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tv   Forum Focuses on U.S. Infrastructure Investment Needs  CSPAN  May 16, 2017 2:27am-3:51am EDT

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wrestling with his angels, the political life of abraham lincoln. and at 3:15, sally mott freeman on the jersey brothers a missing naval officer in the pacific. watch our all day coverage of the book festival starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span2's book tv. next, another look at infrastructure priorities and the ability to finance various projects. this was hosted by the environmental and energy study institute. it's just under an hour 1/2. good afternoon, everyone. my name is carol werner. i'm executive director of the
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environmental and energy study institute. we are glad to welcome you here to this briefing. we are holding this briefing in conjunction with our partners, the national association of state energy officials, or naseo, because we are working together to take a look at america's infrastructure, its needs, the business case for investing in long-term reliability and sustainability, and what does this mean for us as a nation, for our local governments, for our states. because as we all are acutely aware, infrastructure in its many, many forms, is what keeps this country and our economy running. also want to let you know that this briefing is the first in a
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series on building resilient and secure infrastructure. other briefings that eesi is working on with naseo will examine state and city local government initiatives. we'll be looking at building materials and methods, how we can do a better job in terms of that build infrastructure. be looking at the role of national labs, their important r & d work and the whole role of federal r & d, and its role with regard to looking at infrastructure across the country. we'll also be taking a look at coastal resilience, as well as national energy and climate security. so stay tuned for all of those and also make sure that you participate in our briefing on monday. there are flyers outside with regard to that briefing where we are bringing in state energy officials to look at the whole issue of state energy emergency preparedness.
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so, again, i am happy to welcome you to this briefing today to kick off our whole look at infrastructure. we have a terrific panel that you're going to be hearing from, and the impetus for this particular briefing is that there is, every four years, an important scorecard that is released that you're going to be hearing about from our first speaker. the american society for civil engineers does a report card on america's infrastructure that really takes the pulse, looks at what is going on, again in all of these important different pieces of our infrastructure. one of the things that i also find quite remarkable is that there are so many different pieces, so many different systems in terms of thinking about infrastructure in this country. and that each is important to the other, and they're all
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terribly important in terms of our economy, in terms of how we function, how we protect ourselves, our cities, our states, all of the things that make this country go. so our first speaker to talk about this important scorecard and what it can mean -- because the purpose behind this briefing, too, is in terms of looking not only what we know about the needs that are involved in looking at infrastructure, but also how do we go about making sound investments that are really going to maximize those dividends, those return on investments. so we're first going to hear from tom smith who is executive director of the american society of civil engineers. he has long been a member of the american society for civil engineers. he's been there for over 25 years where he has been so
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important in terms of providing leadership, direction and management and oversight across a broad spectrum of asce's programs. he has also -- his leadership has been recognized in terms of awards that he has won for his work. he has been -- he is currently serving as a member of the board of directors of the national institute for engineering ethics, a very, very important role. and he has played important leadership positions in a number of other organizations. and it's important, too, to note that he, while he is dealing with all of these issues on a national infrastructure basis, he is also serving on the fairfax county board of zoning appeals which also gets right back into very local infrastructure questions. tom? >> thank you, carol. good afternoon, everybody. thanks for the invitation to be here with you. it is a pleasure to be here.
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tell you a little bit about our report card for america's infrastructure. mime name is tom smith. i'm looking at john, who is a director on the asce's board as well as bill kelly who is an active member on the sustainability committee and education committee. in the back of the room, will kelly and carolyn, who were also members with our sustainability committee and education committee. is the managing director in our d.c. office, carol is a director in the d.c. office, very instrumental in making this report card come to fruition. asce is a non-profit 501c-3. created in 1852. we have 152,000 members in 177 countries. our objective is to advance the science and profession of engineering for the welfare of humanity. that's what we do. primarily focus on technical issues.
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we publish 35 different technical journals, peer review journals. we publish standards. a lot of books. all mainly technical and professional issues to advance engineering, and specifically in our case civil engineering. about 20 years ago in 1998 we issued our first report card on america's infrastructure. we felt like there is an obligation as stewards of infrastructure as folks who were designing it, operating it, maintaining it, and inspecting it, we felt that it was on obligation for engineers, civil engineers, to evaluate our infrastructure and make sure that the public and policymakers knew what the state of our infrastructure was. so we have a very robust process that we go through. we have over 30 different experts that evaluate 16 categories of infrastructure. we issue that report card every four years. so just in march we issued the 2017 report card. we look at eight different criteria -- capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resiliency, and innovation.
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so those are the criteria that we utilize in evaluating infrastructure and we look at an enormous amount of data, a lot of it publicly available from government entities. we put about 30 people together. they evaluate, go over this data and look at it very objectively and they give they call balls and strikes. they figure out what they think is the most appropriate grade using a grading system of a through f that we're all familiar with. we've been doing that since 1998. unfortunately, since we've been doing that, the cumulative grade has not gotten out of the ds. we are not making the progress that we need to as a country and certainly have a lot of work to do on our public health, safety and welfare. these are the grades. these are the 2017 infrastructure grades. you see the 16 categories ranging from aviation and bridges all the way up to transit and waste water.
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unfortunately, we saw three of these categories actually did decline from the 2013 report card. you can see a decline there on parks and recreation, solid waste, and then transit. six of the categories remained unchanged. then seven of the categories increased in their grade. we saw slight increases in the grades for seven categories. you can see their -- hazardous waste, inland waterways, levies, ports, rails, schools and waste water. where we saw an increase in the grades we think that was the result of strong leadership, thoughtful policymaking and investment that garnered results. so we did see some increases when we had those three things happen. the highest grade you see there is rail. that's the only one in the "b" category. "b," by the way, is good. that means it is adequate for now. obviously -- ideally we'd love to be exceptional. that means fit for the future. "d" is poor, at risk. that's how we define those
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different grades. "c" would be mediocre. highest one again is rail. has the risen from a "b" to a c-plus. that's good. the rail industry owns majority of the nation's rail infrastructure. they've made significant investment in recent years investing $27 billion in 2015 alone. we saw results from private industry investment in the rail and freight rail area. i will say on the other hand that passenger rail has some pretty significant challenges, increasingly congested cover doors, replacing 100-year-old bridges, improving other aspects for a more efficient system. anyone who has traveled on the eastern corridor as i frequently do on passenger rail you probably know exactly what i'm talking about that there are challenges ahead of us on the passenger side in particular. transit received the lowest grade.
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that's a d-minus. that's a drop from a d in 2013. as we talk about sustainability issues and the importance of climate change and the environment, certainly -- and moving people efficiently and effectively, certainly transit is a critical element of that. so to have a grade as a d-minus in transit should be unacceptable to all of us because that's part of the solution to some of the congestion problems we see. a lot of folks in the room i'm sure can relate to that. i took the metro in this morning and everything went on time. two years ago we had our fly-in and the entire metro was shut down that way when we were bringing all the civil engineers in here to talk about the importance of infrastructure. it's helped to drive a point, but not the way we wanted to drive that point. so certainly transit in america is hitting ridership records. 10.7 billion trips in 2014. yet the symptoms of overdue maintenance and under investment have never been clearer. despite increasing demand, the nation's transit systems have been chronically underfunded. we have aging infrastructure and a $90 billion maintenance backlog. this is an area that's certainly going to require more attention from all of us. investment gap.
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so we've identified the problem here and as we talk a little bit about solutions, i'll talk about what does it require to fix this -- fix the problem. you can see here, in addition to gratd -- grading the area of infrastructure, we've estimated the investment needed to maintain the state of good repair and earn the grade of a "b." "b" would be good or adequate for now. in order to be there, this is the investment gap. we currently have total needs of about $4.5 trillion between 2016 and 2025. over that ten-year period. now there is already existing funding, estimated funding, of $2.5 trillion. that leaves a gap of $2 trillion over that ten-year period. even though congress in some states have recently made efforts to invest more in infrastructure, these efforts do not come anywhere close to what's needed and we simply failed to invest for too long and now we are really struggling to catch up. failing to close the
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infrastructure gap brings serious economic consequences, so one of the things we've looked at, what are the implications of failing to invest in our infrastructure if we fail to make these investments. we did an economic study called failure to act. you can find that on our website. it has our report card as well as failure to act studies. we had economists look at this. according to our latest economic study which we prepared in 2016, if we don't address the infrastructure investment gap, $3.9 trillion in u.s. gdp is lost by 2025. businesses will lose $7 trillion by 2025. 2.5 million jobs will be lost by 2025. on top of that, each american family is losing about $3400 a year, about $9 a day, is what we show. we call that the hidden tax. there's a lot of discussion about whether we should have increase the gas tax and such. but we have to recognize that when we fail to invest in our infrastructure, there is a hidden tax that's being imposed
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on all of us. we estimate it to be about $3,400 per family, per year. $9 a day. how do you pay that? it is the time we spend sitting in traffic, repairs to your car, added cost for goods and services, because we're not moving freight as efficiently and effectively as we can. talk to the trucking industry about that. the amount of time that they sit in congestion. we pay for that. all of us pay for that. every day, that's the hidden tax that we continue to pay. if we invest in infrastructure we can avoid that. i sometimes -- when we release these reports people say don't you have a conflict of interest? aren't you invested in it as civil engineers? every one of us has a conflict of interest because every one of us is dependent upon infrastructure. we all have to pay for it, and speak out it, including civil engineers. we feel like this is our obligation since we are the experts from this topic. in fact if civil engineers are not speaking out on this topic, i suspect everyone would say well where are the engineers that are supposed to be telling
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us about the problems with our infrastructure because we're the ones who are maintaining it, inspecting it, designing it, operating it. we really have to start listening to this because this should be totally unacceptable to all of us. i talk a lot about how in the olympics, it would be totally unacceptable to any of us if we are not the number one country in the world when it comes to gold medals and all medals. but our infrastructure's not even in the top ten from the world federation of -- world economic forum. so we should never accept that. but somehow we've become more complacent when it comes to infrastructure. i think we have to change our way of thinking. this is a significant gap but it is solvable. how do we solve these problems? number one, investment. two, leadership and planning. three, preparation for future. talk about each of these briefly here. number one, investment. you can see things we think are important. solutions for investment. increase long-term consistent investment. we think we need to increase investment from all levels of government and the private
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sector from 2.5% to 3.5% of u.s. gross domestic product by the year 2025. we think that's critical if we are going to solve this problem. begin with the following steps -- put the trust back into the trust fund. that means using dedicated public funding sources on local, state and federal levels consistently and sufficiently funded from user generated fees with infrastructure funds -- trust funds never used to pay for or offset other parts of the budget. you always hear people talking about how we going to fund infrastructure. i say the question should be, how we going to fund everything else? this has got to be a priority for us. you can't run a business without having a phone system, internet and all the infrastructure which runs it. the united states is the same way. you've got to have the infrastructure in place to operate in a global economy. so we think it's important. we've got to put the trust back into these trust funds. fix the highway trust funds we say by raising the federal motor fuel tax. it's been 18.4 cents since 1993. i think it is the longest time we've gone without increasing it in its history.
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it doesn't do what it did back in 1993. the dollars you spent in 1993 don't go as far as they do today. you have more energy efficient cars as well. at some point we are also looking at things like vehicle miles traveled and different ways of assessing that. but for right now, the most immediate, near-term, clear solution is increasing the federal gas tax. it really needs to be done. it is a bit of a no-brainer in many ways. you'll find support from certainly from business, look at the chamber of commerce, trucking industry, look at the afl-cio. you're going to find it from big business and big labor. so we really have to address this problem. it provides jobs. it is important for our global economy. then authorize programs to improve specific categories of deficient infrastructure while also making sure that the true cost of using, maintaining and improving all infrastructure is accounted for. leadership and planning. we need leadership from all levels of government. investments have to be spent wisely. we have an opportunity right now.
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we talk about. that both candidates, remember back in the fall were talking about infrastructure investment. it's a bipartisan issue. we sometimes get cross wise on how you actually fund it. we talk about how to fund it. it is all of the above. it is public/private partnerships, federal, state and local investment. all of the above. it is also important to require all projects greater than $5 million that receive federal funding using life cycle cost analysis. we focus too much on up front costs. we need to look at costs over the entire life cycle of infrastructure. trast critical. creating incentives for maintenance. developing tools to prioritize projects. stream lining project processes. remember the i-35 bridge collapse wed got it permitted and built within the year. i-85. we saw that with the fire. six weeks we'll have that all done. in times of crisis, we know how the react. we have to be now proactive before there's a crisis.
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we cannot continue to react to crises. we have to be more proactive. stream lining that process is important. private sector investment and public/private partnerships. certainly there is an opportunity with public/private partnerships. we think that's part of the solution, we don't think that's the only solution by any stretch. but it is certainly part of the solution. we've done it very effectively in virginia and other states so we should continue to look at that. also preparation for the future. developing active community resiliency programs, technology shifting social and economic trends, land use planning, supporting research and development. those are all critical. john stanton will talk about sustainability. that's a huge part of the solution. asce was one of the three organizations that created the institution for sustainable intrastump. we knew sustainability is so important we can't just be relying on old infrastructure that our grandparents designed, built. we have actually got to look forward. there's all kinds of new technologies, autonomous vehicles, things that we have to prepare for in the future. we've got to apply future thinking and not past thinking.
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so there's a real opportunity here. and preparing for the future with our infrastructure. it requires investment, it requires changing the way we think about infrastructure. then finally, i'll mention principles for infrastructure investment. being substantial. long-term benefits, designing, building, operating and maintaining infrastructure over the entire life span. sustainable resiliency, state, local, private investment. all of those things are critical if we're going to be successful in tackling this significant problem. they are truly solvable and it just requires a leadership, it requires a vision, it requires that we be bold and courageous and tackle these problems. eisenhower did this back in the 1950s with the interstate highway system. put out a vision and tackled the problem. it can be done but we have to prioritize this and recognize the severity of this problem for this country. thanks for your time. look forward to talking further with you. >> thank you, so much.
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[ applause ] thank you, tom, for that really very, very clear and sobering look at what we are dealing with in terms of infrastructure. but as you also heard from tom, it really could be an exciting step to take now to really embrace the kinds of changes and ideas that we are hearing about in different places and that you're going to hear more about today. on that note, i want to now turn to our next speaker, to john stanton who is the ceo and president for the institute for sustainable infrastructure. john's been working in this whole area for many years and prior to joining the institute, he has worked in the private sector in senior positions where he was with tesla solar city. also with the solar energy industry association.
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and he also has been in the ngo community where he was with the pew national environmental trust. but john has also served in government and both the federal and the state level. so we are eager to hear what you have to say, john. >> hello, everyone. thank you, carol. so obviously as tom just indicated, we have a lot of investment to do in infrastructure. isi's angle on this is that we should make those investments more resilient, less energy intensive, and less resource intensive. as hurricane sandy, super storm sandy demonstrated with tremendous might, our current infrastructure is antiquated and it is not very climate resilient.
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so what i'm going to talk to you about is a little bit about isi, what we're currently doing and what we'd like to do in the future. so the institute is -- has a mission to advance project planning tool called envision. envision is a rating system, but it is also described as kind of thought process engineering, to help people planning, designing and constructing infrastructure think about it differently in order to bring about more resilient outcomes. as tom indicated, we were formed by the american public works association, the american society of civil engineers, the american council of engineering companies. and they were all working on simultaneous similar projects to figure out a way to motivate more sustainable project planning and design and construction.
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at the same time, harvard university was working on this. all of those efforts merged together and the outcome was the institute for sustainable infrastructure. so obviously tom's talked about the importance of infrastructure from a variety of viewpoints. bottom line is, it's very closely tied to our gross domestic product, to state domestic product, individual and family earnings. and we have a lot of delayed investment. so since we're going to, hopefully, make a concerted effort to catch up on that delayed investment, the question is how do we want to build it and what should be some of the key points that guide us in making those investment decisions better. so envision applies to all civil infrastructure. it applies to all phases, and it
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is designed to constantly evolve and not be a static system. we all have the benefit of seeing what the u.s. green building council did with the l.e.e.d. standards, the energy efficient design for buildings. the distinction between l.e.e.d. and envision is envision applies to any building not designed for human happen station, power plants, sewage treatment plants. whether it is highways, transit systems, bridges, tunnels, that type of thing. so the idea here was to complement l.e.e.d. with a more comprehensive system that would apply to every type of infrastructure out there. we have 60 credits and five categories. basically the end product of
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this effort to create a rating system was the identification of about 60 key decision points involved in any infrastructure project. where, if you have those 60 key decision points done in a more sustainable manner, then you have a cascading trickle down effect, and it impacts all elements of the planning, design, construction, and operation and maintenance of the project. and those are the 60 criteria that we use to evaluate the sustainable performance of infrastructure. they rotate around quality of life, leadership, resource allocation, natural world, climate risk, and the software usage manual is about 200 pages long. so what we do is we train people in how to use it. we provide credentialing and examples.
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and then we verify projects and give them a rating. there's five levels of achievement that one can assume. or achieve. if you merely apply existing law and regulations and you comply with all of them, that's called conventional design. what we're trying to encourage people to do is to obviously meet all existing laws and regulations but then go beyond it. and the goal was to come up with a nomenclature, a common understanding of what a more sustainable outcome meant and a way to uniformly measure it across various sectors of infrastructure investment. so it's pretty simple. five levels of achievement. typically what we find in the rating process is that superior and conserving are the most likely outcomes. now this is just the genesis of our timeline. not tremendously interesting,
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but i would say that we now have about 6,000 envision sustainability professionals, members of the engineering community, who have gotten trained on the tool and more and more we see the tool being used. for instance, skansk is one of the leading construction companies. they use it on every project worldwide. the laguardia airport up in new york is being rebuilt. envision is the planning construction and design tool for that project. the good news is, it seems like sustainable planning and design is becoming ever more popular, and that's the good news. the projects that we've rated are around the country. so today what we do is we do a design assessment, and then we rate it. this fall, hopefully as early as late summer, we're going to be putting out for notice and comment a new version of the
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design tool. sorry about that. and the -- what the new design tool will have is a preliminary assessment and then a post-construction assessment. so what we want to be able to the is make sure that the project wasn't just planned and designed in keeping with sustainability principles, but as constructed it actually adhered to that planning and design framework and accomplished the objectives that were laid out by the engineers that designed the project. and then the next phase of the tool development will be looking at design and construction, and then design and deconstruction at the end of the life cycle of the project. in addition to that -- so that new version of the tool will be out 2018. what we're also trying to do is, currently when you rate an individual project, you kind of have islands of sustainability. these are singular projects.
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so, for instance, down in florida, they just completed something called the i-4 corridor. it is a 22-mile road. that was an envision project. and we have tremendous success with individual projects. what we now want to do is take it to a wider portfolio level. so at the request of new york and los angeles -- so los angeles, both at the county/city level, and the l.a. department of public works, they use envision as their project management tool on every project. in new york city, the department of design and construction and environmental protection uses on every project and in the city of new york. all five boroughs. so what they are seeking is a portfolio-wide approach. so we get away from islands of sustainability and we come up with an assessment tool that we
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would rate all of their infrastructure. so earlier i had a slide that indicated that there's these varying performance levels of infrastructure. the idea would be we would come up with an approach in both of these cities whereby if they designed every project to meet certain minimum sustainability criteria, they would be entitled to a certain envision score. and what this approach of evolving the tool from one-off projects to a suite of portfolio assets or portfolio wide. what it would allow for is a comparison of the projects across the city. so, for instance, in the 2018 project cycle, you could be doing six or seven large infrastructure projects in new york. you'd be able to rate them to see how they compared against
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each other. finally, in addition to the aggregated city wide performance data, what we'd be able to do is compare, let's say, a sustainable infrastructure investment in a sewage treatment plant in new york versus one in california. or a highway in florida versus a highway in massachusetts. so the idea is to get beyond the single projects and then rate the infrastructure on a portfolio basis, and then be able to make comparison and contrast with respect to cost efficiency, construction timelines, in the various different metrics which drive outcomes. so at any rate, that's it. the bottom line is we think that if we're going to spend a lot of money on infrastructure, then we shouldn't just construct the project properly. we should construct the right project, which means, from our perspective, a climate resilient
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asset which can weather things like superstorm sandy over the next 50 years if that's the projected life cycle for the asset. so, obviously, we have a lot of investing and a lot of work to do. and from our perspective it should be done so these are more resilient, less energy intensive and more resource intelligent. so thank you. [ applause ] >> thanks so much, john. we will now turn to our third panelist who is marianna silva, who is an associate for infrastructure planning and finance with nathling associates inc. and in her whole role as an infrastructure finance expert for the international institute for sustainable development and
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the u.n. economic commission for europe, she has provided technical advisory services with regard to looking at infrastructure procurement processes for governments throughout asia, america, and europe. and she has done a lot of work looking at a variety of financial approaches and has developed a lot of experience through this in terms of the role of public/private partnerships as a component of looking at ways to deal with sustainable infrastructure. >> thank you very much. it is a pleasure to be here with you today. you didn't finish your slides. so it's very clear now, based on the previous presentations, that there is a financing cost link
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to the underinvestment of resilient infrastructure and it's no surprise that that cost is very high in the u.s. due to the deficiency in the current water system, there is an estimate of 240 water main breaks per year causing severe property damage. there's the lack of resiliency in the electricity grid. costs us on average between 18 to 28 power outage losses. as tom mentioned, there's actually a real problem in our mass transit system that causes an average individual like us to spend 5.5 hours in traffic which actually amounts to $100 million in fuel and lost time. finally, because of poor condition of roads and ports, u.s. businesses have to pay, on average, $27 billion extra cost. no wonder the american society
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gives a "d" grade on our infrastructure. the realities that these years of underinvestment really call us to an emergency action to think how we are actually preparing, financing, procuring and maintaining those infrastructure public assets. and as a result of this deficiency, the current administration released their emergency act -- emergency and national security projects which is around $137 billion. it covers a range of subsidies, transport, water systems, oil and gas ports, it's really a mix of everything. it is really a distribution in different states and under different investment all over the u.s. and there's a heat the debate right now of whether the public sector should leverage private capital to finance this need. and the honest answer is -- yes. there's $137 billion just to finance all that need. it is not even enough to do a
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down payment. we have heard it has been quantified, the infrastructure gap, around $5 trillion. so $2 trillion are missing. $120 billion doesn't even give us a down payment for that. so instead of talking about whether we need it or not, we need to pause and we need to think of the how. how would they actually leverage private capital. that is not only about the financing but about achieving those technology benefits, those efficiency gains, those innovation that brings the private sector to the actual operation of any public service. and for that, let's just think about any infrastructure asset. it's either financed through traditional procurement or leveraging sectors. up it could be through ppps, it could be through capital markets in the u.s. is very common is issuing municipal bonds. the reality is that every single infrastructure investment requires either user revenues or tax revenues for the reparation
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or both. so this entire debate on infrastructure financing has concentrated on how we should finance the construction phase, the cap ex. it should be more about how we actually maintain this asset during the entire life cycle. financing versus funding. and constructing and electricity generation company, or water treatment plant, is not going to leverage -- it is not going to yield a high value to society. it is actually the operation. once a project starts operating and delivering a service, that service being energy, transportation, education, water, or health care, it's actually during the lifetime of that project that is going to deliver the highest value to society. so in order to do that we have to start preparing a couple of guideline resilient when i --
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infrastructure projects. when i mean resilient, i mean resilient to weather climate change patterns. resilient to cyber security attacks. it is a reality. and resilient to government budgetary changes. the biggest infrastructure bottleneck that we are experiencing right now is that most of the infrastructure projects are linked to spending tied to annual budgets. and it is because that asset, per se, has not a clear revenue stream that can service its operation. so that has to be trickled down under the entire development cycle. so the good news about all this is that sustainable infrastructure really allows for that thinking, about how can the sustainable and energy and water efficiency gains represent clear higher revenue streams for the operation. less electricity to pay, less water to consume, it actually trickles down to higher savings. if you are able to avoid any collateral damage because you actually prevent an impact on
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an asset linked to climate change, that is a savings. the savings has been quantified. the challenge is how we actually make the entire development purpose fit for purpose in a way that actually benefits the prioritization of resilient infrastructure. for that we need to think about the process that we have in place right now. we start with the planning. actually right now are we thinking when we are procuring a road or planning a road or designing everything where the sea level, the rise level will be, for example, in miami when we're constructing a road? are we thinking about where all the changes in climate pattern will affect the infrastructure that we are planning right now? are we prioritizing those projects that will actually leverage the higher yields to society? there's some cost/benefit analysis that has been done here but are we actually factoring in everything?
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is this a procurement? is it a ppp? are we actually considering all the benefits the private sector can bring instead of just the finance? and more importantly, and here's where i actually have to stress the most -- are we preparing attractive projects for the finance industry? the capital is not the problem anymore. there's an enormous interest from wall street to actually finance this infrastructure gap. the problem is that there is not enough ready bankable projects out there to actually be capitalized. finance, as i mentioned before, is not sentimental. it goes where the good deals are. so we have to think about that. and for that, let us just stop one moment and put ourself in the shoes of an investor. either you are private investor/operator of that holder. what you care about is the return of investment, and the debt service coverage ratio. you don't really are going to be thinking about is that project low carbon, resilient,
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inclusive, water resource efficient? it has to be factors into the pair mettic finance analysis that the financial industry does. out of curiosity, who here works in finance or used to work in finance? if i approach you and i tell you there is a great opportunity about an energy ppa in the state of miami you're not going to ask me, okay, how many people are you going to service? how much are you going to change lives? no. you're going to ask me, okay, what is the net present value of the investment, what is the irr. automatically it leads into a very systematic procedure way that the finance industry evaluates projects. what is the discount rate you are going to use linked with the risk linked to that state? ultimately, will that project add value to my portfolio. i have a fiduciary duty to my investors to create value in monetary terms. is that project going to benefit me in that? the problem and real conundrum about pushing the resilient
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infrastructure agenda is there is a mismatch between interest between policymakers and financiers. we want to leverage private capital to solve this infrastructure gap but are we actually preparing bankable projects, bankable on their financier's perspective -- and the answer is not yet. not yet. so the last stage about infrastructure and life cycle that i really want to stress the importance right now is the construction and monitoring. why is this important. the more project we have with solid track records of resilience that have achieved savings linked to energy efficiency, linked to added cost to a catastrophe, et cetera, the more we can actually create benchmarks and the more we can use this and say this works, the easier it will be to convince everyone that this is the way forward. so just as a last thing, there are a lot of financial instruments out there. a lot. green bonds. social impact bonds.
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blue bonds. green asset-backed securities. they have worked and they are working all over the world. but the ultimate message that i want to give you is that if the project doesn't hold on its own, you can do as much viability gap funds, as much infrastructure finance and innovation, it won't work. it really have to be planned sustainably and bankable since the beginning. and the way -- the governments that are actually leading this space are thinking about green finance at the same time that they are thinking about their procurement process and their policy and regulation. because take the example of the netherlands. they want to convert the entire country using smart grids. meaning that grids that they just bounce back after a power outage because they see they have enormous savings. they just went there and say we're going to start procuring smart grids in the next five years. you, private sector, if you don't have the technology yet you have the time to invest and et cetera. i'm going to give you a little bit of support financial for your technology research, and then now they're procuring it.
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and it works. you just need to give the time to the private sector to adjust to where the government is thinking about in the future. same could be applied for every single technology need that we need to make our infrastructure more resilient. and of course, the policy and regulation. if you have tax breaks for renewable energy or energy resiliency, of course that helps. when we start thinking about these three areas it starts trickle down into our project development cycle is when we are going to have resilient cities all over the u.s. so i just want to finish with a good example so i don't leave you in a gloomy scenario. one thing that we're doing very good here in the u.s. is the property assessed clean energy pace financing which really puts these three sectors that aa just mentioned into practice and walks the talk. what it is using is innovation. they are issuing bonds, the city or local governments, to capitalize themself. in using that capital to pay up-front money for property
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owners for renewable energy or energy efficiency or energy resilience. the innovation here is that the property owner doesn't have to pay back as a traditional loan. the way that it works is that, thanks to that retro fit, the value of the property increases so they have to pay more tax. i mean it is only fair. they got a retrofit. but the thing is that even though they have to pay more tax, it is less than the actual benefits and savings that they're getting to be energy efficient. so it is a win-win, win situation for the environment. that's just the countries where, nathan, we are advising all of these issues that i mentioned and we will be happy to help any of you if you have any questions. thank you. [ applause ] >> thanks so much, mariana. we are now going to turn to jeremy marcus, who is the deputy chief of staff and legislative
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director for congressman matt cartwright, a democratic member from pennsylvania. it is important that jeremy speak briefly to you because this is an example of, again, a policymaker who is introducing once again legislation, reintroducing it in this congress, called the prepare act. and jeremy will talk about that. but it is an opportunity recognizing the need for federal, state, local governments to do more to coordinate, too collaborate in terms of planning that gets us to greater sustainability and really reducing risk and better emergency planning given all of the kind of extreme events that we have been having. jeremy? >> thank you very much. so i want to talk about something that hopefully you all
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can do as a take-away action coming out of this. those on the hill, we'd love to have your support as a co-sponsor and those from outside organizations we'd love you to join the almost 60 organizations that have already endorised the prepare act. so i think most of you probably know about the high-risk report. gao comes out once a congress, the high-risk report, looking at where are the fiscal exposure that the federal government faces. what things could go wrong that would cost the government a lot and where are we not adequately thinking through these problems. for the first time in 2013, the gao put preparedness for extreme weather events on their high-risk report. it's been on the report ever since. the good news is, there has been some improvements in this area but we are not nearly there yet. so working with the gao after the high-risk report, my boss and now along with the lead of congressman leonard lance put together the prepare act.
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it does three really simple things. the first thing it does is build off of what is now put together in 2014 as an interagency counsel looking at how the government is preparing for extreme weather events. the council comprises many different agencies. this bill would codify that interagency council, and b, give it a little more power and elevate its stature. we think it is very important the federal government look government wide how we are responding to extreme weather events. the second thing it would do is make sure individual agencies are adequately preparing to respond to events based on their own individual missions. it is currently required that these agencies put out a plan to adapt to extreme weather events. some agencies are doing a really good job and putting a lot of thought into this, preparing really thorough reports. some agencies are not really paying attention to this. maybe they don't see this as core to their mission, but they are missing the big picture that extreme weather events are going to impact every agency and producing a one or two-page
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paper that regurgitates the same thing every year is not going to cut it. so what this bill would do is c codefy these reports. so we can do something if these agencies aren't thinking through these problems. the third part is looking to state and regional actors. a lot of people on the ground said there were agencies that had field offices. they weren't talking to each other, they weren't listening, they weren't taking lessons learned and integrating them back to other parts of the country. what we needed is more regional coordination. this makes sure we have more regional commands and things are shared amongst different regions. this bill is three simple things. it is no cost. it's not plugging the $2 trillion definite but it's going to make a difference in making sure the government is ready these disasters.
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we have almost 60 organizations supporting this. we have some non-profits that look at this issue but we have a lot of private sector folks. and in talking to these groups these are the things they are doing in their business practice day-to-day. they are frustrated and confused why the government can't take the simple actions they are doing about looking forward not just historically about what is coming down the pike. everyone are all supporting this bill. the national taxpayers union had it number two on their list of the ten no-brainers for congress. so we really want to make a big push this year to advance this. it's bipartisan. and again, it's no cost. we have some fact sheets here. we love it. if you're from a hill office and your boss can co-sponsor we'd love to have them on. if you want to work with us on this bill and help make it a reality that would be great too. we're planning on introducing it
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in the next few months. so thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thanks so much, jeremy. because it really is another piece of a very important response to all of the things we have been hearing about from our whole panel today. let's open it up for your questions and comments and if you could identify yourself, please. >> okay. [ inaudible question ] >> his era, but what was the motivation at that time? did it have anything do with coming out of world war ii? was it more unity behind it and would it take another war for us to get enough unity in order to foster motivation to put the resources behind this?
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>> with eisenhower, the military preparedness had a big part making sure we were prepared as a country following world war ii. but affable, it had an impact on our economy and looking at different ways of funding it. i know they looked at that time at tolls versus the gas tax. and they utilize the gas tax ut significant portion of that. i guess i am always -- when it comes to infrastructure, people use it are going to have to pay for it and all of us are going to have to pay for it one way or another whether it is taxes or tolls, there's a lot of different possibilities. as i mentioned earlier, though, as far as we believe that it's going to require federal, state and local government investment and private industry. so we really think it's all of the above when it comes to those options. the gas tax has not been increased since 1993, it has
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lost a very significant percentage of its buying power since then. it seems like a clear solution to do that and anc recommends it. in fact, i think our policy we recommend a 25 cent increase in the gas tax. i suspect most folks don't know what their tax is on gas. but, it is something that i think is important if we are going to continue to maintain infrastructure that we have. it is not just maintaining it the way we used to do it but maintaining it with the future. with more innovative sustainable resilient technologies. ariana may have something on that, too. >> okay, go ahead. >> can you give some examples of the kinds of things that you feel would be resilient and less
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energy intensive for future infrastructure? >> the question is about research and development and of course there's a significant need for investment in research. and i think the federal government has an important role to play there through nist and nsf and epa, department of energy a lot of different research programs. this morning, i was looking at our collaborate forum of the discussions taken place and they're talking about electric transducers to provide energy in road ways using sort of mechanized energy such that in there where you have trucks that had bigger impact on maintenance actually would provide more energy, so there's just a lot of sustainability solutions, nonkoe roesive materials, embedded censers in bridges, things that were utilized after the i-35
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collapse. with these 60 or 70 or 100 years old infrastructure you don't have any of that. so i think this investment in research is critical. the private sector is doing a lot of it, obviously. but there's a fair amount that the federal government also needs to facilitate and can. >> no. i just wanted to add something that i don't think we mentioned any of those, but one of the biggest that people see is the extra costs, it's actually cheaper because there's a lot of efficiency gains. so there's something to be said about that. >> absolutely. >> i think you made the point earlier, tom, about how important it is to look at everything on a life cycle basis and i think you're all saying that. one of the things that i often think about are all of the comments we hear about infrastructure in other countries that appears to be so
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much more robust, updated, you know, than what we are seeing here and how important that is. and i think mariana you've looked at a lot of those. and i would think -- please tell us in terms of the kinds of best practices, technologies that have been developed with regard to a lot of those infrastructure projects, whether they are new bridges, buildings, airports et cetera. and are those coming to the u.s.? >> absolutely, yes. i don't want to open another paren thee the parentheses, but what you are mentioning as well is an opportunity and as well as risk that we are seeing.
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the high development of new technologies is costing like a little bit of noise of how you are going to finance these things. a lot of finance here jumping into new era of clean technologies and they -- there is a lot of us -- to help investors not to be scared about new technology that developed very quickly. i heard this phrase from the head of banking from the head of the world bank saying that sustainability is the biggest transition that we're going to experience. it's as strong as the industrial revolution but as fast as the digital one. so we have to face those challenges. >> so fasten your seat belts, right? okay, lets go here first. >> i have two questions. one for mariana and then one for jeremy. or anyone can take it, as a matter of fact. in regards to budgeting, for
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example. the federal government generally they don't budget for maintenance in the future for any project. do you think that we can start budgeting for maintenance because that's the reason why we're so behind in infrastructure right now. the question for jeremy is and trying to form the infrastructure bank and it has always -- hasn't taken out any way. do you think we can with president trump trying to invest $3 billion in infrastructure. do you think right now is a good time to start talking about infrastructure bank or not? >> so the answer to the first questions about the maintenance issue i think in something that is not being done right now since you're converting the idea into a project and doing the project preparation, you have to think about what your revenue
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stream from that asset is going to be. not all projects lend themselves to actually charge revenue streams from the users, but it doesn't mean that someone at the end of the day will pay for it. is it through availability payments coming from the government or user face, et cetera, but there has to be very clear to actually determine that fee that is going to help you to maintain that asset. it's not only about setting aside a budget every year with no real target of how much that is going to cost. it's about financial analysis of that asset to actually do a proper planning. >> just on the first point. the issue of operation maintenance of existing infrastructure is under appreciated, what i would tell you is the most resource intelligent, at least energy efficient, most carbon smart, you know, outcome is to operate
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and maintain existing infrastructure more intelligently. while everyone gets excited of the new infrastructure project and they are very exciting and infrastructure does have to be replaced at the end of its life span, i think that the problem with the federal budgeting where they actually don't budget for operation and maintenance really highlights one more aspect of this culture of chronic underinvestment in infrastructure. >> if i can add onto that, the asc has been focused on this issue that you are referencing on operation maintenance and life cycle. one of our three strategic initiatives we call it grand challenge which is reducing the life cycle cost of infrastructure, but looking at it differently, not just these up front costs as we had a tendency to do for so long and truly evaluating operation maintenance cost because so much of the cost of infrastructure is in the maintenance and we lose
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track of that. in the solutions that we proposed there we talk about requiring all projects greater than $5 million receiving federal funding using life cycle cost analysis because we think that is so important and it really has to come with a vision at the top level. we've done studies on that and you find on the issue of life cycle cost analysis, lot of folks are doing it differently. in fact, we're looking at should we have even more clear guidelines or even a standard, something along those lines to really give better guidance on that because we're not doing this as well as we need to and we should. >> i'll talk about the infrastructure note. my only caution and i think we have to be apart of this infrastructure conversation we're having. my only caution about that, oftentimes people look at finance of infrastructure, they equate real actual federal can dollars for the ability to leverage private dollars and
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it's not a one for one. when you provide the ability to borrow, you know, it's not the same as directly funding these projects because that money has to be paid back from somewhere and i think a lot of times people use this in order to claim that they've done more than they actually have, and i'm worried if we talk about 1 trillion, if a lot of that is just front loading a lot of investment from financing that we don't have the plans to know how to pay back in the long-term, then that's going to kind of empty long-term promise. i think that the infrastructure bank should be fully a part of what we talk about, but we should just be honest about how much actual additional infrastructure investment that's going to bring versus the status quo and not exaggerate the impact. >> just on that point, i would just give you an example. there were a lot of discussions about under investment in new energy assets.
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congress decided to pass investment tax credits for renewable energy. the total cost on committee taxation was $1.1 billion. over the next eight years, it leveraged about 3.5, $4 billion annually in investments in new energy infrastructure. so, there's a lot of different ways to induce investment. an infrastructure bank is one, but also smart use of tax credits and ore mechanisms, such as that through the tax committees, can also leverage a lot of really good investment. >> okay. here first and then we'll get you. >> question inspired by something, tom, you said. one of the things you mentioned was streamlining project permitting procedures. i was wondering specifically on what sort of hurdles do companies seeking to obtain these permits facing and which ones would you suggest going
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after, streamlining. >> i'm not sure where i would start. yeah, this is a tricky thing. at the same time you don't want to lose the protection on the environment, sustainability, historical, you know, our heritage. it is a balance. it is a complex issue. in fact, i would throw tort reform in there, too. it's one of the issues that drags -- increases costs and adds delays. it is not just a regulatory process. frankly we're going through the regulatory process in fairfax. because i'm involved on the bca, they think i can move faster to get a new tenant in our building and it's taking weeks and weeks and weeks. how do we change that? i'm not sureky give you the answer. every time there's a crisis we find a way to move it fast while also making sure we're protecting the environment. we become much more efficient and much more effective. so we've got to figure out ways to do that. again, we got to make sure that
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we are not putting in jeopardy the environment, but i think there are significant ways of reducing regulatory process time and also tort reform. civil engineers get dragged through i can't tell you how many lawsuits where there's anything that happens you just bring anyone who had any fingerprint whatsoever with a project gets brought into that case. there's a lot of different things that can be done to streamline that certificate of merit statutes, like some states have utilized. there's -- so there's different things that can be done there which we think are part of the process. >> okay. over here. >> there are -- there have been discussion drafts circulated around this town for 500 projects, nga, trump transition
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team. they're in the works now and they're moving forward now. the infrastructure plan for trump's administration is emerging now. so beyond the policy issues you've discussed are any of the programs or projects you discussed going to be in what's emerging as the 500 infrastructure programs as the trump administration is going to advance. it's happening, so from the point of view of demonstration project for some of the concepts you've outlined today, are any of those in the 500 programs or i should say infrastructure projects that are being floated right now? because they're out there. so rather than talking theer yal, can we talk practical? to anyone. it's happening. so are you guys in it? >> sure. so the target audience for the envision project planning tool
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is infrastructure owners. typically infrastructure owners in this country are state and local government. federal government owns about 4% of the infrastructure, but it's fairly small outside of the military construction context. and because it's state and local government that owns the infrastructure, they're the ones that decide on whether or not a project planning and design tool will be used on the project. what i would say is whether it's kansas city, whether it's the new jersey/new york port authority, the city of new york, the city of los angeles, county of los angeles, the high speed rail in california, cal-trans uses the envision tool on all of its projects. so the short answer is if the funding goes to one of the infrastructure owners that currently sees value in methodically thinking through how you engineer more
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sustainable outcomes, then the answer would be yes, but it would be jurisdiction specific. >> so if you have one of those 500 projects in let's say the county of los angeles, then, yes, it would be, you know, the project would be managed using the envision tool. >> so are you hoping for the 500 projects so far that are being floated that are going to be put in to what will become a trump administration infrastructure program to be determined, are you collectively aware of projects that you are working on that are going to be included in that? because that's going to get you the visibility and move it beyond to where you are now to your ability to say, yes, and we are now part of -- >> right. my short answer and then we can open it up is that the trump
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proposal i don't think is going anywhere because it's just too generous with respect to tax credits. and i'm a big fan of tax credits. but what i think is realistic given the current complexion of the key committees is from a sustainability standpoint i think something modest is possible, like tiger grants are typically about 10% of the federal infrastructure budget, so what you could say is if you are seeking a merit-based investment decision through the tiger grants process and you use envision or a similar sustainability tool, you score a little bit higher on your criteria for eligibility. but my sense is obviously we would like to see something more aggressive than that, but that's something that you would like to think is possible in the context of an infrastructure bill if it came together. >> tom or jeremy, did you want
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to add? okay. okay. question over here? did you have -- >> how much leverage do you think the federal money can produce? i mean, if the feds put in 20%, do the state and locals pick up the rest? i mean, what is that percentage you guys have looked at? >> i couldn't tell you the percentage. i'm looking back in the back of the room because there may be some input back there. do we have anything on that, brian, that actually looked at percentages for, you know, investment? if you have a federal investment -- yeah. >> historically in transportation -- i'll let the mike catch me. it's been 45% of the capital program, but you have other areas if you have waste water and drinking water it will be
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considerably less. it will depend on the 16 categories. >> yeah, i was going to add the same. if it's project based sh it is very clear revenue stream and profits out of it. if it's water, it's a little bit more social and private sector gets a little more scarier about any risks related to that, so in other countries if it's energy, it can be -- if you have a spectrum, it could be an asset that is fully privatized or managed by the country. it depends on the program. >> and i would just to add that when you look at whether it's a transportation bill in basically any -- there are all sorts of programs that have different cost shares with regard to what the feds put in and what state and local agencies are required to put in as their part of the match. and however it is that they get them. and one of the things that i think has been very interesting in terms of this last year or election cycle was in terms of
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how many ballot measures there were at the state and local level with regard to infrastructure. and that people voted for them overwhelmingly and most of those went forward because people saw the need for infrastructure investments and whatever those measures were, whether it was an increase in a particular tax or in terms of voting in new bonds, it was dedicated to those kinds of projects because people knew specifically what exactly that they were buying and people supported it, including a number of states increased their state gasoline taxes because the need for infrastructure investment was so acute in their state and local jurisdictions. >> i'll mention on that following up on carol's comment,
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i think there are over ho 40 0 ballot measures in the 2016 election and about 70% passed. then in the last five years or so, we've got i think over about half the states have increased their gas tax, so -- and if you look at those states, i think there's maybe 90% of the incumbents got re-elected. so states are recognizing the need to do this. they are investing and certainly is helping to make a difference and they're doing it without ramifications politically. maybe at the federal level that there is a lesson to be learned there. >> any other questions? okay. over here. could you wait just a second for the mike. there you go. >> when you talk about infrastructure life cycle, do you consider repurposing or multi use types of infrastructure, is that under consideration?
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>> yes, in fact the envision rating tool specifically talks about that. >> yeah. so it -- take transportation as an example. obviously, intermodal transportation and the notion of it has been around for a long time, but even if you look at dulles airport where they're finally extending the silver line and that's been probably in the works for 25 years, you know, they're just now making that an intermodal facility where you can take a train to the plane. so obviously there should be a big premium put on that. you know, highway construction is very popular, but i think there's consensus view that you just can't build the roads bigger and bigger. it encourages more people to drive and that one of the best ways to relieve congestion is to provide alternatives to people through different types of intermodal transportation. sould like to think that there's
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a big premium being placed on retro fitting existing assets to make them more intermodal in the transportation context. and dulles airport would be a good example of that. >> and i think actually some of the ballot measures last year are also good examples of that so you might want to take a look at some of those. okay. right over here. >> i have a question -- clarification from mariana. you spoke about three areas of say influence on need for resilience planning and one is the weather-related -- you know, weather pattern changes that are climate related and the second was the cyber security issues and then budgetary crisis. could you elaborate just a little bit on those last two because i'm trying to understand. are we talking about just a threat to society in terms of the cyber area in particular or
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just sort of terror threat in general or also are you talking about government budget crisis only? >> absolutely. very briefly of course you have climate change, the second one is cyber security that actually is a priority of the current administration as well. we are in conversation, for example, very briefly the department of defense who is starting to think about how some of their missions would be powered by off grid power plants because in case there's any attack to the system, to the electricity grid they could still operate. they want to make sure that whatever happens under any circumstance that they can still operate immediately, that they're dealing to that. the last one is u.s. doesn't really use, correct me if i'm wrong, multi-year frame work, meaning that the operation part of the asset is not budgeted but as well a lot of decisions on infrastructure are highly
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political. and it moves with political winds. instead of just creating a frame work that whatever needs there are in the country, in the state whatever is needed, it's going to function independently of whoever is going to be in the administration. that's what i meant. >> any last comments or questions? okay. >> you talked about sustainability and profitability in questions where the economic benefits is something without way of the sustainability, like a -- causing coastal resilience issues for the barrier islands, how do you pan out the costs of that so that the people of the islands don't have to pay for say something that might not really help them that much in the long run? specific to those people like in their mind. so i guess my question is how
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would you spread out the costs and benefits of that to better represent that? >> i would just note that, you know, if you're port because of the draft on the ships is becoming outdated and it can no longer accommodate state of the art vessels, that port is going to pretty quickly die and so is the tax base. so, you know, obviously there's always balancing with dredging activities and so on, but you would like to think that there's a maintained or increased tax base that allows for additional collateral complimentary investments in let's say barrier islands or something in order to safeguard them against any possible adverse consequences associated with expanding the tax base. >> and i would just add when we talk about the definition of sustainability, we define it as -- we say that the three
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components, economic, environmental and social. so you're really looking at all three of those when you're evaluating a solution so the institute for sustainable infrastructure are evail waiting all three. they're evaluating all three whether a project really meets the criteria under envision. thank you. >> great. well, thank you all for your participation in today's briefing. i encourage you to continue to watch our briefing series as it develops. and i hope that you will join us again on monday as we look at our next one dealing with states and emergency energy emergency preparedness. i want to say thank you very, vur much to this wonderful panel. there are lots of questions that were raised that i think we should probably go back to as we look at how we try to move solutions forward. and we would welcome your input
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if you have suggestions for other issues that you think would be great for us to look at or questions that you would like us to pursue, please let us know. and please join me in thanking this wonderful panel. [ applause ]. frnchts treasury secretary steve mnuchin testifies on capitol hill this week about domestic and international fiscal policy happening before the senate banking committee. watch live thursday 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. you can also find it online at or listen on the free c-span radio app.
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we need physicians and other health professionals who are technically competent, who are problem solvers, who are life-long learners, who are team leaders, consensus builders, indeed who are business managers and who can share power constructively and gracefully. i would just hope that you would understand what this responsibility means. that it means reaching out. it means caring about more than yourself. it means asking about we rather than me. have the fortitude to do the right thing, not the easy thing. don't be somebody's lap dog or sick a fan. have the courage to speak the truth even when it is unpopular. i want to talk with you about being open to the unexpected. about making room for the improbable and the unlikely. past commencement speeches
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from the c-span video library and join us for this year's commencement speeches as we hear from politicians, business leaders and white house officials. starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern on saturday may 20th, the 27th, the 29th memorial day and june 3rd on c-span and next, a conversation with republican representative neal dunn from florida's second congressional district. he sat down with us to talk about his medical career in the military, and his legislative priorities as a new member of the congress. from capitol hill, this is ten minutes. congressman neal dunn, what were you doing before you joined the u.s. house of representatives? >> i was a surgeon in panama city during neurological surgery and i've been doing that there for 25 years or so. >> and what was your practice? and why did you decide to go to panama city to open it? >> oh, so panama city my w


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