you did pay. we would look forward to getting that right. and you know, what we're seeing is, you needed this to work to get into the
9:22 am
european union and you needed the money to be where been this for a long time, emp since they berated general motors, ford and chrysler when they came in. what kind of jet did you fly in on today? >> i flew in yesterday. >> yesterday. >> on a challenger. >> a challenger. 604, 605? >> 300. >> 300. 1:00 of the new super minis that is pretty efficient. that was nonstop flight i assume from tempe? >> yes. >> okay. i just think, that you know, if you're so concerned about, and i know it is more efficient than the big birds but, you know is that really environmentally sensitive? >> let me point out that that, first solar did not pay for that. first solar had nothing to do. something i did on my own. >> we're not going to ask him if he used money took out of the company. staff always has better questions than i would.
9:23 am
i wouldn't ask that. let me ask one more question. your production facilities do they use your solar panels for the energy that they produce? in order to manufacture? >> not for, not -- >> is it true you looked at california and made a decision not to come into california because of two major factors, the regulatory environment and the cost of energy? >> i don't know that's the case. i think we looked at a number of places and -- >> you ruled out california, the very place that has the mandates that helped many of your companies succeed because we mandate that we buy your much higher, much subsidized cost? drives up-rate payer cost dramatically and makes manufacturing in california undesirable. so you decided not to manufacture in a high-cost area. you're basically i see you're in ohio which is low-cost energy area. you're in tempe, arizona, a low-cost energy area. they even use coal for some much their electricity. so is it fair to say that energy costs determined
9:24 am
somewhat in addition to labor costs where you manufacture? >> i would say it would be one of a number of factors. >> but what was, what put you in malaysia? >> we wanted to have a base of manufacturing in asia as well as europe and north america as we were building out the company and at the time when assessed risk returns of various asian locations, having never done business in asia we thought malaysia was a moderate risk, reasonable place. >> i'm going to close but just noting that if these figures are still correct, germany, 560 jobs, ohio, 280. malaysia, 1680, sounds like you're not an american company particularly. you simply have a small presence in ohio and another one in arizona that in fact we put an awful lot of money into putting you into manufacturing into other countries outside america and that in fact the loan program dramatically made it possible for you to have overseas jobs, not to have
9:25 am
american jobs. is that reasonably correct, that the majority of the jobs that you provide are not in america and that the loan program facilitated that as much as anything? >> i would disagree, respectfully with the overa awl characterization. >> not the characterization. >> just the numbers. >> sheer numbers most of our full time are outside the u.s.. >> jobs created with loan guaranties, stemlous and others basically, not american? >> no. all those jobs are american. all the jobs directly created with the loan guaranty. >> okay. so those jobs wouldn't be there except for these loans but the other jobs would be is your assertion. >> manufacturing offshore would be, r&d, engineering the hub of our business is here. it is supported by those but sheer numbers i agree with you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. ohio, recognized, mr. kucinich. >> i want to thank my friend from california for his defense of american manufacturing.
9:26 am
and also seems that the majority is raising a new point of view with respect to the use of corporate jets which i find interesting. >> dennis, you worn me down over the years. >> i know. finally happening. i also want to ask unanimous consent -- i'm glad my friend from california more recently, less recently from cleveland, pointed out that senator reid didn't do have unanimous consent records of contribution of pg&e to some of the most outstanding members of congress, some absolutely best-equipped to analyze business members of congress who are included in this liz and i just would ask that that be submitted and i would also ask any member of the committee wants to join me on hj rez 100 end all corporate contributions, basically turn federal elections into
9:27 am
public financing. now my, hjr es period of to join in. >> would the gentleman yield? >> of course. >> corporate, pac money. corporate money has been banned before you and i were born. >> all private money. >> thank you. >> now the question, mr. woolard, in january fourth e-mail to the doe official you referenced the fact, that quote, a large group in nyc focused on this transaction, doe ability to execute. this e-mail continues, quote, things are not good. there is sizable group of private equity investment banks writing a letter to chu about the status of the program and the inability to get loans through, unquote. quick answers. mr. woolard, did this investment group have their own money invested in the project? >> they did not represent our project. it is a group called u.s. prep. >> did they have their own money invested? >> in multiple projects? why were they frustrated.
9:28 am
>> it was private sector money coming in as the highest at risk layer of money the equity tranche but the process at doe was slow and things -- >> so the doe review process was drawn out, is that what you're saying? >> very, took a lot longer than ever been expected or represented. >> why do these private equity investors send a letter to the secretary, and if so, what did it say? >> i believe what the result of the, what this group did they came down and talked directly to everybody from members, anybody who would listen to them. it was a large group. and they said that the program was not executing, they had private capital ready to deploy in the riskiest tranche but they needed -- >> private investors. would the private investors, utility company purchasers and you will all have reason to be critical doe being too thorough in your application? >> that was basically, the theme was took a very long time. took four years for a two-year process. >> e-mail also says this
9:29 am
quote, darby at pg&e talked directly to obama the program challenges and bad situation puts them in. doe credibility is thin and currently trying to put off qualms with the hill until quote. i'm assuming darby, refers to peter darby, former ceo of pg and e, correct? >> yes, sir. >> didn't california recently pass a law requiring utilities to begin purchasing roo he knewable energy in 2014 and as much as 3% of any utility's energy had to be renewable by 2020? >> yes, sir. the relevant law was 20% and has been increased. >> isn't also the case securing a purchaser of energy to be produced at your project was imperative to doe's evaluation of brightsource's loan guaranty application? >> the brightsource and other loan guaranty recipients were critical. pg&e could not meet the rps standard. >> what would happen in the dough continue to drag out the due diligence?
9:30 am
>> pge and e was significant risk with the regulators because they wouldn't -- >> would they have had sanctions from the state if they didn't meet renewable energy standards. >> i believe so. >> brightsource was awarded conditional commitment in february 2010 and loan guaranty more than a year later in april 2011, correct? >> correct. >> after all that doe due diligence do you believe your doe loan was awarded on its merits or because of a conversation pg&e's ceo had with the president? >> i believe it was all done on its merits. it was very thorough process. it started back in 2006 actually. >> mr. ahern, the majority recent report refers to first solar's loan guaranty a scheme first characterized by failure to prove innovativeness. in march 2011, arizona governor brewer praised first solar projects stating presence in arizona has been
9:31 am
a great effort in driving our renewable energy sector forward. senator mccain's praised first solar's project. first solar board of directors since 2010. do you believe first solar's political connection had any bearing on the application process? >> absolutely not. >> do you believe that your doe loan application was awarded on its merits? >> yes, each of them were under a very rigorous detailed process. >> now members of congress including members of this committee sent nearly 500 letters to secretary chu in support of green technology projects in their districts both democrats and republicans. supported, abound solar's loan guaranty application. members of congress supported nevada's geothermal loan guaranty projects. mr. witsoe, mr. ahern, do you believe the members of congress were requesting special treatment of your
9:32 am
companies, mr. ahern. >> no i think. >> mr. witsoe. >> not to my knowledge. >> mr. chairman i don't really think that, so you think they were awarted on the merits, mr. witsoe? >> i know we used the loan to build our new technology. >> awarded on merits. >> double efficiency. >> on the merits? >> yes. >> on the merits? >> yes. >> okay, so mr. chairman, this broad scandal we're talking about, i don't, i don't know. i don't see it. i think we actually have a system here that is trying to work and we should stop beating each other up on it. but we should invite --, yeah i think it would be good to have the private equity people in here too. thanks very much. >> i thank the gentleman. put back up. e-mail the ranking member just cited, january 4, 2010, e-mail from mr. woolard to mr. rogers. mr. witsoe, do you have any communications with the department of energy where you referenced conversations with the president of the united states? >> no, not that know of.
9:33 am
>> mr. fairbank do you have any communications with the department of energy concerning your loan guaranty program where you referenced the president of the united states? >> none whatsoever. >> mr. ahern, do you have any? >> not to my knowledge. >> mr. nelson, do you have? >> no, sir. >> imagine that, you don't have any. read this paragraph, also, darby at pg&e talked debtly to obama, not the president, not the president of the united states, obama, about the program's challenges and the bad situation it puts him in, the president himself i assume that is referring to. doe, department of energy's credibility is thin. and i'll currently trying to put off communications with the hill until we talk. now if that's not political influence, i don't know what is. i mean think about this. you all, $15 billion program, right? you're all competing for some of that money. mr. nelson is not. amazing to me, mr. nelson, how did you do it? we have had now two hours of this shenanigans that went
9:34 am
on with this. how did the heck did you make it? how are you doing it? >> we have a group of committed private citizens who love renewable energy, see the future and have committed the funds to our management team and our technology. >> yeah. but you guys are actually, so mr. nelson doing it with private investment. he making it you device decided to compete for available dollars. do you think it is unfair advantage for brightsource to be able to talk directly to the white house, put up the other e-mail. put up other e-mail. the one, this one. put up one right here, where now, mr. woolard said under oath they did not send this, is that correct, mr. woolard? >> that's correct. >> just the fact, let me ask you, mr. witsoe. did you ask the people at the department of energy if they would proof read a letter that your chairman. board was thinking about sending to the white house chief of staff? did you guys do that. >> no, we did not. >> mr. fairbank, did you have a letter you sent to the department of energy people decide whether you get the loan or not, did
9:35 am
you have a letter that you asked them to prove read before your chairman sent it to the white house chief of staff? >> we didn't do anything like that. >> okay. mr. ahern, did you guys ask the department of energy to proof read any correspondence you were thinking about sending to the white house chief of staff, pretty important guy? >> the not to my knowledge. >> do you think that potentially put you at at competitive disadvantage when you're trying to secure loan garn i t program and help your company and help your projects? >> you know, my view, going you there the process we did, it wouldn't have mattered honestly. this was a rigorous -- >> but at least it raises the concern, if a potential competitor for a scarce amount of dollars is citing conversations with the president of the united states in correspondence with the people making the decision that at least raises some whistles, some alarm bells, right? >> i can understand the appearance. >> mr. fairbank, do you think that raises some concern? >> we received bismart san support -- >> that is not my question.
9:36 am
do you think correspondence from potential competitor for finite amount of money conversations with president of the united states, have a letter and make edits do you think that raises concern? >> i don't want to get involved with that. >> mr. witsoe, potentially maybe a taxpayer that might put mr. witsoe's company at a little disadvantage to mr. woolard's company, do you think so? >> i can only comment abound had a fair process. that is for -- >> mr. nelson did you think it puts you at a little competitive disadvantage? >> no, i don't. i think ultimately, i don't blame -- >> that is even better answer. that is even better answer. we're back to mr. mulvaney's point, we shouldn't have had the goofy program gone on in the first place. if you don't think -- you can make it. i didn't expect that answer, i'll be honest with you, mr. kucinich. i think that is even better. >> i don't blame any of these gentleman who i have a lot of respect for working within the rules to get
9:37 am
every competitive advantage they can including getting government money. the problem is not in their approach. the problem is in the rules. >> exactly correct. exactly correct. mr. woolard, i mean, here's what i want to know. so you didn't send the correspondence to the white house. what, what happened in the course of applying and going through this process, what took place that led you and your company to believe it was okay to ask the people who are deciding, hey, can you edit this because we want to send this from our chairman who is going to be the next commerce secretary to the white house chief of staff? >> mr. chairman, i don't, frankly, as i go back you there the last several years i don't remember what exactly transpired and would have made something okay or not. ultimately we decided it was not smart to send. it was inappropriate to send and did not, we wanted to make sure everything was
9:38 am
clearly done on its merits which i believe it was. that was ultimately the goal and we wanted to make sure it was very clear and unambiguous process. >> i want to be quick here i'm over time. i want to be clear. when an e-mail to the senior advisor to the secretary of energy uses this kind of language, also, darby, at pg -- not mr. darby, not the ceo, darby at pg&e talked directly to obama, when you use that kind of language, this is not, mr. secretary or mr. rogers, you worked for secretary chu, this is important thing, that the ceo of pg and e had ability to talk directly to the president of the united states, this is casual, hey, we talked to obama, this, this sound like, this was pretty common. this, you had some kind relationship with folks at white house where you can use this correspondence in people making decision about 1 poifr $6 billion of taxpayer money. >> actually i think it is important to read the language there and think it
9:39 am
is important that mr. darby was talking about the program. and at that point in time the doe program was not giving loans out. it was not functioning. the program itself, nothing to do with bright sources loan guaranty but the program was not getting loans done and it was putting, not just us but many of his projects at risk. >> let me ask you this. to the other e-mail the draft that you asked them to prove read. whose decision was -- proof read. has decision not to send the correspondence to mr. daley. >> in the end john bryson and i said it was not appropriate to do it. >> i'm curious from our panel, do you see any concern, confusion, misstatements possibly when you look at how the secretary of education, mr. chu, responded to my questions two months ago where i asked him directly, did the fact that john bryson at brightsource now the commerce secretary have
9:40 am
any influence on your decisions to grant brightsource a loan guaranty of 1.6 billion did he have any correspondence with while house and i specifically mentioned chief of staff, do you guys think there is any concern or confusion there, mr. nelson? do you think it was worth looking into? >> i think it is although i have no basis to believe it actually happened but if there is, if there is malfeasance in that regard i would look into it. >> mr. witsoe? >> i don't have any knowledge of it. >> i figure you guys take that. anyone else want to comment? >> i didn't think so. i didn't think so. we'll turn next to the gentleman from maryland, ranking member of the full committee. >> minute to mr. kucinich. >> i thank the gentleman. a couple things here very quickly. going back to the memo from mr. woolard to matt rogers, the paragraph reads, also darby at pge and talked directly to obama about program challenges and bad
9:41 am
situation it puts him in. now is this memo talking about the bad situation darby is put in or the bad situation president obama was put in? what do you -- >> it is clearly pg and e was in a bad situation. >> this is the no, saying the president was in bad situation. this is about pg&e and darby, right? >> right. i believe current with this public report out starting to discuss their bad situation relative to the loan guaranty. >> come up with a new aphorism that familiarity breeds investigation. i also want to thank my friend from this side of the aisle for exploring the mythologies of free-market capitalism. mr. couplings, thank you. >> mr. chairman, you announced your intention to hold a follow-up hearing and you committed to inviting governor schwarzenegger and i would invite you to consider asking both
9:42 am
wall street investors who wrote secretary chu and the former ceo. pg&e and ask them why they believe this project was so important. would you do that, sir? >> yeah, i will take that up with the chairman of the full committee committed to that. i will take that up with chairman issa. >> thank you very much. gentlemen, i have been listening to you very careful. i want to go back to something mr. nelson said. i believe all of you are honorable people, simply trying to carry out a business in a very competitive world. and as i sit here and i listen to you i am convinced that you, if i were i would feel like i was being beaten up on for simply trying to do what was best for your businesses. and while we're sitting here going through this, there are people all through this united states that both parties claim they want it see become many employed.
9:43 am
millions upon millions of them hoping and praying that they could get a job. and part of the stimulus bill was to try to get folks employed. i, for one with, believe it was quite effective in doing that. i don't give a damn what in says. i wish we had more jobs. with you one of the things that also was to do, i quote from the law, it was to provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health and to invest in transportation, environmental protection and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits. reason why i'm getting into this, one of the things we wanted to do was be innovative. i've said from many a podium, that while we may go through
9:44 am
our economic problems, we had to be and president said this. we have to be innovative, create jobs and be innovative, that is what the united states is all about. that is why we are the country that we are. mr. nelson, i applaud you for saying what you said. you said, you believe these guys. these are great guys basically what you were saying. maybe there is something wrong with the rules but these are great guys being competitive. i want to ask you, mr. ahern, talk about innovation with regard to stimulus and, jobs, can you talk about that with regard it your company? >> yes, i sure can. >> one way to think about it, these three project we're talking about power equivalent of an average sized nuclear plant. we built something here that's never been done anywhere in the world. in order to build solar plants of that size and magnitude we've had to solve
9:45 am
a lot of problems that had never been solved before. we now have, even though they're not completely constructed we have people colling from all over the world to see what we've done and we've begun negotiations, discussions with potential customers in markets all over the world. as those markets take shape, innovation and job creation at the u.s. for our business and for our value chain will accelerate because the creations of goods and services that are exported into these countries to meet their power needs will begin to open up and grow massively. really keyed by getting solar off the rooftop into big utility scale power plants. that did require and still does a solution of a lot of pressing problems. and can only be done, some of this can be done in a laboratory. some can only be done in the marketplace at the project
9:46 am
encountering and solving problems. so that is the big piece t directly created an average of 1200 construction jobs which is not trivial. it kept our factory and our supply chain here in the u.s. running in a stable fashion and will for several years. but the future i think is for, is the export and innovation that allows us to break into new markets and this has been instrumental. >> mr. ahern, i often say our children are our living messages that we send to a future we will never see. listening to what you just said, mr. chairman, i just ask i get two additional minutes like, mr. gunter? >> [inaudible]. >> you know, the things you're talking about are things, i take it will have spin-off into a time where we're probably dead. i mean in other words, what you're doing now, is that a fair statement?
9:47 am
>> absolutely. and you know, there are lots of, lots of follow-on effects to this. one thing with our success, we've put down a marker in the marketplace where mr. nelson and others are now competing to try to beat us. so you have a whole new wave of r&d opening. silicon valley is full of startup solar companies that were funded to try to beat first solar. that is literally the motto some of them have. that is really what our country has been all about, is competition and innovation spurred by success and by market opportunities. it's a global marketplace and the hub of the activity and innovation will always be in the united states. >> mr. woolard? >> in terms of innovation. >> and value of innovation.
9:48 am
we're talking all this stuff here today but the beg picture is innovation and jobs and how does united states stay competitive. you know we hear a lot of talk but we don't always walk the walk. what i'm saying to you guys on the front line, like in the trenches. like making decisions. difficult decisions. putting your butts on the line every day. i'm so glad that you're here and you are the innovators. i just wanted to just get an idea. while we're talking all this stuff, chinese are running, i mean, just moving rapidly and i just want to make sure we stay focused on what we need to stay focused on, that is the united states being number one. i don't want to be number two. i don't want to be number three. we're better than that sometimes i think we get mired in stuff that distracts us and get mired in a culture of mediocrity
9:49 am
and failure. i think we need to be very careful with that i think my time is up unfortunately. >> mr. nelson, want to be number one, want to be best company you possibly have? >> yes, sir. >> good. mr. woolard, real quick, the e-mail, the proofread e-mail you asked them to send and you didn't not send that to white house chief of staff, mr. daley. >> yes, sir. >> you clearly remember you did not send that e-mail? >> i would not have sent it. i believe it would have been from john? >> which is it he didn't send it? >> to the best of my knowledge he didn't send it. >> you know he didn't send it even though you asked him to prove reed it, and mr. bryson commerce secretary did not send it? >> yes, sir. >> did you communicate with white house in another fashion? did you send him another letter? did you call him? did you go to the white house and meet wit him about this issue? >> i. >> i never met with
9:50 am
mr. obama. >> do you know if mr. bryson while he was still ceo, did meet with, did he discuss this on a phone call, did he or you discuss this on a phone call with the white house chief of staff? >> i certainly never have. >> you did not? >> i did not? >> and mr. bryson to your knowledge? >> to the best of my knowledge. >> i want to be clear. gentlelady from new york is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i apologize. i've been chairing a subcommittee hearing from veterans' affairs, making sure heroes of this country who served our country in service and sacrifice are feting what they need and our hearing today was on prosthetic devices. i apologize for not being here for most of this morning's hearing. i want to just talk for a few minutes here, a few weeks back in march, secretary chu was here and talked to us about the loan guaranty program and he praised the work that was being done by the department of energy. three days after his appearance right in this
9:51 am
very room, the secretary put out a memo and the memo had to do with scientific integrity and he stated in the memo, he laid out a very commendable framework for the department of energy and specifically he stated, the department's mission relies on objective, reliable, accurate and accessible scientific and technical information. the department of energy is committed to insure agriculture of sign desk integrity. i think we can all agree that's a very laudable goal. in november of 2011 the department of energy responded to a letter from chairman issa and i believe he referenced that earlier while he was here with a explanation of department of energy's awareness of the risks associated with cadmium teluride. with that letter as their source they cited professor, vasillias my understanding i'm a nurse and spent most of my professional career in health care both with hospitals and as a nurse my
9:52 am
understanding that cadmium is highly toxic carcinogen and could pose serious public health risks if not handled properly. so, mr. ahern, my question is for you, at least this first question is, did you or first solar or anyone on first solar's behalf ever pay professor or any organization with him or he was affiliated with for research related to cadmium telluride? that is just a yes or no, sir. >> as you phrase that question i think the answer would be yes. >> thank you. now, on the screen you're going to see a slide here from a first solar powerpoint presentation related to the company's use of cadmium telluride. the highlighted portion of the slide states, and i think, is this the right slide? okay. highlighted portion of the slide states that a risk for
9:53 am
first solar is its reliance solely on the research of professor. my question to you, did you or anyone on first solar's behalf influence or recommend specific lines of research by the professor in any fashion? again that is yes or no? >> the answer is no but i think it is incomplete without further explanation. >> sure. go ahead. >> if you would allow me. professor fanakis was employed by brookhaven national laboratory which is charged by the department of energy with assessing the environmental health and safety aspects of all photovoltaic technologies. before we invested and even after in first solar brookhaven and the national renewable energy lab conducted their own independent assessment of the cadmium, use of cadmium. at some point after that he and brookhaven associated
9:54 am
with columbia university and form ad life cycle study center and we contributed money. i'm just not sure the entity, how it was done, to the columbia university center but not with influence on any of their specific programs or reserve. so that is how -- >> thank you. perhaps you could comment then, the risk here on this first slide, we are almost completely reliant on the vasilias and that is the professor and his team. so, go ahead. >> yeah, i think this might relate to the european activities. so, in the u.s. the independent assessment and validation work around cadmium had been done by brookhaven. in europe at one point, had not been any comparable, independent government agencies or work done to assess cadmium telluride
9:55 am
because it hadn't been introduced to the market. so we wanted to broaden the scope of research and of the relevant agencies in europe in conducting these kind of assessments on cadmium telluride. i believe that is what this is referring to. >> did you or anyone on first solar's behalf at any time request that this research undertaken by the professor be kept confidential or otherwise not disclosed? >> not time. >> on the screen you're going to see another slide, and i see i'm running out of time here. so i will will make this quick, mr. chairman. on the screen you will see another slide from the first solar presentation again related to a risk matrix, stating successful study, future studies establish cadmium telluride photovoltaic desired outcomes. it sound to me, like you're trying to state goals for your company and you're trying to really compromise
9:56 am
the objectivity of scientific reports. that is of course grave concern to us. given this evidence and this slide, mr. ahern, the department of energy's dedication to relying on credible an objective information seems to have been compromised by your campaign. and i would just ask whether you agree or disagree with that? >> i disagree with that these look like they're dated back in 2006. and if you would permit me to explain i think i can explain those. >> quickly. >> so the issue, we faced in europe was what will competitors likely do relative to first solar because we have the lowest cost technology and our area of vulnerability would have been around the use of cadmium and so i think these slides are going to, how do you anticipate a competitive attack and how do you he about the scientific community engaged properly to get cadmium telluride recognized as a proper technology in europe.
9:57 am
so it was back in that earlier time frame. >> thank you. and i yield back my time. >> i want to thank the gentlelady and i know she has to run. i have to run. i promised you guys we would be out by 12, we actually, i know this is hard to believe we'll be close. we have two left. mr. kelly agreed to chair for the final two questions from our members. he will go first and mr. kelly crows out the hearing. i want to thank all our witnesses for being here and, i mean making the trip and sacrifice the takes to come here and testify and i appreciate it. it has been a very good hearing. as the chairman indicated we plan to follow up with mr. chu and get some clarifications to his statements under oath back in march but i want to thank our witnesses. with that i will turn the chair over to mr. kelly and. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in the spirit of trying to stay on time, i listened to mr. cummings, the ranking member's comments about the integrity of the panel sitting here and you know really what we're here for today is to look into
9:58 am
whether or not the taxpayer money was spent wisely in this area. and these investments. and i guess i might agree it may not be any of your faults that these things didn't go like you wanted but i would question whether or not it is a failure in government once again, meddling, probably where it doesn't belong, trying to invest in the private sector and we got a shining example of mr. nelson what the american spirit of free epenterprize can do if you leave it alone, if the federal government would simply stay out of the way. for all taxpayers sitting here watching today, i'm sure they're not very pleased with the way we, the federal government invested the money in this case and in many cases in business and so clearly, maybe, not shame on you. shame on us for not doing our homework better, loaning money in areas where clearly the risk was very high and i guess, you know, i would wonder, for all you sitting there, if you had to invest
9:59 am
all that money out of your own pockets, whether you would have taken the same path. that is only a question you can answer. but this is the frustration we face here in the federal government and look after the taxpayer money trying to reduce this deficit and this spending problem that we have. we're asking right now, are a lot of people in washington are asking to take more of the taxpayer's money. i would challenge whether anybody watching this hearing today would agree that the federal government needs another dime of taxpayer money until it can learn to manage it better than what we've seen in this hearing today so that is just one man's opinion but i thank you all for joining us today and i yield back. >> thank you, doctor. mr. woolard, some of the questions have been was there any political influence that was involved in these loans. let me go to slide number 9.
10:00 am
this is from natalie schaeffer from brightsource to doug schultz at doe loan program. says the is at the white house, and vice president's office at 10:00 tomorrow. so why at the white house and why at the vp meeting and if it is not politically influenced? i mean why not just the doe? >> i believe, if, i'm trying to make sure i've got the dates accurate. this is in march -- >> march 8, 2011. >> yeah. so we had, whenever we had correspondence on the hill we talked to the members of the senate about policy. we talked to carol browner sometimes in the administration, white house about broader policy issues. >> so i mean you can see why, you know, these are your own e-mails. comes up, there is no political influence being shown. we're not trying to go that way but we'll go to the white house and then we'll meet with the vice president but this is really just a briefing just to keep them abreast of what is going on? >> we met with lindsey
10:01 am
graham and others as well. >> i understand that. people come to my office every day. in fact, mr. ahern's people were in tour office next week. really nice people. their concern was respect shown to you folks. i know this is like getting a root canal without novocaine. i understand that. but it comes down to, this is taxpayer money and because of what mr. mulvaney said, i'm general motors dealer. general motors has on gone through more scrutiny than anybody, i get told on sales force i would never buy a car from you guys again, you took a bailout. dealership didn't get the money. went through the corporation. the corporation -- i go through that all the time. mr. ahern i look at a man with your background. you are pretty astute when it comes to investing no question about that. what happened at the end of the summer in august, of 2011 that all of sudden the market started to drop? the shares for the company started to go after a cliff?
10:02 am
. . with a look at europe today and the subsidies. they don't have enough money to fund what they have been funding. the same thing is going to happen here. we are running out of money to do the things we think we should be doing so you run out of capital and there's no infusion. >> i agree with your overall point.
10:03 am
we have to be in markets that are not subsidy dependent. we are fortunate we have some time to lower costs but we need to move strongly into markets that to not require subsidies which is what we're doing now. >> the market, the energy market. i am from western pennsylvania and i know what is going on. around a bust of the country look at all the fossils that are accessible. you think the market -- the money we will be okay. the market is tanking and it is time for me to get out of here. i will take my marbles and run. understand why you do that. mr. nelson. one of the administration's top justifications of the 1705 loan program was not enough private
10:04 am
capital. what do you guys know that nobody else does? why didn't you go after that low hanging fruit? >> the bottom line is i believe in the long run it was economics, not government policy that will drive widespread adoption of green energy. our whole point of view is to reduce the cost of green energy so it is affordable for people. that is our approach. we change the economics and don't rely on funding. we have plenty of private funding to do what we need to do and we anticipate we will come up with a product that will be competitive so it will be widely demanded and people we want to do business with will accept us as a partner. >> your background, you folks are venture capitalists. you understand a little about investing and turning companies around and making them but again. >> my wife would say just a
10:05 am
little bit. >> i interested in that. there's an old saying. if the stock market rating will affect it and if it is market rating doesn't need subsidized at all. >> that is the bottom line. we talk about innovation. mr. cummings talked about innovation. funding innovation is an important part of the government's function but that is different. that fund is commercialization and commercialization should be a private function and it should happen with projects. when you have a project that isn't economically viable work costs substantially more than economic alternative is no amount of government subsidy will bring that into widespread adoption. >> another good investment. i wonder because i am looking at j. p. morgan chase and they will do and investigation because they have a $2 billion profit
10:06 am
and the people who come down our people who run $16 trillion to make invest its -- investments every day. of the shareholders are the american taxpayers they shouldn't be demanding a look into what we are doing with this money and where we are investing it and at the end of the day what do we come up with? we are done for the day. anything else? i want to thank you sincerely and i know how difficult it is. a good point, you can't follow this trend and be upset because people hold you responsible. i have the respect for what you do. very much too hard work and equity. it is difficult but when that money is put out and they dangle that carry the had viewed as a judas goat. it really does move hard. i appreciate your comments.
10:07 am
i read your background. i know what works and what doesn't work and i agree with this. science is the head of the markets. there will be a time some time in the future but right now is not the right time. so with that, this hearing is now adjourned. [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] >> in a few moments a couple political events beginning with a short news conference with presidential candidate mitt romney followed by vice president joe biden campaigning in ohio. a couple of live events to tell you about on c-span2. health and human services secretary kathleen cbs at georgetown --sebelius.
10:08 am
some catholics have criticized the university for inviting her to speak because of her role of the birth control issue. the secretary of state hillary clinton is at the chicago council on foreign relations to talk about global food security. mitt romney spoke with reporters in florida yesterday about the tone of the presidential campaign from jacksonville. this is 5 minutes. >> good afternoon. on the aircraft this morning i was asked by someone about whether i had seen the new york times article with regards to what was presumably being formed
10:09 am
to attack president obama and if i had a reaction to it. i had not seen the article at that point but i read the article on the aircraft. as i read the article and want to make it clear i repudiate that effort. it is the wrong course for a pac or campaign. i hope our campaign can be about the future and about issues and i have been disappointed in the president's campaign which is focused on character assassination. i think we are wiser to talk about the issues of the day and what we do to get america working and talk about respective records. so with that i certainly hope you get a chance to see our first ad that will come up in a couple days. will be a positive ad about the things i would do if i were president contrasting with the president's at which was a character assassination.
10:10 am
my own view is we can talk about a lot of things that the centerpiece of the campaign is clearly character assassination and the centerpiece of my campaign is my vision to get america working again and provide a brighter future for our kids. [inaudible] >> i will let you take a look at it but his efforts to look at my work is to try to characterize me in a way that isn't accurate. my effort at bain capital was designed to make the enterprises we invested in more successful. to grow them. there is this fiction that somehow you can be highly successful by stripping assets from enterprise and walking away with what of money and killing the enterprise. some people know how to do that but i don't. our approach was to make the enterprise more successful. the purpose was not to describe success or failure but i'm not a
10:11 am
good person or a good guy and i think the american people will know better in and that if they don't already. this should be a campaign about the future. who can get american on track to do a better job for our kids. it is about jobs and kids and having to campaign, focused on character assassination is one of the things i find offensive among many others in the description in the new york times. that is something i repudiate. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> i am not familiar with what i
10:12 am
said but i stand by what i said whatever it was with regards to taking a look at what was said. the focus of my campaign is on the future and who can do best to build an america that has great promise and great opportunity for fulfillment of dreams. i don't know what must win is because you have to win the number of states that get you over the electoral majority but florida is a state i want to win which george w. bush won. and given that it voted republican and democrat in the past it will be a battleground state and i hope to win this one and ohio and virginia and north carolina and a number of state should be in my column if i am going to be successful. as to which one is a must win or one that might underperform i
10:13 am
can't give you that but florida is a state i am counting on to be successful. thank you, guys. >> joe biden campaign in ohio, taking credit for improvements in the auto industry. this is about 45 minutes. >> how are you? good to see you all. what a beautiful day. as they say in the military if you have a seat take them. thank you so very much. of delight to be here. i want to thank you. where are you, louis? there you go.
10:14 am
how are you? thanks for being here. mr. mayer, where are you? there you are. thank you. david foster, thank you very much. i want to thank you. joe, it is great to be here. thank you for the opportunity. i have to at met to you coming into this shop and walking through the doors and coming out the side lost -- what --lot brings met -- what --lot brings me back to my youth. my dad moved to wilmington, delawarelot --lot brings
10:15 am
me back to my youth. my dad moved to wilmington, delaware and eventually got a job as an automobile manager for 35 years. he was a proud man. my dad used to say joey -- i am not making this up -- a job as a lot -- about a lot more than a paycheck. it is about dignity and self-respect and a sense of who you are and your place in the community. it is a lot more than just a paycheck. an awful lot of people in the valley. the wyoming valley and delaware valley, had their dignity stripped. somehow these other guys are not bad guys but they don't get that part. i don't think they get that part about what a job means. more than just a paycheck. it also reminds me going down to
10:16 am
my dad's dealership. one of the great things, always got a new car for the problem. didn't have enough money to own a car. i don't know how many times i would drive up the sidewalk just like chevrolet and walk in and say where is dad? i would go off with a nice looking car on the used car lots and usually folks my age got simonized. it is great to be standing here with chevy cruise behind me. let me tell you why i say that. there is a lot more than a great car. the car behind me represents pride. they represent pride, the men
10:17 am
and women feel. the pride they feel making a vehicle, making a vehicle. they not only sell them but making a vehicle they know is the best quality vehicle in the world. the other thing they don't understand, folks on the line in the dealerships leaders the folks in the part plant, it is not just about the line for the job you have. it is about whether or not you can have pride in what you are doing. pride in knowing you are making something that the world wants. pride in making quality. i remember the guys at the gm plant in delaware, before the plant shut down eight years ago they got the authority to shut the line down. remember how much pride they
10:18 am
had? they didn't want to shut the line down. they knew it meant their paycheck. they wanted to go out, things that were stamped made in delaware, made in that plant. they took pride in it. let me tell you something else. these vehicles, my dad and i were talking last night and talking about how my dad felt about products. my dad would be really happy. he has been gone nine years now. he is proud to bring them back in the automobile industry but to be smiling down right now, they finally sent me products. they sent me the best vehicle in the world. they sent me the most qualified vehicle in its class. i remember reading ten or 12 months ago, for the first time,
10:19 am
twenty-five years american consumers thought automobiles were the best automobiles in the world. i could see the grin on my father's face. they were making the best products in the world. the fact of the matter is win times are tough, it has always been done -- up and down. we were having dinner. and i said my dad used to have impression that the first kid in the neighborhood to learn the definition of the word recession was the son of an automobile man. the last kid in the neighborhood learned the definition of the word recovery was the son of an automobile man. i tell you what. you are getting sent the best products in the world now. i say hello, toyota. take a look.
10:20 am
take a look. [applause] >> take a look. the compact field the best selling automobile now. the first time in a long time. that is because of the quality of the product. they just added the second and third shift. 2300 new jobs. twenty-three hundred new jobs. [applause] >> 232,000 units sold. ladies and gentlemen, this story kind of represents the best example of the different philosophies the voters are going to have to choose from in this election. the obama economic philosophy that has fundamental underlying principle and i mean it sincerely. a fundamental underlying principle is we believe in
10:21 am
people. we believe in ordinary american people. if you give them a fair shot you give them an equal chance. they have never, never in american history let the country down or let themselves down. the underlying principle -- [applause] -- we don't think the guys at the top are the smart guys and they get everything. it works the other way around. that is the history of the valley. [applause] we understand the value of their role of workers in the success of business. not just being a -- business geniuses but the workers. they are the reason businesses succeed. the value of the middle class, we believe, the middle class is
10:22 am
how you define the success of the economy. we value engineers and workers on the line. the sales force. we have faith in you. we have pride in you. mitt romney loves you all. i don't doubt that a bit. mitt romney is a good decent man. in my experience he is a patriotic guy, a religious man with five beautiful kids with a beautiful bright wife but he has a fundamentally different view of how to make this country grow. the same view as the last administration. as long as you look out for the guy at the top and give them the most significant tax breaks you can, as long as you have whacks wall street's oversight and don't try to regulate. as long as you do those things everything will be okay. workers, small businesses plea for communities can fend for themselves because everything is going to be okay. it will come down from the top. it will work.
10:23 am
no regulation can give us more tax breaks because we will be the job creators. here is the crux of governor romney's argument. he doesn't argue he has foreign policy expertise or and-shoot -- he is not arguing that. he is saying he is best suited to the president of the united states because of his experience and expertise as a businessman. he is the most qualified guy to run the country because of his business experience. let's take a look at that. how does that experience -- he has been very successful. how does that experience sued him to be president of the united states of america. i will give you an example of
10:24 am
that experience to date in the course of this campaign and multiple examples of that experience. i will give you a number of items. i want to say one thing. in the 1990s there was a steel mill in kansas city, missouri. hasn't been in business since 1888. mitt romney's partners, fellow investors and eight years later the company went bankrupt. mitt romney and his partners added to that company, had $13 million when he took the company over. he added on top of that another $520 million. eight years later he was in debt half a billion dollars. 750 workers lost their jobs, health insurance at life-insurance and pension.
10:25 am
that happens sometimes. we know that. i have seen it in scranton and the steel mills and the valley. let's look at this. what is troubling about this story is the 30 executives they put in place to run the company walked away with $9 million. mitt romney and his investing partners walked away with $12 million. that is mitt romney economics. two sets of rules. one for wealthy investors and the other for everybody else. some of his defenders say it is not criticize to -- fair to criticize him for this. a point out is not the job of investors or bain capital or any other company. it is not their job to create jobs. it is their job to create wealth for the investors. that is true. their job to create wealth for
10:26 am
the investors. it creates jobs in the process, good. if it costs all the jobs in the process, okay. it is to make sure they're investors get a return on their investment. that is not the job of the president of the united states of america. that job is much bigger than that. [applause] the job of the president of the united states is help businessmen. businessmen and women large and small have to worry about everything from environmental control to whether the street is paved to all the things that affect their ability to do business. in our view the government's job is not to run the business but help them have an opportunity. that is the best infrastructure. a road to drive up to by the
10:27 am
automobile. imagine if our republican friends have a stopped us from our infrastructure bill. imagine if we were rebuilding the road and bridges in the valley that needed to be rebuilt how many thousands and thousands of jobs would be created and how much that would increase productivity of every business in the valley. government jobs to help people looking for jobs. to look out for the entire nation. not just one segment of the nation. that is the president's job. a good republican president and the democratic presidents have done that. ladies and gentlemen. [applause] the are not anti capitalist. it is the system that built the country. we hope investors do well but you can't build an economy of the future if the only people
10:28 am
who do well are the investors and everybody else pays the price. you can't do that. [applause] workers get laid off and companies get shut down and communities suffer from the effect when that happens. that is no way to build an economy. that is no way to create job creators. consequences. we were talking about when i moved to delaware. the heart and soul with more steel companies have 5,000 employees. when that shutdown, now it is being rebuilt. of the whole community collapsed and suffered. they have been rebuilding sins.
10:29 am
you are talking -- tough year in the valley. we are not stopping. at those times -- the job is to make sure -- [inaudible] -- at the expense of a company employee and everybody else you all end up paying for it. let me tell you how you pay for it. not just if you work there. people had nothing to do with the. we are not associated with it. successful business. the an end of missouri and businesses in the valley. taxpayers pay for it. why? why? they pay for this so-called success of the investor. here is why. because we don't let people go out and beg in the street. they have unemployment insurance. taxpayers pay for that. we don't let their kids who lost
10:30 am
their jobs of health care let their kids go without health care. we provide it. everybody pays for it. everybody pays for it. the taxpayers pay for it. by the way, those folks lost most of their pension but bought all of it. they didn't take care of the pensions. there is an outfit to. when the company went under, the house of cards fell. mitt romney's investment walked away with $12 million. loss ripples through the entire economy. companies -- because of what i said but one other thing. years ago congress set up the pension benefit guaranty corp. and thank god it did.
10:31 am
people said you can't do that. people wiped out. we set up the congress set up this corporation. independent corp.. all companies pay pennies on the hundred dollars into that pension, into that independent fund so when one company goes under that is independent federal agency is able to help make up for the loss and say you lost your old pension, this outfit will come in and make up for lost pension. it cost every company in the country when you made a company loaded with debt walkout with money and lose their pension.
10:32 am
because every body, every decent company pays into this fund. i love these guys when they say government had nothing to do with anything. there is a price. there is a price. a hidden price. the hidden price. they make $12 million. taxpayers and other healthy companies paid for the loss of all those jobs and the loss of those companies. we look at this a different way. let me give you an example of how we looked at those circumstances where companies are really in trouble. a whole company is impacted by it. tens of thousands of jobs and in the case of the automobile industry, million jobs. ford motor co. getting bail out
10:33 am
he said publicly if we hadn't rescued general motors and chrysler, board would have gone under. the supply chain would have dried up. we not only say -- we not only saved the jobs on the line but here is the deal. you remember. chrysler and gm on the verge of liquidation. million good jobs. good paying jobs. the industry have already lost 400,000 jobs the month before we took office. wasn't just the jobs on the line. with the dealership. the parts factory. the jobs on the supply chain. that doesn't count lost jobs across the street when the diner closed down when the assembly line close down or the barber shop for a movie theater or the store that gets boarded up in small towns like yours or the
10:34 am
one i lived in. all over the heartland communities are drying up. the president stepped up in spite of a lot of skepticism. even some of our own allies and folks in our own party were in sure it was worth rescuing. the industry that build the middle class. mitt romney made it clear what he would do if he were president. he wrote an op-ed in the new york times under the title that the trade go bankrupt. he said if general motors and chrysler get the bailout their chief executive asked for you can kiss the automobile industry goodbye. it won't happen overnight he said but, quote, it's the guys will be virtually guaranteed. the underlying premise he now argues was the government didn't
10:35 am
have to do this. private equity would come in. they would lend them money to restructure. they lend them to do that. the market would help them. would quote back lift them out. ladies and gentlemen, i don't know any serious person at the time who thought that was going to happen. did you see mitt romney's company saying we want to invest? get arrested on this deal? fortunately the president did not take mitt romney's advice. [applause] fortunately the president that on american ingenuity -- ingenuity and american
10:36 am
productivity. recent report by the boston consultant points out american workers are three times as productive as chinese workers and the most productive workers in the world. that is a fact. [applause] so the president made a bet on management to reorganize because he had faith in what workers would do with the reorganization. the president was clear minded about this. he doesn't fuzz things up. he knew in order to do this a lot of people would take some tough medicine. he let those decisions be made by general motors and chrysler. would happen? workers, managers and bond holders, everybody got hit. if you set it up right we will step in and help the. we did. in the process by state is the
10:37 am
highest per-capita in america. we have no automobile industry. we have no industry. chrysler plant at one point over five thousand people. general motors close to 6,000, all gone. guess what. i don't know anybody with any serious doubt that these companies wouldn't be around today if not for the president's leadership. everybody. the president said to distressed company everybody is in on the deal. gm and chrysler had to make tough decisions. they shed some dealerships. a closed plants. in my own state autoworkers' lost their jobs, ahead of a lot of them. bondholders and so-called big guys lost money too. but everybody was in on the deal. everybody played by the same
10:38 am
rules. rich guys it get treated differently than the 4 guys. everybody. in the process as it was, we stopped the bleeding. instead of shutting 400,000 jobs and losing another million we have added out of organizations, 200,000 new jobs and counting. and counting. chrysler is the fastest-growing automobilemaker in the nation and is adding dealerships as we speak. [applause] we talk about restructuring. giving everyone a fighting chance. giving everyone a fair deal. getting everyone on the same page. mitt romney talks about restructuring. we know this isn't painless.
10:39 am
we are not out there saying we can rescue the economy with no pain. we inherited a god awful situation. the worst recession in the history of america short of a depression. nobody is sugarcoating this. but look. the fundamental difference when mitt romney talks about restructuring the economy, it is fundamentally about making money for investors even if workers in the middle class get wiped out. sometimes it works that they don't get wiped out. that is just coincidental when that happens because first and foremost it is about making investors money. a return on their investment and usually a very large return on their investment. there are two different philosophies. mitt romney seems to want to pull away now. kind of amazing. now saying he was in cleveland a couple weeks ago.
10:40 am
i am going to quote him. if i didn't quote him i know you would think i was making this up. i am going to quote him. he said, quote, i will take a lot of credit for the fact that the industry has come back. by the way, i will take a lot of credit for a man having landed on the moon because i was in school and rooted for it. that is what he said. look, folks. the president and i are completely confident in letting you judge who brought the automobile industry back. how president views restoring the economy and the example of the automobile industry and how mitt romney views restoring the economy in the example of how we
10:41 am
work as an investor are two cautionary tales. let you judge which economic philosophy will bring back the valley. which economic philosophy is going to bring back america. which economic philosophy is going to rebuild the middle class. when the middle class does well the poor have a chance and the rich do very well as they should. no problem. no problem. [applause] . i said it yesterday and i will say it more calmly today. identities folks don't understand this. i can out of scranton with a lunch bucket in my hand.
10:42 am
just a normal middle-class kid with a father with a high school education. the thing that i resent i have to tell you is a lot of mitt romney supporters say we are engaging in class in thenvy . wealth and the. climb on and dad didn't. wealth and the. climb on and dad didn't dream of having a millionaire or one of their kids . climb on and dad didn't dream of having a millionaire or one of their kids could invent the new thing? what do they think we think? what do they think makes us tick? do you know anybody is grew up with in your neighborhood that doesn't dream the biggest dreams
10:43 am
and the world for their kids? do you know anybody who says i will just be satisfied if my kid gets the same house i have? like everybody else, like the rich guys. we dream. we have aspirations. that go well beyond the minimum we have a right to expect. the right to expect we can live in a safe neighborhood. that we can own a home and not rent a home. the right to expect we can send our kids to a good school where they can learn enough to qualify to go to college and if they qualify we will be able to help send them to college. and if our parents are in trouble that we can maybe help our parents and hope someday we won't have to ask our kids to help us. that is not our ceiling. that is our floor. that is not the end of our aspiration. that is what we demand.
10:44 am
[applause] i get tired of being called middle-class joe like i am bold joe and i don't dream. come on. book. you are t . you are the ones that built this country. this bally built this country. folks like my folks and your folks build this country. is your community built one at a time because we know we give you a fighting chance and you never let your community down and we are going to insist everyone get a fair shot and a fair shake and everyone will play by the same rules because that is the way this country is built and that is how we will
10:45 am
build it again. god bless you all and may god protect our troops. thank you. [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪
10:46 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
10:47 am
♪ ♪ ♪
10:48 am
♪ ♪ ♪
10:49 am
♪ ♪ ♪
10:50 am
♪ ♪ ♪
10:51 am
♪ ♪ ♪
10:52 am
♪ ♪ ♪
10:53 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
10:54 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
10:55 am
♪ ♪ ♪
10:56 am
10:57 am
♪ ♪ ♪
10:58 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
10:59 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
11:00 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
11:01 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
11:02 am
♪ ♪ ♪ >> from vice president joe biden yesterday lied to georgetown university this morning for remarks from health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius. she will be speaking at an awards ceremony for georgetown grad students at the university public policy poll. current parents has been with criticism.
11:03 am
the catholic doctorate in some obama administration policies. the university has established a protest area outside the building in which the speech will take place. this is just about getting underway. we will probably see a procession of secretary sebelius. and it is just getting started. this is live coverage on c-span2. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
11:04 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
11:05 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
11:06 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
11:07 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
11:08 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
11:09 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
11:10 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
11:11 am
♪ ♪ ♪ [inaudible conversations] >> please be seated.
11:12 am
good morning. welcome to the 2012 georgetown public policies tropaia ceremony. my name is edward mondher me and i'm 15 of the public policy institute. [applause] thanks mott, i appreciate the applause. what a great day to be here at georgetown. today we get the opportunity to honor our graduates, to recognize the special comp is men's from the part of our students, our alumni and our faculty and to hear from one of the elite forces and health policy in our country, health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius. [cheers and applause. this day is one that our
11:13 am
graduates, parents, spouses and their partners and their families have worked hard to get too and i want to congratulate all of you for your accomplishments. please, let's give them a round of applause. [applause] [applause] today's commencement marks the end of your education here at georgetown. our distinguished faculty have lectured you, to did you, mentored you and some might say hector q. but you are leaving here with cutting-edge tools, a deep appreciation for the complexity and the importance of policy analysis and an ability to not only understand our world but to make it better. please join me in thanking the faculty, many of whom are here with us today, for their dedication. [applause]
11:14 am
the staff also deserves recognition for their help with everything from advising to career services to webpage, our new webpage to today's events. they make us run. please join me in thanking them for all their hard work. [applause] for those of you who don't know, tropaia comes from the greek word. seems fitting at our tropaia ceremony to recognize some outstanding members of the community. first, two of our most distinguished students were chosen by their classmates to speak on their behalf as part of the program. i would like to recognize rachel thomas who will speak on behalf of the masters of public and management students. rachel. [applause]
11:15 am
and chris schreck who will speak on behalf of the masters of public policy students. [applause] second, each year we give an award to an outstanding member of our alumni community. please join me in congratulating this year's campbell award winner. [applause] finally, i would iysoll like to recognize the gppi faculty member who won the 2012 whittington award, our brother shawnee. [applause] barbara is a teacher's teacher. she goes above and beyond in her role as a teacher, a mentor and an adviser for our students. she has demonstrated that fact. she has won this award about a dozen times now. i think we will have to rename
11:16 am
it the shawnee award and give it to somebody else. anyway barbara thank you for your dedication and your leadership with our students. but the most important award today goes to the graduates of the 2012 class. today's commencement for them marks a beginning, a new chapter in their lives moving forward. through a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication, which many of you did while also holding full-time or part-time jobs. [applause] give yourself a hand, right on. you are earning today's degree. today as you leave gppi remember you always be part of the gppi family. with family there to support you as you move through your career and a family that needs you to help support the next generation of students along the path. just as our lungs that helps you. please come back and visit and continue to be part of our
11:17 am
growing community. help us build a school of public policy that we all can be proud of and remember that with this great day where we celebrate all of your credible accomplishments, that with them also comes great responsibility. because you have raised your hand. you have raised your hand by wanting to become a policy leader. you have volunteered to help, to lead, to tackle the many problems that we face, to be part of finding the solution we so desperately need both here at home and around the globe. you were stepping into the public light at a particularly challenging time. it is a time of seemingly limitless demands with very limited resources. at time of strong and strident opinions of which is the best way forward. a time where the role of government and the very nature of our obligations to each other are under intense debate but we
11:18 am
simply a collection of individuals or members of the community with obligations and responsibilities to each other. we have given you the skills you will need to build successful careers. we have also prepared to make a real difference. you came to us many smart and talented men and women. you will leave here today ready to understand, confront and even change the world in your image. now more than ever, your country and indeed the world needs you to engage and help inform the debate about our future. your generation can end global poverty, eradicate malaria and aids, educate all of our children for success and the rain of terrorism. make no mistake, the road ahead will not be easy. history tells us that those who work for change can often be greeted with skepticism, scorn and even the abuse.
11:19 am
such work in a democracy will move forward only and frustrating business starts and come along only after long and vigorous debate and sometimes even heated argument. but don't let that deter you from action. where edmund burke is often credited with saying all that is necessary for the crimes that evil, that good men do nothing. it is a tall order, but i have every confidence that you are up to the task and that as a result our greatness lies ahead of us and not just in the past. as uridine i am truly impressed with your exceptional talent, your commitment to making the world a better place through public service. whether you are continuing that service in the military, and the inspector general's offices or our federal agencies are starting fresh that the federal government and nonprofit posts that you leave here to take, you embody the jesuit spirit of georgetown in your commitment, your dedication to to in service
11:20 am
to others. we are honored to have played a role in educating and shaping you as you commence your journey of service. congratulations again, class of 2012. [applause] today we are very fortunate to have the secretary of the department of health and human services, kathleen sibelius, with us to deliver our 2012 keynote address. the former state legislator and insurance commissioner, she has served two terms as governor of kansas before she was nominated by president obama the lead hhs in 2009. the breadth of her responsibilities in this world is truly difficult to comprehend. she is responsible for providing vital human services over 300 million americans, no small task. she works everyday to improve access to health care for a nation's children and elderly and implement the affordable
11:21 am
care at. she is responsible for working with doctors and hospitals to put in place policies designed to slow the growth of health care health care costs in this country. ban the cost curve as we call it. as a result of this effort she is leading the charge to stamp out fraud within the health care industry, saving programs like medicare, funds that they so desperately need. secretary sebelius is also responsible for the nation's emergency health care response during crises and natural disasters, including the earthquakes, the earthquake in haiti, the goal of oil spill, the tornado in joplin missouri. last year she was nominated, named the 13th most powerful woman in the world by "forbes" magazine. no doubt because like you, she has a masters in public administration. she has spent a lifetime in public service and secretary sebelius has truly shaped the future of health care in our country and public policy. please join me in welcoming the
11:22 am
secretary of health and human services, kathleen sebelius. [applause] [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you, thank you. [applause] if you think that counts for your exercise for today, it doesn't. members of the faculty, family, friends, graduates, to be announced award winners, the student leaders and again, the graduates. it really is my honor to be with you this morning and i want to start by saying congratulations. last weekend, on mother's day, i was at the university of kansas when our younger son received
11:23 am
his master's degree, so why know something about the hard work that all of you have been doing and the effort that got you here today. and i also have long and strong ties to the school. i married a georgetown law grad. i i am a joy mom, the mother of a double georgetown graduate. so in my family, it comes second only to rock chalk jayhawk. and i was really delighted to be invited to speak to you, the public policy graduates. having spent my entire life in public service.
11:24 am
[inaudible conversations] i have spent my entire life in public service. [applause] [applause] and what i know is that you have chosen the most challenging, frustrating, exciting consequential and rewarding career there is. today i want to just share a few lessons that i learned along the way and hopefully they will be useful as you begin your careers. i started out as an unpaid volunteer. my dad got into politics when i was five. so for most of my childhood, i spent the days in the fall putting up yard signs and going door to door. actually, the more accurate term might be forced labor. [laughter] there wasn't a lot of choice in that matter. it was only later that i discovered lots of families were
11:25 am
going to football games and picnics while i was attending political rallies. but what i got from those fall outings and from our conversations around the dinner table was a deep belief in the value of public service and throughout my career, that unwavering belief that carried me to my highest point and has gotten me through my lowest. i know you graduates share that belief. if you didn't, you wouldn't be here today. you wouldn't have suffered through regression analysis. you wouldn't have passed out bigger salaries in other fields. i first hope for you today is that you hold onto that commitment to work for the common good, and if you let that focus guide you, he will never go off course. now i've learned the second lesson when i came to washington in the late 60's to attend trinity college. those were tumultuous days in our nations history and d.c. was right in the middle of it. during my college years, the
11:26 am
draft was reinstated and the government was ramping up the war in vietnam. racial tensions throughout this country that had been smoldering erupted after the assassination of martin luther king jr., and i watched neighborhoods in d.c., including those close to my college, deeper into the ground. what was striking at that time is how young people were driving that national debate. we had a feeling that not just young people could change the world, but that we had to change the world. robert kennedy used to talk about young people in his speeches and one of the most famous he made to young south african leaders as he said, the world demands the qualities of youth, not a time in life, but a state of mind, a temper, a will, quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over
11:27 am
timidity of the appetite for adventure over the life of -- as you said about your careers you may find yourself tempted to defer to those who were older or have more experience. i want to make it clear on behalf of the parents in the audience, even though we may not know who snooki is or why everyone is so angry about her, we do have some wisdom to share. you still need to call your mom. [applause] in fact after the ceremony and i hope you all spend a little time thinking your parents, your teachers, your mentors, your friends and your supporters who helped you on this journey to this graduation day. but the truth is, wisdom isn't the only thing that comes with age. growing older can also bring complacency and cautiousness. now i know georgetown has not
11:28 am
trained you to be on the sidelines. you have studied under leading policymakers. you have proven your skills not just on tests and papers that through real-world programs like project honduras. so my second piece of advice is, don't wait. go ahead and do it yourself, because if you don't, you might -- it might never happen. now i wish i had a clear roadmap of exactly how to do that, but the truth is career paths are usually only visible looking backward, like the tracks we make in the snow. i am a feminist, who learned that learns that girls can do anything i attending all girls schools where we had to do everything. i ended up in kansas because that is where my husband grew up. i began my political career because our part-time legislature was a better fit for me as a mother within two young children than the 60 hour week job i had. i moved along and i had
11:29 am
opportunities to learn new skills and new subject areas. i started working in corrections and later i worked on everything from education to children and family issues to the budget, two jobs and economic development to rural challenges. but one of the issues that kept coming back was health care. culminating in my current position. now i have the extraordinary opportunity to help implement historic legislation that is finally, after seven decades of failed debate in the united states, ensuring that all americans have access to affordable health coverage. [applause] now i would have never been here today if i hadn't taken some chances, and for me what stands out is a big risk, which was my run for statewide office in
11:30 am
kansas as insurance commissioner. now the indicators were not promising. the statewide office had never in history the state been held by a woman or a democrat. the three previous commissioners had close ties to the insurance industry and it served a combined 50 years. it was 1994, when running for office as a democrat was a basic of copeland of wearing a georgetown jersey in the syracuse section. [laughter] but i went for it and i won. i ended up not only getting an incredible opportunity to make a difference, but also gaining probably the most invaluable experience for the job i have now. who knew? all of few are going to face similar choices in your careers. it might be taking a more senior position at a much smaller organization. it might be doing the work you do so well but moving abroad to do it. it might be going from running a
11:31 am
campaign to becoming a candidate, and when you do encounter those opportunities, i encourage you to take a deep breath and sees them. and don't let your critics or your opponents define who you are or what you do or why you do it. believe in yourself and your abilities, and don't be afraid to express those beliefs. that brings me to the final lesson i want to leave with you today which is, no matter what path you choose and you have heard the dean montgomery rsa this, it's going to be hard. ultimately public policy is about making difficult choices, and today there are very serious debates underway about the direction of our country, debates about the size and the role of government, about america's role as a global economic and military leader, about the moral and economic imperative of providing health care to all of our citizens. people have deeply held beliefs on all sides of these
11:32 am
discussions and view as public policy leaders, will be called on to help move these debates forward. these aren't questions with quick or easy answers. when i was in junior high, john fitzgerald kennedy was running for president. i wasn't old enough to vote but it is really the first national campaign i really remember. some of them senator kennedy's opponents attacked him for his religion, suggesting that electing the first catholic residents would undermine the separation of church and state, a fundamental principle in our unique democracy. now the fuhrer over the course of the campaign grew so loud that senator kennedy chose to deliver a speech about his beliefs just seven weeks before the november election. in his talk to protestant ministers, kennedy talked about his vision of religion and the public square. and he said he believed in an
11:33 am
america, and i quote, where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials, and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against us all. senator kennedy was elected president of the united states on november 8, 1960 and here we are more than 50 years later, and that conversation about the intersection of our nations long tradition of religious freedom, with policy decisions in the public square, continues. contributing to these debates will require more than the quantitative skills you have learned that georgetown. it requires the ethical skills you have honed, the ability to weigh different views, to see issues from others' points of view and in the end, to be chewed to your own moral
11:34 am
compass. these debates can also be contentious, but that is the strength of our country, not a weakness. some countries around the world it is much easier to make public policy. a leader to fill it -- delivers an edict and it goes into effect. there is no debate, no press, no criticism, no second-guessing. our system is messier, slower, more frustrating and far better, and it almost always ends in compromise. the conversations can be painful, but it is through this process that conversation in compromise that we actually move forward, together, step-by-step, toward that more perfect union. now looking out on all of you this morning, i feel very optimistic about the future of that union. if you hold on to your idealism, resist complacency, take chances
11:35 am
and engage thoughtfully with difficult challenges of our time, you will succeed and through you, we will succeed. i can't wait to see what you can accomplish. congratulations again and best of luck. [applause] [applause] [applause] >> thank you for those inspiring remarks met him secretary. now i would like to introduce julia, r2 thousand 12 tropaia chair, one of today's graduates. julia was elected by her classmates last spring. >> we will be leaving the ceremony at this points to talk
11:36 am
about more of our programming coming up later today. we have life programming with secretary of state hillary clinton. she is scheduled to address a symposium on global agriculture and food safety. this is part of the chicago council on foreign relations world economics forum. you can watch that live beginning at 4:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span2. we have more from the road to the white house tomorrow and senator marco rubio will speak at a fund-raising dinner in south carolina. >> even though job opportunities are scarce in this economy, it's not for nothing that you have
11:37 am
spent this time preparing. jerry falwell senior long ago served that you don't determine a man's greatness by his talent or wealth as the world does, but rather by what it takes to discourage him. america needs your talent and skills. >> don't accept somebody else's construction of the way things ought to be. it is up to you to right wrongs and it is up to you to point out injustice. it is up to you to hold the system accountable. sometimes offended entirely. it is up to you to stand up, to be heard, to march, to organize, to vote. we pretend to sit back and watch. >> president obama and that romney delivered commencement addresses in the past few days and you can watch them on line anytime at the c-span video library and over the next few weeks look for other commencement addresses on the c-span networks which you can clip and share at library.
11:38 am
>> house republicans continue to criticize the energy department for backing loans for alternative energy products. the program became well-known following the bankruptcy of solar company solyndra which received a $528 million federal loan. this week the house subcommittee on stimulus spending looked at other green energy companies receiving government support hearing testimony from the ceos of those companies. this is about two and a half hours. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> let me thank all of our witnesses for being here. you know how this works, you have to listen to us give a
11:39 am
bunch of speeches before we get to your and testimony so bear with us and we will get to as quickly as we can. before we do opening statement i would ask unanimous consent that our colleague from south carolina mr. mulvaney be allowed to participate in today's hearing. without objection, so ordered. we will start with opening statements and we anticipate the chairman from the full committee and the ranking member of the full committee will join us so we'll probably have for opening statements. president obama's 2000 stimulus directed nearly $90 billion in taxpayer funds toward green initiatives. the president told amec and people that green jobs would be a major force, not just for environmental conversation but for economic recovery as well. the president said that we will harness the sun and the wind and the soil to fuel our cars and run of factors and he promised her country would create millions of green jobs, which would help us compete in the global economy. however three years and this gamble available evidence demonstrates these efforts have wasted vast amounts of taxpayer money and have failed to achieve
11:40 am
the stated goals. today's hearing is a continuation of the work done by the full committee and the subcommittee seeking to ensure that the american people know how their money is being spent. for the companies testifying before the subcommittee today, abound solar, inc. geothermal first solar, inc. and bright source received $5 billion in loan guarantees from the department of energy. one third of the entire loan guarantee portfolio. i want to thank each of these companies for testifying today and i know you had to travel a great distance so we appreciate you being here. alternative energy certainly is a place in our economy and we hope that all these companies succeed but the best way to get cheap energy to american consumers is to let the market forces work, not to allow bureaucrats in washington to select who wins and who loses. i also want to thank are there witnesses for appearing today, especially mr. nelson the ceo of solar 3-d. billions of taxpayer dollars are not necessary to advance green
11:41 am
technology. the opana administrations said that it was just one bad apple and the rest of the portfolio with strong. it is becoming increasingly clear that salanter was just the tip of the iceberg in a sea of taxpayer risk. at too often is as the ministries and takes liberties with the american people's money based on the broad assumption that government knows best. today it's about understanding what happens when the federal government tries to play with venture capital and with that i would yield to the gentleman from ohio my good friend from cleveland, mr. kucinich. >> thank you very much and good morning mr. chairman. members of the committee and to our guests who are testifying in a moment. i am grateful for today's hearing because i think it will serve to dispel some misconceptions about the department of energy's loan guarantee program and president obama's energy agenda. recognizing energy independence is critical to america's future congress greeted the loan guarantee program in 2009 to
11:42 am
support innovative energy projects that involve more risk than is typical for project and corporate financing. my friends in the majority would have you believe that the well publicized bankruptcies and the power of solyndra and turned to change the department of energy's loan guarantee portfolio. in reality the department of energy 1705 loan guarantee portfolio program is doing better than congress expected when it established the program. when congress created the 1705 probe ram, we appropriated about $2.47 billion in credit subsidy costs as an insurance fund to cover potential losses stemming from defaults by companies and projects preceding loan guarantees. that means congress prepared for losses to reach about 15% of total loan guarantees provided by the program. in reality actual losses are about 3%. that means the department of energy's rigorous and thorough due diligence process for choosing applicants resulted in safer choices than congress had
11:43 am
anticipated. my friend on the other side of al the aisle have singled out or scrutiny federal support for renewable energy technologies. i know that they have not raised questions about the last 100 years of subsidies to promote the development of fossil fuel technology, and i have not heard of any committee investigation into subsidies for the nuclear energy industry either. even though in february of 2010, a single nuclear project received $8.33 billion in subsidies. now investing in energy independence is critical to america's national security its economic growth and future job creation. if we fail to support these emerging renewable energy technologies, our country will fall behind countries like germany and china. if anything, we do not do enough for renewable energy especially
11:44 am
when compared to support for oil and gas. i have got a chart that i would like to put up if we can do that. this chart attached to my statement mr. chairman shows how much greater is the ongoing support for the oil and gas industry, compared with renewable energy technology. so what i'm wondering is why my friends have devoted for hearings including today's, to criticize renewable energy companies who receive federal support as congress intended in a well-managed program and has returned better results than congress anticipated. i think we should help to preserve america's leadership in the technology that will only become more important, not less, the future impending the reputation of the companies before the television companies will not be productive. with that i want to thank my friends for calling this hearing and i yield back the balance of my time. >> anyone wish to make an opening statement on the majority side?
11:45 am
our chairman is not with us so we will proceed with members who may have seven days to send opening statements. i want to welcome our panel of witnesses. we first want to introduce mr. james nelson, the president and ceo ceo of solar 3-dy incorporated.yñyñyñyñ also mr. gregoryyñ kats who is ñ president of capital-e and mr. craig witsoe the president ceyño of abound solar, inc. andñ mr. brian fairbank, president and ceyñoyñ of nevada gso -- geothermalyñ power and mr. michl ahearn is the chairman of the board at first solar and thexóxó president and ceo of bright sourcexó energy. xnyñyñyñyñyñqy
11:46 am
i have something i have to be two at 12:00 so we will go right down the line. i trust the good gentleman from ohio. we will go right down the line and start with mr. nelson. you will get your five minutes and then we will go through and get the question so mr. nelson you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. green energy policy includes two parts, support for basic research with the aim of developing new green energy technologies and two is making loan guarantees to promote the adoption of green energy technologies, supporting the search is important role of
11:47 am
government but the loan guarantee program is a wasteful mistake as it does not work. having spent bozza mike for developing strategy for companies large and small, i've learned one important thing and that is that it is economics not government policy that drives behavior. it is economics not government policy that will drive enthusiastic adoption of green and she. my company is a technology developer company in santa barbara california. we are developing advanced technology and new three-dimensional solar cells that will reduce the cost of solar energy by about 50%. our objective is similar to that of solyndra. to develop a new solar technology that can change the economics of the industry however our manner of execution is very different. we have been supported by private investment in our company since the establishment in august of 2010. we are not depending or dependent on government funding. we certainly do not expect such will be necessary to facilitate commercialization of our new
11:48 am
technology. our go to market strategy will partner with a company that has been known how to manufacture products similar to ours. while the 3-d solar sail is a unique concept concept or engineering approach has been to design a product with existing equipment methods and facilities in mind. we are able to pay the university of california for the use of higher-level bass for our additional work in designing our new technology. these measures keep our capital cost low. we keep our staff lean and hiring key personnel for full-time work and then we use consultants to keep our operating costs low. by contrast, solyndra's unique loan guarantee that there were many problems that happen as a result of their strategy. one is that they had to use all new machines and the second one as they built a brand-new 300,000 square-foot facility complete with whistling robots.
11:49 am
three is that they, even when the award was granted it was clear that their operations were failing. and finally it was ported the bonuses were paid to the executives despite the poor performance. the department of energy's loan guarantee to send to solyndra was an embarrassing example of the current system. the investment was undoubtedly scrutinized or objected by a nearby venture capitalist. and to identify good investments by government committees. there is no urgent need for the u.s. to pass a the product marks it. the decision to fund solyndra attempt to commercialize its not stand up to reason. our politics trump reason. the bureaucrats awarding the financial aid will beholden to their political supervisors who promised americans they would fix the u.s. companies by creating jobs, something that cannot possibly happen in any timeframe worthy of
11:50 am
consideration. the price of solyndra sosnik billiar was borne by the american people. so at these current levels of elements our company has a much better chance than solyndra never dead of creating a game-changing technology. would have reached this point out of principles of free enterprise at risk to return. without the use of government aid. in the end we will become commercial for less than $10 million, with the hope of creating technology that will change the landscape of solar energy. it will be an example of the amazing economic system at work. the government has a legitimate role in supporting research. they reward small tranches of basic research and development alternative energy and will receive $250 million in funding this year, which is only half of what we lost on the cylinder project alone. this program and should be expanded. >> objective is to fund innovative economics of
11:51 am
alternative energy which is ultimately the only path to widespread adoption of clean energy. the loan guarantee 0-gram should be retired permanently and a path to commercialization requires discipline and grit. it is rarely aided and often impeded by government involvement. our government should trust the free market forces that have made america great. ultimately our country's investment in renewable power must help us become more globally competitive. job creation and other ancillary goals are byproducts of renewable energy growth and are worthy objectives but simply come as a result of successful businesses. the most important to reason to invest is reduced power generation or country. the desire for more jobs is a political and social desire not a business desire. i have reviewed -- not as simple review of the doe web site
11:52 am
reveals that $16.6 billion has been put out in guarantees in the 1705 program. it has created 2400 jobs. that $6.3 million per permanent job. it is not an economic program. businesses are not made successful by more jobs. people get jobs by being competitive in a free enterprise system, by preparing themselves to be employed and to be better than the existing candidates. renewable energy should be the same, by being great and productive in renewable energy. we need to produce the best products for the lowest price in the world. and that means that we need to get that are operationally to the discipline of the free enterprise system. >> thank you mr. nelson. mr. kats you are recognized. >> thank you very much. thank you very much for the
11:53 am
opportuniopportuni ties become these important issues today. this hearing addresses several questions and one is the loan guarantee program success financially specifically the program meets or fails to meet its financial except as and two the program successful -- and specifically does it me or fail to make a justice including strengthening job creation security and competitiveness. the loan program has three parts, two of which were established in the george w. bush administration and one of which was established in the obama administration. section 1705 of the loan program was established at the 2009 american reinvestment and recovery act as part of a far larger probe and to accelerate the u.s. employment in response to the 2008/2009 economic downturn. federal loan guarantees, like 1705, are established to enable
11:54 am
financing of projects that would otherwise probably not receive financial funding and like other banking government commercial lending probe ramps assumes the rate is normal as expected. in establishing 1705 loan guarantee program, for example the office of management and budget predicts congress budgeted $2.47 billion to cover expected defaults or partial defaults. defaults and someone after some funds are recouped from both parties are likely to net out to about 300 to $400 million. this is roughly 2% of the amount guaranteed. if there are no more losses than the program would have to be viewed as a resounding success. while it is easy and hindsight to criticize the doe loan program, the only fair basis for judging success or failure has led to the program achieved in its financial objectives. review of the portfolio suggest
11:55 am
total defaults are ultimately likely to be in the range of 400 to $800 million or up out one quarter of the amount projected and budgeted. based on a reasonable assessment of outstanding portfolio financial profile and risk, the doe loan program can only be viewed as a big success. there are other objectives including security. the army and navy both have netzero programs aimed at reducing energy use on military bases with the navy targeting at 50% of its bases as zero net energy consumption by 2020 from a combination of renewable energy and energy efficiency. energy is in the words of admiral mullen, about not just defense but security and not just survival but ross berti. our national defense infrastructure -- in admiral mullen's words to help stem the tide is to teach if security issues related to climate change while improving operational
11:56 am
effectiveness. the wind and solar innovation and industries were largely developed here in the united states, but our major competitors including china and germany, half through sustained domestic subsidies purchases rapidly expanded the size and strength of their domestic wind and pv corporations. today, the top 10 global wind and pv manufacturers only one of each is located in the united states. we should be deeply concerned about the security implications of the u.s. losing its global competitive leadership in these critical industries. broad public support or expanded federal investment in renewable energy reflects this understanding. china and germany are out investing us, given the strategic and security importance of clean energy industries. other claim industries undermines competitiveness and
11:57 am
security. for security and financial reasons the doe should use 85% of the 1705 funds that are still in used and still available in the treasure to fulfill its purpose of funding and supporting additional u.s. clean energy to allergies and companies. defaults in the 1705 program to date have been far below projected. we expect over time to be a total of only one quarter of what is budgeted. the clear financial success, employment and security benefits demonstrated by this program, demonstrates the doe should ramp up its loan guarantee efforts and provide low guaranteed support for roughly another 30 to $40 billion of u.s. clean energy projects and companies. the doe's 1705 loan program or bite an important list to u.s. clean energy investment growth, both strengthening job creation and supporting the strength of u.s. clean energy industries that are main competitive
11:58 am
including china and germany are out investing us, given the strategic security and unemployment clean energy industries weakening federal support to the u.s. in the solar industries, undermines u.s. competitiveness and security. if the u.s. military is forced to import the technology it needs to achieve its mission by shifting to clean energy it will weaken u.s. security for financial security employment and competitiveness reasons the doe should use the fund and euston still available to back u.s. companies and projects. given a clear success of its loan for program today, based on rational measures of financial performance and on other measures including security employment and competitiveness, the largest risk is that doe slows its loan guarantee program. failing to make substantial additional loan guarantees and expand u.s. strength in renewable and clean energy strengthening u.s. jobs and competitiveness and security would be an irrational and cost
11:59 am
failure. the losers would be the u.s. industry u.s. military u.s. taxpayer and the u.s. worker. the only beneficiaries would be china and our other international competitors. thank you. >> thank you mr. kats. >> mr. witsoe. >> my name is craig witsoe and you will remember last year. >> can you make sure the red light is on with your mic and we can hear it. >> my name is craig witsoe and since november of last year, i have been the ceo of abound solar, inc. and emerging u.s. technology company to manufacture solar panels and colorado. we have an r&d facility in colorado as well as the factory and we also have a plan site in indiana that would be our second u.s. victory. abound as much an american story. our company stem from advanced photovoltaic research started in the late 80s a colorado state university. early funding came from the national science foundation as well as the national renewable


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on