tv Senate Hearing on the Energy Sector Climate Change CSPAN March 19, 2021 11:30am-1:49pm EDT
talk about how culture influences president. exploring the american story, watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3. you're watching c-span3, your unfiltered view of government. c-span3 was created by american cable television companies, and today we're invited by these television companies who expand c-span3 to viewers as a public service. the senate environment and public works committee held a hearing on the impact of climate change on the electric grid and the future of clean energy jobs. los angeles mayor eric garcetti, a utility company executive and a representative of the gas company were among those who testified.
good morning, everybody. i call this meeting to order. senator katko and i are excited to talk about climate change and our risk sector. mayor garcetti, who i presume is in california, mr. folk, mr. snyder, mr. wood. we talk about technicalities about things like parts per million or carbon dioxide or the equivalent. get beyond these terms and the reality is more severe and the urgency more apparent. in texas last month, as we know, that reality hit home. an estimated 4.5 million texans lost power, some stranded for
days on end in the freezing cold without heat or running water. families literally froze to death, were poisoned by carbon monoxide, were trapped in home fires. overall the tragedy took the lives of 80 people, and the estimated damages to people's homes, businesses and livelihoods are expected to reach over $90 billion. it is heartbreaking and it should never have happened in this country. it's clear that texas was ill prepared for the unusually frigid temperatures. gas-fired power plants, nuclear reactor, coal plants and wind turbines and natural gas wellheads all succumbed to temperatures they were unprepared for. it was fueled by climate change, and sadly, it won't be the last. as we'll hear today from mr. rusko, a report released this
morning from the government accountability office says that climate change is expected to have far-reaching effects on the electricity grid that could cost the american people tens of billions of dollars in power outages like the devastation we've just seen in texas. but the future of more struggling for climate change is not written in stone. we can look at a resilient sector as our president says we need to build back better. a judge wants to ask the committee -- i love to tell this story -- a judge asked a bank robber, mr. sutton, mr. sutton, why do you rob banks? mr. sutton reported famously, because that's where the money is. and when people ask about
climate change, i say that's where a good deal of the emissions are. as it turns out, transportation mobile sources are responsible for about 28% of our total greenhouse gas emissions, electricity is the second source of 27% of our nation's total emissions, and industry is the third counting for about 22%. it adds up to more than three-quarters of these greenhouse gas emissions in our country. if we want a cleaner, safer planet, and we do, all of us, we have to make the reduction of electric power missions a top priority. president obama understood this, and that's why he set a national target to reduce power plant emissions about 32% below 2012 levels. a clean power plan was crafted after responding to 4.3 million public comments and working with
local leaders and stakeholders. i had my staff double-check 4.3 million. that's the correct number, 4.3 million comments. i asked her, what had they responded to, and the answer was apparently almost every one of them. but there are critics who said several years ago that these national targets were too ambitious. president trump agreed and he replaced the power plan and replaced it with an illegal plan that was thrown out by the courts. it turned out they could not be more wrong about the power plan. utilities are far surpassing its goals. we'll hear from one of our witnesses, mr. folk, who says 85% of its carbon emissions should be gone by 2030.
this move didn't happen by chance. state and local programs are driving the energy markets and utility decisions to go clean. today 30 states have adopted mandatory renewable or clean energy standard for their electricity sector. 30 states. 14 of them have plans in place to transition to 100% renewal or zero emission energy. dozens of utility companies have pledged to decarbonize their electricity in the coming decades. 40% of american households are now served by utilities that have pledged to completely decarbonize by 2050. this is encouraging progress, but the one way we can get to a truly clean and safe electricity sector is if we come together and chart a lasting bipartisan path forward. president biden, when i hear the words clean energy, the words that come to mind for me are job creation. we need every job we can create
and grow. clean energy can create millions of good-paying jobs, strengthen our economy and build a more sustainable future for our children and for our grandchildren. we have a real opportunity to make this happen for the american people, and i think we have an obligation not to let them down. with that i am delighted to turn to our ranking member shelly capito from the great state of west virginia for her opening statement. >> thank you, and i would like to thank the witnesses who appear here today both in person and remotely, and i appreciate an opportunity to talk about an issue that's extremely important to everybody. i think the recent cold disaster that the chairman talked about in texas and similar weather outages in the past few years have made challenges to the electric sector that policymakers must address. one is most certainly reliability. we need to ensure that our
energy sources are resilient to the impact, storms, wildfires or cyberattacks. if an emergency occurs, we want to make sure any of those impacts are minimized and remedied quickly. the other is affordability. building and maintaining a power system, especially with innovative technologies, comes at a price. we need to make sure we are not making it unaffordable to turn on those lights, especially during and after a challenge to grid reliability. and also for those who are in the lower and mid incomes where the higher cost of utilities are particularly difficult to manage. i would suggest there are two key strategies that this committee can support to advance these related goals. first we need an all-the-above energy strategy. clean energy is not just wind and solar power. it includes nuclear energy, low carbon natural gas, hydropower,
geothermal battery storage and electricity generated from coal and innovative ways. they will provide the flexibility to switch sources if one generation becomes unavailable. despite the progress some may seek to ignore, american emissions have steadily decreased in the power sector over the last decade. all global emissions have risen, especially in china. as of 2019, carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector have decreased 32% since 2005, and 2017 marked the ninth time this century that the u.s. reduced emissions more than any other nation. thanks primarily to the revolution in domestic natural gas production. we need to continue to build up america's energy leadership and
invest in innovation and innovative ways which directly ties in with a theme i've mentioned before. we can't build back better if we can't build anything at all. while general oversight of the grid is not within the committee's jurisdiction, proper permitting absolutely is. certainty in permitting and consistent regulations is essential for building the relevant infrastructure to achieve our goals of reliability and affordability. for too long states and project sponsors have been stuck in a regulatory purgatory, seeking endless approvals from up to 13 different federal agencies. additionally dozens of state and local approvals are typically required before construction. building on the streamlining provisions enacted under title 41 of the fact act and the
creation of the steering council, the one federal decision policy called for early coordination and predictable timelines to deliver decisions in a timely manner without compromising any environmental protections. however, one federal decision was revoked under one of president biden's first actions in office when he signed executive order 13990. it will be hard to deliver on clean energy if permitting complexity represents an unsurmountable challenge. adds one example, new winded solar projects are often constructed hundreds of miles from consumers, far from existing transmission lines to move that construction when it's needed. the ambitious goals set by president biden of zero emissions by 2035 is just a costly pipe dream. if there was any doubt as to the
path my democrat friends want us to think about, i think if we look at what's happened, and i see my colleague here from california, and i'm really pleased that we have mayor garcetti on the panel because i want to look at what's specifically going on in the city of los angeles. according to the the bureau of labor statistics in january, los angeles households paid 52% more for electricity than the nationwide average in the same month, and that's despite l.a.'s famously beautiful and milder weather. this is nearly 7% more than loss angelans paid last january. so the trend is going the wrong direction on affordability for the city of angels. on reliability, according to the u.s. administration in 2019, the average american lost power for approximately 7.4 hours because
of events like floods, blizzards and hurricanes. in california, also in 2019, customers had 9.78 hours without power, which is more than a five-hour difference. which doesn't sound like much, but when you look at it percentagewise, it's double the amount of time. wildfires and controlled outages aren't the only blame. outages in non-fire months were also up compared to 2019. and los angeles led the way with 5,787 blackouts in the year 2019, impacting more than 6.4 million customers. it goes to my reliability premise. this is before ambitious plans to electrify transmission of natural gas plants. the mayor is closing, i think, three natural gas plants. so california, its lack of power
emissions is happening in that state. i suggest it will continue to go that way in california and i suggest we can do it in the rest of the country. in his testimony, he hit on my other premise of where i think we need to go. i was very pleased to see that he is interested in@xykythis isi agree with them on and i believe to be a priority for our committee. i want to thank the chairman and take a moment -- should i introduce question mark -- should i introduce? >> never a bad time to introduce west virginian. what you think all of the witnesses and particularly jim would for being here to testify. jim wood is a director of energy at the university of west virginia.
virginia university where he also serves as director of the u.s.-china clean energy research center advanced coal technologyk consortium. in force.2019, mr. wood was app by his governor jim justice to e the task force. the task force is bringing manufacturing opportunities to the state ahead of the petrochemical industry in appalachia. additionally, jim has eight as years of experience in the power industry. he came to us in 2013 where he n wasol ceo of the massachusetts-based company focused on wastewater treatment and power-generated oal technologies. prior to that, jim was deputy assistant of doe's office of 4.5 clean coal for president obama, and he was responsible for a $4.5 billion program for research and demonstration projects related to c carbon to
capture and storage, generation cycles, fuel cells and advanced processes. i'm really happy to have jim. ap i relied on him as an expert toe help me. we're happy to have him in west virginia and we're really pleased to have him today. thank you. >> mr. wood, welcome. born in beckley, so it's nice to have another west virginian in the room, even if virtually. next i want to see if you might introduce another one of our witnesses whose name has been e mentioned, the mayor of the city of angels. >> thank you, mr. chair, and itn ranking member capito for inviting me and allowing me to . introduce my friend mayor eric garcetti. he was born and raised in the san fernando valley like myselfi
he's a true public servant. we served together on the los angeles council for a period of time, he's an intelligence officer in the united states naval reserve and currently serves as the 42nd mayor of the city of los angeles. throughout his tenure, among hie priorities, has been leading the way with some of the nation's s most ambitious climate goals particularly helpful over the e course of the last four years as the prior administration retreated from the global stage. mayor garcetti mobilized mayorsh across americaas to adopt the u paris-climate agreement. the city of los angeles has the largest municipal, electrical and water utility in the country. we refer to it as the los angeles department of water and power. and that utility is rapidly and successfully meeting california's state renewable energy goals ahead of schedule.
additionally, mayor garcetti has served in leadership roles for l.a. metro, a transit agency fos the region, not just the city of los angeles, where he has tion advanced the electrification of the bus fleets. mayor garcetti has had a critical voice locally, regionally and nationally on gs climate change, not just for the sake of achieving climate goalsy but for fostering economic ericg growth and opportunity.t so, colleagues, please welcome my friend, mayor eric garcetti. >> thank you for that introduction. mayor garcetti, can you hear mei >> i can, thank you. can you hear me okay? >> i'm a retired navy captain i used to be stationed up and dow the coast of california during the vietnam war. i was a naval fighter commander
and also the intelligence officer for my squad. are you still in the reserves? >> last year, i had two terms of reserve service. >> thank you for your service ie that capacity, too. we've got several other distinguished witnesses on today's panel. frank rusco is an officer in the accountability office whose job is to service our watchdog and help us be more fiscally responsible. we thank you, frank, for joining us and send the best to your colleagues. we're also fortunate to have two other witnesses join us virtually. ben folk, who is the chief executive officer of excel presd
energy. welcome, ben. i have a son ben.asso it's one of my favorite names. and also from the state natural gas association of america. we thank you all for joining us. you may proceed when you are ready. take it away. thank you.e >> thank you.d for chairman carper, ranking member and members of the committee, i'm pleased to be here today to discuss the need for greater climate resilience of the electricity grid. the fourth national climate eme assessment published in novembe, 2018 warned, among other things, that extreme weather and other n staster-causing events will increase in aadaptation measures will need to be taken to avoid large societal losses.frastr in addition, the electricity grid as part of electricity and energy infrastructure more h broadly, is considered a
critical infrastructure to protect public health, safety, the economy and national icity security. our report beingng issued this morning looks at climate nd the resilience of the electricity grid in this context.recent we found that the cost of large power outages as occurred recently in texas are likely to cost many billions of dollars l annually unless theex grid is me more resilientfire tos climate-related extreme weather, wildfires, sea level rise and flooding. these include the direct cost of repairing damage caused to the grid but alsoso includes significant but hard to quantify broader societal costs.that these latter include the cost to consumers and businesses that lose power during climate-related events.ey they also include public healths and safetyy disruptions when power to other key sectors is disrupted.tributed importantly, the cost borne by t consumers during power outages are not equally distributed
across income levels. frequently lower income e they consumers suffer ive po disproportionately during power outages because they have less access to alternative power anf sourcesew such as rooftop solarc generators and fewer resources to be able to temporarily r ince relocate out of the effected area. lower incomed populations are afford s able to increases in electricity rates, which is ultimately the way investment operations and maintenance costs of the grid are covered.what so, how do we know what risk investments do make and how can it be paid for?eral gao's disaster risk framework provides some ideas. first, the federal government needs toall play a role in ers,i providing qualitync informationo all stakeholders, including private owners of the grid, state and local regulators and rate payers about the risks associated with climate-related power disruptions.sures.
this can help state and local le regulators understand the needr for resilience measures. secondly, the federal government can play aa role in integrating and coordinating across n. stakeholders to achieve a ent consensus on what specific actions need to be taken. third, the federal government can provide positive incentives or reduce disincentives to encourage resiliency measures to ta undertaken. the key federal agencies at play here.ion doe has the capacity and has ti, taken many steps in cooperationo with some utilities, national g labs and other key stakeholders to identify climate change risks to the grid. however, d.o.e. needs to develot a plan to guide its resilience efforts and to better leverage the national labs in these efforts. d.o.e. also needs an agencywidee strategy forri enhancing grid resilience to climate change risks.
ferc, similarly, needs to better identify and assess reliab climate-related risks to the grid and plan a response using its authority over grid nce meas reliability. while d.o.e. and ferc can help identify and plan what resilience measures should be taken, this still leaves a question of how it will be paid for. jao does not offer a solution here but some observations from our body of work may be useful. first, climate change poses ricks to environmental and creates a cans and fiscal exposure to the federal government. the federal government can reduce its fiscal exposure if federal efforts are coordinated andoving directed toward commos such as improving climate resilience. secondly, climate resilience will take a whole society approach to determine what measures to take and what partsi of society bear what costs. lower income populations often bear disproportionate burden
during disaster events and are r less able to pay for individual resilience measures or for those built into the greater system. lastly, as a fourth national thr climate assessment advises, even though there remains uncertaintn about the precise effects of climate change in in every sector, acting sooner rather toa than later whilerd c prudently learning along the way is the appropriate path toward climatey adaptation. thank you. ques >>statement. chll be happy to answer any questions you mayew have.we loo >> mr. rusco, you've given us a lot to chew on and we look forward to asking you some questions in a little bit. let's turn to our other witnesses. mayor >>garcetti, we thank you r joining us, i presume, for the west coast. please proceed with your testimony, mayor. welcome. >> thank you. soyou, chairman, ranking member carper, to the entire group there, and thank you senator padilla, who i enjoyed talking energy policy together when we both sat next to each oe other in the los angeles city
council. two decades later so proud of your representation of our i golden state. great to be with friends and senator duckworth, senator iss sanders, senator erm hofer. i'm so happy to be able to s la testify on this important issuel today.o los angeles is the nation's gicond largest city. with an energy demand equal to that of the state of colorado, just to give you a picture of y what our challenges are every single day. i'm here to say in no uncertainr terms that an energy grid that is 100% renewable, relyleable and resilient can be achieved. los angeles is proof. in 2002 our utility was just 2% renewable. 50% coal. today we are 40% renewable and by 2025 we'll have zero percent coal. seeing what happened in cities
a bipartisanlimate group of 500 mayors of ts, republicans, democrats and mayors and we know clean energyo transformation isn't just portun possible but it's ait necessityg we're excited about this work because it's created jobs, and keeping the lights on and it i fueling the next generation of america. an important part of this grid transition. we own our utilityyon so our weo build it from scratch. we're building a renewable grid on our own. from soup to nuts, all while having to keep the power flowing 24/7. k that's power for ventilators that are keeping loved ones alive today. that's power for our port, the largest in the western hemisphere that brings 40% of all goods into europe, states across country.ith econ power for stadiums and venues that will soon propel our economic recovery.
even as our state -- we haven't had a single rolling blackout in los angeles because we've made sure that renewable energy is rs also reliable energy.ss the with connected to partners across the western united states, co-owner and co-building the hoover dam, hydropower in the pacific northwest, wind power in wyoming and new mexico, green hydrogen in utah, and coupling this with our local distributed power inside the basin, in los angeles this is on rooftops and batteries, we're saving peoplericity money. it's not the rate of electricity, what you pay on the bill that everybody cares about. count this, $1.5 billion in frvings in energy efficiency alone since i took office eight years ago. you've seen the news. climate events are getting more frequent. they're more dangerous. literally losing their lives. our work is that much more urgent. two local examples to square this point for me in los angeles. we're used to heat, but since july 2018 we had temperatures
spike 108 degrees that day. one of the hottest days in ng record. thoughstatio we had invested i'' some losts power for three day. there was plenty of power. this is climate change. it's time for us to change that old book. the second example you know well, the saddle ridge fire of october 2019.we cam 8800 acres burned and we came close to losingg our transmissin into los angeles. we came within an inchch ofrely rolling blackouts but it never k came because we could rely on local energy. panels on rooftops that kept the electricity going. whether it's destructive wildfires, the record heat waves or storms in texas, there are two questions that occupy americans, especially young americans. how do we save our planet? caere's my place on that planet? a zero carbon grid, zero carbonr transportation, zero waste and zero waste of water. we're on our way to 55%
renewable energy by 2025 and 80% by 2036, 100% by no later than 2045. we're tackling american innovation to have the biggest t study of itsor kind in american history to get there, to make it more reliable and cheaper. one example we invest in the largest server in the nation's 0 history with the cheapest price ever in the world for both generating and storing electricity. than 280,000 house holds worth.we it's cheaper than a new gas in plant. we look at our ability to not n only invest in jobs but to invest in the future. make your investments bigger and bolder and faster. expand our ev tax credits to help all drivers that are electric and so much more. in other words, federal urgency has to match local drive. trust me, we'll have local dollars to mooch that as well. i look forward to questions and answers. this is the moment to think big,
to act fast and, yes, to also th look at the regulatory power ofr american creativity. thank you. >> thank you for those words. we'll now turn to ben fowke. your recognized to present your testimony. please proceed. >> thank you, chairman carper, ranking member capito, i'm ben fowke, serving 3.6 million electric customers and 2 million natural gas customers in eight western and midwestern states. i also serve as chairman of the board of the edison electric ea. institute.ved xcel has long been a clean energy leader. in 2021 we reached 50% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels.electr just over two years ago i announced a two-part goal for ne xcel energy's business, to deliver 100% carbon-free energy by 2050 and in the interim to
reduce our carbon dioxide ader b emissions byec 80% by 2030. xcel energy is a clean energy ir leader because we can b take advantage of the extraordinary wind and solar resources in our backyard. but our whole industry's moving. since december 18th -- december 2018, sorry, more than two dozen ei member companies have established zero or net zero in. targets on their own. the good news is our strategy ip working. we've announced plans toportfo y expand our portfolio of low-cost renewable, extend the life of one of our nuclear units, and retire or reduce the operation of our coal plants.e. these plants will reduce echnol emissions while keeping service, reliable and affordable.gy. they rely on proven mate technologies, especially renewable energy.ergy by 2030 we estimate that renewable energy will make up about two-thirds of our energy mix.r however, renewable energy can t only take us so far.tem
at higher levels of intermitten. renewables, the cost of the energy system begins to try, skyrocket and its reliability degrades. that means the whole industry, even xcel energy with our remarkable renewable resources, will need some form of new carbon-free 24/7 dispatchable generation to renew the last zo increment of emissions on our system and get to our goal of zero. now, these technologies may include hydrogen, advanced nuclear, advanced arenewables likeght of .thermal, carbon cap storage or other things we haven't thought of. i think public policy can make these things a reality.ing cong we along with eei and techno environmental groups arelo fedea encouraging congress to pass al carbon-free technology initiative focused on federal policies that will encourage kio their deployment. these technologies require the kind of innovation i know america can deliver. with the right policies, i'm rsn confident that our laboratories, companies and enbe tra practicea
newers can develop theset technologies and create new jobs and remarkable opportunity both here at home and abroad. but these technologies won't be available overnight. and until they arrive, we will g still need natural gas and existing nuclear generation on i our tasystem. lev natural gas and nuclear will facilitate high levels of renewable energy and maintain ll gridit reliability. new natural gas will only operate when needed. perhaps a small number of hours a year at peak demand when n renewables aren't available. for the next two dwek aids at least, natural gas and nuclear do not stabbedth in the way of e energy's clean transformation. i believe they enable it.t. in other words, we need a ener balance, diverse energy portfolio. that's the key to affordable, te reliable energy system. extreme weather that impacted our nation on presidents' day weekend made that clear. now, we don't serve that portion of texas that was most effectedd for our system, we were able tot maintain electricity power and
natural gas service for our customers, but we did experience the enormous fuel cost increases. i would also say thee reliabiliy de to of our system was no accident. it was a result of actions we've taken over the last decade to invest in a balanced resource mix, nuclear, coal, gas, wind s. and solar. we relied on all these resources during the cold snap. we also invested in the resilience of our generating resource. equipping our wind turbines witc cold protection and making sure our natural gas fired plants are winterized and equipped with dual capabilities.g pipeline system because i forw believe we're going to bearwithg needing it more than ever going forward. i think with the right o an policies, electric utilities can lead thee nation to an affordable, reliable and prosperous clean energy future and congress can help. we believe the right kind of clean energy standard would heln promote the clean energy
transformation. to accelerate clean energy development, congress must also reform the current clean energy tax incentives by providing a direct pay option and addressing tax normalization. i provided more detail on theseo tax policies with my written r. testimony for the record. thank you for the opportunity to speak today. i very much look forward to youu questions. nefowke, thank you for those comments. next inpl our lineup, sandra go snyder. please proceed. >> chairmaname is s carper, rani member capito and members of the community, good morning. g i'm vice president of environment of the interstate national gas association of america, inga. thank you for holding this hearing and the opportunity to testify.portunit inga appreciates the committee'i focus on climate change, energy reliability and fostering economic growth as we build back better. inga's members transport natural gas through an underground tem. network of pipelines that is pls
analogous to theta interstate highway system.d these transmission pipelines typically span multiple states s and link major and natural gas supply basins to consumption areas. this extensive network has been built and maintained using private capital. i have four main points i would like to convey. prrst, the natural gas transmission and storageog sect has continued to make progress l on reducing greenhouse gas cros emissions. second, natural gas enables worl cleaner, reliable and affordable energy across the u.s. and the world.he inf third, infrastructure energ predictability is keyy to building back better. and fourth, natural gas empowers critical service energies vital to ourr economy. the natural gas transmission and storage sector has been and continues to be committed to being part of the climate ns frm solution. na2011 and 2019, the average methane emissions from natural gas emission compressore
methane emissions from our facilities. in january of this year, members went further stations decreased by in januarn of this year, inga's members went further by committing to work together as an industry tos achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from their assets by 2050. our members are committed to f reducing the carbon intensity of their infrastructure by reducing emissions from the transmission of natural gas using new technologies andnd exploring opportunities for our infrastructure to potentially e evolve inss the future.velopm to be successful, greater investments into research and ae development wills. be necessarys well as new constructive energy policies and practices. natural gas infrastructure enables reductions in carbon dioxide emissions across the u.s. and global economies without compromising reliability or affordability. 2005 and 2019, co2
emissions from the u.s. power as sector declined by 33% with fuel switching to natural gas accounting for more than half o, those reductions. additionally, to support the growth of as necesrenewable ene members of inga will provide the services necessary for flexible, fast ramping generation and reliability energy storage to d minimize the risk of power disruptions. 99.79% of firm contractual commitments to transportation customers at the primary delivery points in their contract. furthermore, liquefied natural gas exports from the u.s. can help other countries meet their energy needs while also reducing emissions. clarity and flexibility in the infrastructure permitting process are key to building back better. clarity and flexibility in the infrastructure are key to building back better. interstate natural gas line pipeline projects are subject tu regulatory oversight by multiple
agencies including ferc, u.s. army corps of engineers and u.s. wildlife. to complement the growth of renewable energy and deliver lower carbon fuels, we need permanent predictability and e l clearie regulatory environments that can be applied in a we h consistent fashion.ears on our members' projects have atesh sometimes facedav years of ar dr litigation because certain ec states refuse to comply with congress' clear direction under the clean water act regarding the timeline and scope of their assess water y quality impacts.n the epa recently engaged in rule making and revised its clean water action section 4-1 regulations to prevent states from overstepping their amthority. similarly, ceq amended its ing h regulations laste year to addrs many of the issues raised in litigation, including the scope anded content of a federal lari permanent agency tynepa's reviee a lack of regulatory hampers
natural gas industry as well as. other sectors trying to move america towards a cleaner energy future. natural gas is a foundational fuel that empowers our current t and future economy. we need stable and affordable energy to recover from the pandemic, while creating new jobs, fueling academic growth minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.nsumed approximately one-third of the natural gas consumed annually ir the u.s. is used for power generation. it is alsoo used for products anddrug services such as food preparation, cars, prescription drugs and construction materials. the opportunities for renewable energy may expand, there will continue to be a need for natural gas and associated infrastructure. thank you again for the opportunity to testify. for >> ms. snyder, with he thank yol for joining us.inia, thank you for your thtestimony. last but not least, from west virginia, the mountain state, mr. wood.u for
>> chairmanth carper, ranking dw member capito and other members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to give nerous testimony and to answer your questions. senator capito, thank you also for your generous introduction. west virginia university is a 6. public land grant research ted intense university founded in 1867. this designated an r-1 university by the carnegie classification of institutions of higher education. funding for sponsored research programs from all sources exceeded 194 million in fiscal 2019-2020. examples of west virginia's innovative research activities include developing a rare earth oxide extraction process. this is being done with the help of natural laboratory in tting collaboration with virginia tech and rockwell automation.g replacing high carbon-emitting
steam methane reforming processes with catalyst thermocatalytic conserver to hydrogen. developing techniques and technologies to integrate state-of-the-art downwell innovative fiber optic and pro microseismicdu sensors to make a improvement inti data collectio and production tools with advanced big data and machine cc learning applications for accurate reservoir characterization and modeling of the marcels and uca shales. renewable sources of energy andd wvu with cornel and west t so virginiaur national guard are researching designs for use on l campus. finally, with he sponsorin the o national alternative fuels globl training con sorry see yum which is available to train people national, able to train people
to maintain vehicles powered byc alternative fuels including electricity.electric there arere a number of importa and practical considerations int addressing the challenges facing the electricity sector in support to climate change and ju fostering economic growth. first is affordability.ce a just as manufacturing seek low cost labor advanced mechanisms to reduce the cost produce a low-p product, when electric rates to rise, manufacturing will see electricity in order to remain competitive. this will slow economic growth y in areas to attract manufacturing and will shift cost recovery away from industry and toward nonindustrial d consumers. today there are manufacturers searching, eveneman demanding low-cost electricity for renewable sources. second, resilience and reliability. most commercial formserat ofed electric generation are designed, constructed and nt cyc operated to be very reliable.
natural gas combined cycle plant can operate nearly 100% between caoper maintenance periods, wind turbines can operate for three s years between oil changes but require preventive maintenance two to three times a year, whicn is obviously scheduled when thei wind is not blowing. third is diversity in generation. the wind farms in west virginia are on mountain ridges because that's where the wind blows.on o gas generation can occur whenever there is viable pipelines. coal-fired generation is the principle source of electricity in west virginia and the supplies of coal are plentiful. solar generation may have a tougher time as west virginia's pretty bumpy and northern parts of the state are cloudy from october until mid-spring. fourth is grid stability. the grid operator must have a viable plan for providing power to offset intermittency.
it -- and hardened against cyber security. fifth is horitystorage. there is a lithium-ion battery project in connection with a iss stnd project near elkins. they have begun discussion with the army corps of engineers on its use of data. storage technology will need improvements in order to providf effective economic replacement of energy during periods of bete renewable intermittency. between 1990 and 2018 west virginia's co2 emissions declined 33.2%. to the cost effective ccus must increase in order to retain some amount of coal and gas e generation in the state to helpa offset the intermittency problem. passage of 45q tax credits was a boost to ccus but low capital e
cost exceed benefits available to ccsu systems and some parts of the state, geology is hope unsuitable for subsurface timeage of co2. i hope this information is useful and i thank you for your time and attention. >> thank you so much for those comments. great of you to join us. senator manchin and i began working with aspen institute foc a workshop in west virginia. maybe in morgantown in late whs spring that focuses on how do we help make g sure the folks whos jobs -- previous jobs have gone away, how do we help make sure they land on their feet and have a bright future as well as we work to reduce the amount of carbon pollution in our country and in our planet. i just want to ask each of you to give us a good idea on how to do that. give us a good idea how to do o that, to better ensure folks facing real hardship because ond
their contribution, if you will, is toward helping reduce carbon dioxide in our planet, that on a contribution is t lost, in many cases, their livelihood. your advice on what we can do to help them? let's start, if we could, with . mr. rusco. any thoughts you have, go ahe mr. rusco, and we'll go right down the line. go ahead, mr. rusco. >> thank you. tra you know, i think that the energy system is in a wide transition. it started really with the advent of lower cost natural gan as a result of the high drotic fracturing innovation. and that has been the primarily driver behind retirements of coal plants and nuclear power plants as well. the rapid expansion in recent years of renewable resources has
also helped with -- or furthered that transition. you know, a further transition we need to think aboutsa is almt every major car manufacturer in the world has said they are kina going to electrify their feet sooner rather than later. we're really looking at a job massive transition in energy. and that will have implications on jobs regionally and there will need to be thoughtful policies in place to try to finb work and training in new sectors for people who are losing their job as a result of this transition.have s i'm sorry. i don't have specific ideas. > that's fine. you can hold it right there. let's turn next to -- i'd like to go to our chairman of xcel.
would you go ahead and -- i think it's ben, ben fowke. would you give us some ideas? try to use about a minute of your time. thanks. >> yeah, i'll be brief. we're already dealing with this. and there's nothing -- it's very personal when it's your community or your job that's being lost as a result of this clean energy transition. what we've done is proactively talking to our employees in communities in advance, giving r long lead times.iremen thr our employees, we're using natural attrition,at retirement and rear retraining any employees that want to continuew toith work at xcel if they want other jobs.y and i think we've developed very good partnerships with our unions in that regard. we would like to repurpose that site with replacement energy so the tax base is preserved. and h we doubled down on our economic development efforts. we've been very successful in bringing businesses into those o communities using that existing infrastructure in place, and it's worked out, quite honestly,
pretty well. so that's what we're doing. that's what we plan to do going forward. >> great.ny ms. snyder, any thoughts you ali have? briefly, please.ew as be >> yes. natural gas is a foundational fuel that we view as being verya necessary to address the climate solution. i think going forward we are very committed to expanding the availability of natural gas and complementing the renewable sources that may be growing out there. so being, part of that process. and also transporting lower ilae carbon fuels. i we do think there will continuec to be jobs available in our industry. we recognize the so need to kee the cost of energy down so it that's not having a negative ant impact on other parts of the economy.cturing it's so important to ural g manufacturing industry as well as smalle. businesses like >> restaurants, that they have affordable natural gas available. >> mr. wood, please.
thanks, ma'am. same question. >> thank you. i'm more inclined to think aboun planning first and acting right after the planning. i think we need to stimulate r & d in renewables.er there'smitt nothing that i know yet that's going to stop the intermittency of the existing p. renewables we have.t ha when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine, you don't get power. if you don't have power, you have to have the ability to bring power from the outside into areas served by that. i think that's the first thing, is to plan this process so that wind and power and other renewables are going to exist, you'll be able to substitute power from outside that area, so that's one. second is i think we need some i work onum the development of lithium. electric batteries require of n
lithium. that's something we don't make n lot of in the states. it's being made a lot in china.n third is, besides making there electricity with natural gas,ark think there are other things we can do with natural gas to make products. >> we'll explore g that later.en mayor garcetti, would you give us a couple brief ideas and then we'll turn it over to the ranking member.hat we go ahead. >> we're hiring and it's been part of the great success of what we're doing to transition ecr our energy and climate needs to see our economy get a huge boost. by 2030 100,000 new jobs and a third of the job growth, which outpaced the country in the last recession in l.a. has come froms green usedjobs.ese ar i know that's a term that gets misused but these are union , ae paying, good jobs, transmission, et cetera, and we're investing in jobs in utah, investing in jobs in wyoming, new mexico, ing other places as well. a couple concreteially things id
say is natural training center.s you can do this especially withp people who have been left behini tr thees economy, communities o color, poor communities, rural communities are folks need that transition. we could show you some examplesh of that that we have done in los angeles. and target local hire and allow infrastructure, up h the senate will take hopefully later this year is critical to making sure jobs are local and people transitions from one job to theh next. make sure you find out who they are, train them with our community colleges. our labor unions can be useful and get them into good paying, middle class jobs. >> that's great. i skipped over one of our witnesses. th'll come back later and ask you to respond to thean same question. thanks very much. madame -- >> i'm going to yield my time -- or i'm going to let senator inhofe -- i'm not giving up my time. i'm i am letting him go in fr me. >> i appreciate that very much.. we have another committee going
on right now that i have to be there for. thank you very much. mr. fowke, we had problems throughout the country during this cold spell we had. in fact, my state of oklahoma in the coldest it's been since 1878, i think it is. befor so that's something we had not experienced before.ur nei but we handled it real well. we handled it -- we look at ourt neighbor down there in texas. thos had outages, all those problems. we didn't have those problems. and i have to say that it was d coal thatay saved the day. normally coal is about 10% of's our mix.th we di we had to use that up to 40%. that's the reason we didn't have the problems that some of the others did. i think that speaks to your concern about the fuel diversity and how important that is. now, i would say if our grids were operating on renewables
alone during that storm, what would have that looked like? would it have been more outages or less?can op >> erwell, i don't think the bin grid can operate onat renewable alone. i think it does need to be backed up, senator. increasingly, the nation is moving away from coal and towards natural gas, but, you t know, wehe have to have better coordination between the power sector and the gas sector because the interdependencies are not getting less, they're getting greater. >> thank you. >> we also have some coal. we have some natural gas. wer and they -- all of those -- our plants worked. they were ready to go.withou so, i think it can be done without coal, but you have to have a dispatchable resource and i think that's natural gas. >> my point is diversity, that's what saved us in the state of oklahoma. and then also the statement, il when you said it in your opening
remarks, we wrote it down because i like the way you saidd it. you said forar the next two f te decades at least natural gas ann nuclear do not stand in the way of the industry's clean energy transition, they make it possible. that's a great emenstatement.t? i would like to ask ms. snyder,y do you agree with that found statement? >> to yes, i absolutely do. natural gas is foundational to our energy system.g clim and i think it's going to play a very key role in addressing climate change. around one-third of electricity is used -- is generatedtremely natural gas right now in the u.s. and our system is extremely reliable. looking at a survey of the inga members, the interstate natural gastheir pipelines, over a ten- span, they were able to meet their firm contractual commitments 99.79% of the time. so we know how important that reliability is and we're looking
forward to the future to expanding the availability of natural gas, complementing renewables as well as transporting lower carbon fuels. >> that's good.e thing i appreciate that very much. now the one thing i wanted to get into, and i think there is time now, ms. snyder, to address this. that is the nepa permitting reform. in the previous administration, of course, there's a lot of criticism of our previous have a president on their feeling about the reforms and i've always felt anything that takes five years can be done in two years. and at that time, they were me talking about the council for environmental quality, found the average time to complete the environmental impact statement u was 4ld 1/2 years, which i felto was far too long.me t now, the president at that timeo said we could do it inur two years. we made some reforms there.vemet i'd like to have your opinion. do you think that the
improvements that were made during that time served to our advantage in nepa reform? >> yes, i do. nepa is the most litigated environmental statute out therel as you said, it takes some time in order to completee these essy environmental breviews. these environmental reviews arev necessary before our infrastructures in the ms wil opterstatel pipeline industry cn move forward and before ferc will issue a certificate in fe order for itdera to operate. but many different federal agencies are involved, and i j think that programs such as ther one federalal decision are just common sense to try to get the federal family to work together, cooperate, share information and work based upon a timeline. >> well, i agree with that., i think a lot of people are noty aware of the fact that it's not just gas, it's the wind industry
also supported those reforms. i think most all suppliers benefitted from those reforms. thank you very much, ave mr. chairman. >> thank you senator inhofe. i think we have senator cardin,f my neighbor in delmarva. if you're there, take it away, please. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman.havee thank you very much. the testimony off thi our witnesses.ink thank you for holding this at u hearing. i think it'ss critically important. as we look at building back better, how do we have an two electric grid that meets the challenges we have, meet climate change and meets carbon emissions? that's our goal. i want to try to cover two points, if i can, during my ger time.e. 20% of our total electricity is generated by nuclear power, but it's over 55% of the carbon free electric a
productions. nu talking about . building back better, wewe have a to veryy old nuclear fleet.east any specific suggestions as to the importance of at least maintaining our capacity for nuclear generated electricity?l and how can we go about doing ded in that? what type of additional federal policies arepower? needed in or be able to maintain our capacity for nuclear power? mr. fowke, you're in the energy business, so -- >> yeah.e more. well, i can't agree with you more. i do not think we can afford to take two steps backwards by losing our existing nuclear g na fleet, because you have the stats perfectly. it's 55% of our carbon-free energy. and, you rticalknow, i am fortu that i operate in a vertically g integrated environment, so i can -- i can convince my regulators, hopefully, of the
importance of nuclear, but when you're in a deregulated market and competing against purr price, it's not always recognized. i think there are ways we can preserve the nuclear fleet with grants. i think there was a legislation proposed around that or through. tax incentives, and i think it's extremely important as we look at that going to beforward. i'm also, try to be technology f agnostic, to get the last bit o carbon off our grid, but i'm a big fan of next generation nuclear and things like small sudular reactors. >> so, let me go to my second ie subject. that is the use of. technology. we are behind technology. it was mentioned during this panel that technology on batterr storage. we're not where weuilding need f what -- as we're looking at building back better, what type of incentives can we put into i
congressional action that will t advance technology in america so we can be the leader not only ie developing the technology but deploying technology, so we have a much more efficient system. we know that certain sources of carbon-free energy are difficult to store, advancing these technologies could not only helt us with more modern capacity to deal with the needs but also do it in d ao much more environmentally friendly way.org whate? suggestions do you have o order to advance technology such as battery storage?n th anyone on the panel wish to respond, i'll be glad to hear from them. >> thank you' s're much for then question. one of the thingss we're doing in los angeles is we're investing in transportation technology. it was mentioned by senator padilla, who passed the nation'n largest transportation measure at the local level. it's a one cent never sun n setting sales tax that's goingn to provide about $120 billion in the next 40 years.califo
our next generation bus companies in america, produce lithium from california where we're looking at places to pull lithium from the ground. i want to see those -- the r&d which you sawaw brilliantly fro california land a couple weeks ago, we have folks ready to do e this. but we do think the federal e government can play a big role y inin investing, working closelyl with the national renewable labs, for example. it wasn't elected officials, we didn't go to them and say how do we get los angeles 100% t as renewable without carbons spewing fuel, they did it as scientists. it was clear investing in those will help us compete globally. we're still buying most of our batteries abroad. t to produce them locally and i think the transportation sec to are is can d a robust pl where that infrastructure investment can double down while making sure that innovation comes from america. your po >> mayor, i think your points cg are well e taken.commen i would just encourage specific recommendations as to what we w
could include in an t type infrastructure bill that would a help advance that type ofpp investment here in america because we know it's happening globally. >> one specific thing would would be a natioio to have a national consortium, to put a national institute together for transportation innovation.on. right now that doesn't exist. that's something that could bea locate through d.o.t. or te d.o.t.&e together. right now it's being done well e by people in private sector or t abroad but here in the united states we don't have that..the that would be a welcome part of an infrastructure package. >> i thank you for the suggestion. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. d senator oesncapito is next and e going to yield to senator creamer. after that, if she doesn't reclaim her time, sheldon whitehouse would be next. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, senator capito.
thank you for this important hearing and this importantnt eaa topic. as you know, this is sort of in egulat my orwheelhouse. i spent nearly ten years as a j utility regularity at north dakota public service commissio where weov had not just direct,l you know,it regulation over thel price regulation over utilities and including xcel, citing of a lot of things including big transmission lines, pipelines, intrastate of energy conversion. including thousands of mega watts of wind but reliability was at the forefront. i would like to say we were doing resiliency before people thought it was cool. as you know, as you said, this is largely a ferc jurisdiction.i about threeency years dago, ths a ferc docket, and a few weeks ago they closed it with zero bj conclusions or zero fa
recommendations. i would say in light of the recent outages, it's an abject n failure. so, i want to submit, however a dissenting opinion. commissioner danley's dissent said it well.ne is quote, the bottom line is this. as long as we have markets that thocure the wrong types of generation ande in the wrong comptities because the resources providing the greatest to reliability benefits our insufficiently y competenced, w will continue to see events likl those in california and texas.t and i would highly recommend to people to read it. without objection, i would like to submit it to the record. >> without objection. >> mr. fowke, as you know, i've been a strong proponent of nuclear. i just want to associate myself with everything senator cardin said. and, by the way, the buildout, i the regulation, overseeing, we have to regulate it.o take there's no reason not to. i associate with myself said everything he said.
i want to piggyback a little bit on something he said that th senator inhofeat quoted. that is when you said nuclear -- something to the effect that nuclear and gas don't have to so stand in the way. y in fact, they're part of the solution. i would submit to you there's not a better fuel in the world than nuclear for accomplishing the goals that you want to accomplish. ito say that because i think it can -- i'm not -- it's not parochial to me. in no we don't have any nuclear in largh dakota. xcel has very little generation at all in north dakota, even fit though you'rere our largest utility, but we do benefit tremendously from nuclear plants in prairie island and in monticello. i once gothere trapped in montio because mymymy polyester pants out too much radiation. anyway, so i'm just going to associate myself with what he or asked and with yo you are stion answer. i appreciate that very much. you said something else that raised the question for me that gets to the point.
i don't mean it to be rude, but, you know, we don't have polar vortexes inth ourey part of theu country, as you know. we have winter. they seem like vortexes to some people, but not where we live. a xcel energy is not just an electric utility, but your a gas utility in my state as well as others.boutural g one of the things i worry about with regard to natural gas not g just as a bridge but somehow as a substitute for base load electricity is when we're a confronted with a 40-degree t below zero day, whichch is not as uncommon as people might think.r certainly 30 below is not. 20 below is not. but those are the days the windi rarelyty blows. you as a utility, if you're your confronted with either heating your home with natural gas or curtailing it to generate like electricity to keep your tion, computer operating in your home, which do you choose? it seems like a ridiculous question, but it's meant to make a point. i would welcome a response. >> well, i will tell you, first
of all, even our wind turbines with the windization package can't work below minus 22. to answer your question, you always choose a rolling rollingi electrical blackout versus gas out because the difficulty of relighting homes safely is incredibly time consuming. so, you know, during the winter storm yuri, we did have -- all o of our fossil generation, including nuclear generation, od worked. we natur switched to oil and we able to divert that natural gas that would have been used into the ldc for home heating. >> well, let me just add in my . final sentence here that i don't want to leave anything off the o table asal a solution. i'm all about your ambitious goals and i don't think we can get to your ambitious goals of,s
you know, 2050 carbon-free e without reforms to the permitting and citing process o for building the infrastructuree necessary, but i don't want to d leave out things like carbon ret capture utilization and storage. i don't think we're that far away from actually having even fossil energy beingto largely i not completely carbon-free.e. i want to work with people on the solutions not argue so much about the problems.t to with that, i yield. >> thanksit to for that. i ask to consent for the record report from the energy research andd consulting firm wood mckenzie and other related articles. these materials describe the recent blackouts in texas were caused by failures across the l entire utility system, natural gas and coal included due to lack of weatherization, lack of. energy reserves and that built to draw on resources from the national grid. with that done, i think senator whitehouse is going to be gene recognized. thanks torosenator the generosi
senator capito.nator sheldon will join us by webx and back to ranking member, and after her senator padilla, . senator wicker and joining us from alaska, senator sullivan. already, senator whitehouse, you're on. >> thank you, chairman. good to be with you.. thank you ranking member capito for letting me jump in here. to the last comment by senator r kramer, i think carbon capture has an important role in climate solutions, and ranking member capito and i have worked very well together on carbon capturee solutions. we are working right now in my office on an expansion on the direct air capture credit to help expand innovation into that space so it doesn't have to be so geographically limited. there's probably not a lot in r energy policy where we agree, but here we have overlap, so that's great.want t
i do want to say with ms. snyder here how very disappointed i have been in the way that the natural gas industry conducted itself recently with regard to methane leakage. we weree working, i thought, extremely well with the industry in the previous administration.y i thought the industry saw the cliff that coal went off and oil was headed for and we had had ad longer runway and wanted to prepare for the transition in a responsible way and understood l methane leakage wasea the bigge, part of the problem. we had an agreement about measuring that leakage and all of that. and then came the trump administration and all of that just got undone. th're now trying to rebuild, but i think a lot of things got burned in those years. one of them, i just have to say, was a lot of trust with the industry. and i hope we have the chance to rebuild that.
mr. fowke made the interesting n point that nuclear -- i think ws his phrase was, nuclear's ve carbon-free attributes are not always recognized. and that is a problem i've been trying to work with for some time. i couldn't agree more.fely o we've been trying to figure out a way to get existing safely operating nuclear plants into a 45q type compensation for the carbon-free nature of their power so they don't artificially compete unsuccessfully against new natural gas facilities. and i'd love to have your ith so thoughts on methat. if you want to give me those ai thoughtstt at some greater leng with reflection, i would be happy to take that as a written question for the record that yoe can respond to.to spe i'd also like you to talk about what we can do to speed up major transmission lines to the areasd in our country where there's dr abundant solar and wind.
short story. i drove through the wind river reservation in wyoming, which is three times the size of my home state. and went through miles of what seemed just completely vacant space that the wind was screaming across and the sun was beating down on.sing the and the two tribes who share that reservation are losing the slow pack that provides the summer water for them. it's basically their summer lime water storage. c so, they're looking at real trouble because of climate kup change. it would be great to be able tot have big industries like that p up inn that great big reservation, and yet it can't happen because there's no som transmission lines. so, a solution to that in built back better is something i'd n welcome. i'd love to have your brief exn comments on those. >> yeah, on the nuclear side, i think as we look to extend things like ptc, itc, we ought v to consider ptc for existing wi
nuclear to putth it on a even as playing siground. and i think nuclear could play on an even playing field. for transmission, let me give nn you an example. we knew we needed more transmission so we started our clean energy journey at the beginning of the 2000s. we just completed that journey . few years ago. it took 15 years to get it built. that's interregionally. i think what you're talking about is even more expanded highway. you know, permitting, cost allocation, those are the things stat really bog it down. and i think we've had some comments before having to streamline things like nepa, et cetera, to make that more cessar efficient. to be solutely goingg necessary. >> well, i'll try to work on bui that in build backng better because we're going to be doing a lot of building as a result of that bill. mr. chairman, i think identify gone over my time. i can't see my clock. you have another 24 seconds.>> go ahead, sheldon, use it. >> use it wisely.for us
i'll say another kind word for director capito, which is another great opportunity for us. >> okay.r senana roster here, after senator whitehouse, we're back to senator capito. >> thank you. mr. chairman, thank all of you. i want to ask mr. wood my first question, we've talked a lot about individual generation and how we're going to meet the challenges. one of the things that i think you've talked about is the diversity of energy sources, particularly as it relates to manufacturing. so, you know, if we're looking to keep our manufacturing base in part of b build back better bringing more americanba jobs, manufacturing jobs, back into this country.erse s what do you think diversity -- i mean, do you -- do we need the diverse set of energy resources to power our domestic ments industries? itt all on renewables? are capital investments in accs manufacturings based on the presumption that they get access
to affordable and reliable electricity? >> thank you for the question.' i think thet answer is definita no. we can't do it only on renewables until we have a solution for the intermittency. i can imagine where elon musk was thinking after he decided to move to texas and, lo and e is behold, he lost electricity for a long period of time and now wd he's going to build 100 megawatt storage facility outside of houston. i'd like to ask him what he n' thinks about running a plant rl that losesac electricity and cat get replaced because there's no replacement power that can at is connect with that part ofai tex. so, i don't think so. i think what i said before, which is, planning first process kight to take place where we understandnd where the large sources of renewables are, whatm kind of renewables they are, how far we want to transmit them and
where we have sources of nonrenewable electricity we can use, including, of course, gas to replace that. gas is -- understanding gas andf nuclear, but gas is a little bi better for this renewable wind intermittency because gas units can change load fairly quickly. and when the wind stops, that's -- you've got -- if rgy e you're not going to shut downry plant, you have to change sources of energy very quickly. nuclear has a pretty good record in changing load, but not as s good as thefo gas plants. >> thank you. thank you again for being on the panel. we've heard a lot about the nepa process being 4.5 years. w i mentioned in my opening't statement that we can't build back better if we can't build. senator whitehouse just talked ,
about transmission and the carct loss -- you know, the sparsity or scarcity of transmission in certain areas that could be helpful. so thelines we timelines we're n at for fullet renewable and net zero full renewable and net ze emissions, 2035, this is a question for everybody, i know we've talked a lot about this, i but unless we can get these things permitted in a much shorter time frame in terms of d transmission and pipelines and other things, i don't know how we can get to this aspirational. goal off zero emissions in the l power sector by 2035. so i'm interested to see, we'll just start with our guest here, mr. rusco, if you have any comments on that from your report.>> >> well, from previous work, we know that, you know, the concerns about permitting are real. you have to deal with multiple i
agencies. it reallyna helpsd also h if yo lead agency that coordinates. it also helps if you have a the preapplication period were of t everyone can be brought together, all the stakeholders.f stops everything. i don't know what th when you get in a lawsuit, that. sort of stops everything. and i don't know what the federal government can do aboutt that part.mentio >> thank you. i'm going to go to mayor garcetti on this one, because you mentioned it at the end of your remarks.we have it's interesting, you know, we've heard from the industry, we've heard from others, but you're a quite large municipality, i don't know how many times my state you are, but a, lot.s so from your perspective, the ge permitting issue, since you mentioned it, how does that impact you in your very large city? >> well, thank you, senator.
absolutely, we have so many rits different regulatory authorities between b the state and federal government.rising streamlining that is important. we have an infrastructure the size of multiple states. c critical systems, for instance, strategic locations, both locally and regionally, should be a part of build back better. we should streamline the ll amei permitting, as we do this major grid redevelopment, that would l beie a very positive thing that all americans could rally e. around, to create that resilience and diversity we nee> and the investments we need to have. bethank you.u. >> thank you. thank you, senator capito. senator? >> thank you, mr. chairman, very much.the clea clean energy standard, it's going to be absolutely essential to ensure we create the right metrics to guarantee that we or
meet the high standards which are going to be necessary in order to match the magnitude of the problem. asal youre already said, mr. chairman, one in three americans already live in a city or a ityt state that has aan 100% clean electricity standard. it has been made a part of their state or city mandates. and so we have a real chance rgy here to do something. actually 12 years ago henry waxman and i over in the house were able to pass a clean energy standard. it was blocked in the senate after it passed in the house. still, cities and towns have stepped up, as you said.iness mr. fowke, do you believe a ble clean energy standard can bring the business certainty necessary to provide reliable and affordable power to your a wel
customers while at the same time encouraging clean energy innovation? do, i think a clean energy standard is the right approach to climate policy. clearly details matter. but if we can design one that does recognize the need for natural gas as a bridge fuel ani the value of carbon-free nuclear, if we have guardrails on reliability and cost and time frames that are pragmatic, combine that with more funding technologies that get that last bit of carbon off the grid, i think it's the right way to go. xl has supported some of the proposed legislation out there. and i don't think my industry ik far behind in general in supporting thatag approach. >> thank you. and again, the obama r stan administration propoundedda and put in place a clean power standard, which was going to be a 32% reduction in greenhouse
gases by the year 2030., and even though the trump indus administration took that standard off the books, the utility industry has already met that standard here in 2021, that was the obama standard in 2030. so we can see that there is an enormous amount of momentum in r this clean energye th sector.h but it's important for us to ndr ensure that, again, we set the standards high and that the industry knows exactly what they're going to have to do toof meet those standards. mayor garcetti, one of the reli questions whichab is constantly asked is, can renewables be reliable? can you create a grid that's r t reliable? i know that, for example,eliabl% is the fourth or fifth most reliable grid. they have 42% of their electric generation comes from wind. so tell us the story of, if youa would, l.a. and your goals for m renewables and energyul efficiey and the reliability that you're simultaneously building into th
system. >> absolutely.es. it's good to see senator markeye it was great to see you out in t los angeles., the last question, by the way, one in three americans live in the city or state target, so it's time to make that law, set, a target and inspire with investment. in los angeles, not only do we s have greener power, cheaper power, and more reliable power, and the stats bear that out. the average american has two hours out. in los angeles it's much less rs than that. west virginia has eight hours on average. we have a reliable standard.enge we have a reliable network. and that diversity comes from n careful engineering. we have distributed solar in oub basin which is much more reliable when transmission lines cut off for any reason of extreme weather. and we are able to meet also with demand response, something i think a build back better plans should also invest in, thd technology behind that demand
response as well. so our renewables are very diverse, we're able to keep that reliable. we're as reliable today, our bills, when i say cheaper, if wp were a state, we would be the tenth cheapest of all of the states. we're in the top quintile in terms of what people actually pay on their electricity bills and enjoying a greater reliability than other places.or >> can i ask you one question additional question, a nationalc climate bank, it would be methin something that could beg used help the financing for sustainable projects for clean i energy projects.vein the it's already passed the house oe representatives a number of times in the last couple of a nl years. senator van hollen and i have se the identical bill over here in the senate.nt of what's your view of a national climate bank, mr. mayor? >> a strong component of it, as climate nears across the
country, sometimes in cities like mine we have a large entity, we have capital to attract, in other places we not don't. we're accelerating in los angeles with this. so i think this would be exactlo what weva need to not only brin resources forward but to have the innovation. stlot of people are scared to take that jump forward. every time we've set the have renewable standard inin our star it's been a lyfight. but every single time we've hit it, we've hit it early. this is something a bank could l help us getike to, in smaller cities and grids as well as large places like los s angeles. >> thank you, mr. garcetti, thank you for your leadership. l.a. is a model for the rest of the world. >> thank you, senator, appreciate it.he ans >> thanks for your questions, senator markey. before we turn to senator lummis i'll ask unanimous consent to submit for the record reports and articles related to the national environment policy actf i pa, which show that nepa is not a primary cause of federal infrastructure project delays and also ask unanimous consent
to submit for the record three letters, one from the western governors association, one from state attorneys general and onet from otherio state and water an other wetland organizations opposing the trump's epa's efforts to weaken state authorities from reviewing the clean water act. for the collateral role of maintaining states' efforts for water qualities. without objection. and looking at the lineup coming ahead, after senator markey, senator lummis, and it looks merkley, and senator boozman, in that order. senator lummis. >> thank you, mr. chairman. would it be all right if i allowed senator sullivan to go n ahead of me?he h he's been waiting for quite some time. >> it would somet not be all ri
would object to that.t. [ laughter ] navy and marine corps at odds. no, we're brothers. that would be fine. s it's very kind of you to do that. senator sullivan, you're on, colonel. >> i appreciate the chairman's h and senatorav lummis' help here. we all have a lot of hearings to go to, so thanks very much.ocate like senator markey, i'm an all stergy guy myself. i want to talk a little bit about natural gas. this is important because the united states reduced greenhous% gas emissions from 2005 to 2017 by almost 15%, more than any other major economy in the world by far, it's not even close. and the main reason we did that is because of natural gas.
yet we seem to be losing sight of the power of that good jobs,, clean energy, reliable energy in the mix with renewables and es l others. important to s's recognize, these are a couple of quotes i'm going to give from people. until recently who were for natural gas. the united states and north america, mexico, the united states, and canada, will be thet energy epicenter for the 21st century in part because of our abundance of natural gas. who said that?strategy 2016, vice president joe biden. we need an energy strategy for the future and all of the abovel energy strategy for the 21st century that develops every source of american made energy o including natural gas.ba who said that? barack obama. how about this one?pment this is a shocker. responsible development of natural gas is an important part of our a work to curb climate change and support a robust clean energy market at hom who said that? gina mccarthy.
okay?we now, we have on good sources, re it's in thece press, recently president biden said i am, all-n quote, all in on natural gas. that's the president, recently, in a meeting with a bunch of union leaders. john kerry is against natural gas. i won't read you all the quotes. we've got the president of the united states for natural gas. the president of the world, i guess is his title, is against it, john kerry. so i want to first just get from the witnesses the importance of natural gas and whether they see it as an important element of the energy mix, good jobs, and helping us reduce greenhouse gas emissions. let me just go down the last d? here. >> snyder, do you think it should be an important part of our mix like gina mccarthy did a couple of years ago? >> absolutely, we view natural gas as foundational to our it s energy system and that it will play a key role in addressing
climate change. as you noted, it not only enables co2 emissions reductions in the power sector and across america but it also helps drive down emissions globally. here, as far as, you know, the sector that we represent, the interstate natural>> gas pipelines, between 2011 and 2019, the average methane emissions from our compressor stations went down by 31%. so we are making great strides to drive down our methane emissions. but even in spite of that, in mi 2018, we adopted voluntary methane commitments because we were concerned about the lack of regulatory clarity and certainty. there was a lot of flip-flopping going on around that time. we felt it very necessary to have some certainty at least within our particular sector. we recently went further in worn january ofg this year and committed to working together ai an industry to achieve net zero
greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from the interstate natural gast system. we think it's important to the expand the availability of natural gas, to complement the growth of renewable fuels, and also deliver lower carbon fuels. >> thank you, ms. snyder. real quick, mr. wood, to build e back better, are you, as president biden who is all in on natural gas, or john kerry, who i guess is against his boss and against natural gas? >> i live in west virginia.al we live over an ocean of natural gas in the marcellus shell plate. i'm all inn on it.nt what hasn't been mentioned yet, natural gas has only got about half the amount of carbon in it that coal does. so every mega watt that we produce from natural gas removef half the carbon that we do witht coal. we're talking about buildingg better, infrastructure, i think natural gas seems to be a key part of it. mr. rusco, mr. mayor garcetti, n
mr. fowke, are you with the president, all in on natural gas, or are you in with john kerry who is against it and cau hasn't really explained why?n >> natural gas has been growing part because it's been is de cheaper than coal, displacing coal and nuclear. it's definitely growing and it's an important part. >> great, thank you. mr. mayor? >> it's not a question of if, g it's when we will get off natural gas. don't take my word for it, the national renewable energy lab s looks at whether t we can go to renewables without going to natural livan:gas, it shows tha can. >> so are you all in with the tp president or -- well -- >> i think all of us will get tf a place where h we move beyond natural gas. everybody's talked about that transition. it's just a matter of when time. we should think about turbines, not natural gas. turbines can run on things like hydrogen, you can have a mix with natural gas. that's something that will get
us to zero emissions. >> mr. fowke? >> we need natural gas as an important interim part. you can't run a grid, i mean a a big ligrid, i'm not talking abo an individual grid or municipality, the big grid we're all connected to, we need natural gas. al mr. chairman, i think it was 5-0, maybe the mayor was s neutral, we'll call it 4-1, all in on natural gas. >> senator lummis, back to you. >> thanks very much, mr. chairman. my first question is for mr. at wood. last year, the use-it act was signed into law to support carbon utilization and direct , air capture research which is it really an exciting area of research that's going on right a now in thept basin in texas, actually directly capturing ress carbon out of the air. are there other things our
committee in congress should bei doing toon support carbon captu utilization and sequestration technology? >> one of the limitations right now is cost. it costs about $50 a ton to remove carbon dioxide from an ed operating coal-fired power t. plant. so we need some research into technologies that can drop that. and there are research activities that are taking place right now, but more money, more. research intoo reducing the cos the second thing is transmission. we inural west virginia don't ha lot of places that you can inject natural gas in the subsurface. so we'll have to transmit it to other places. that means pipelines. that means permits.that and so those two areas i think are areas that the government can help ann awful lot in developing the transmission and capture of co2.
>> thanks, mr. wood. and you just segued into my next question. iti knowon. that mayor garcetti" in his written testimony, quote, we must streamline permitting ss processes through laser focused agency coordination and not a accelerated environmental is an review. i couldn't agree tantmore. i think that that is an important observation. and it is something government can do. so my question is for ms. snyder, can you speak to the complicated process of navigating authorizations and a permits for multiple federal agencies as well as state and local governments?nd >> sure. it is quite a long and arduous s process for our interstate in od pipelines. it's a multiyear process, in ct fact. av order to actually constructc an interstatee to pipeline, youd first have to conduct an environmental review. that's first and foremost. and that's something that typically is conducted by ferc.
but many different federal y agencies are involved including the army corps of engineers, the fish and wildlife service, and others. there are other actors such as states are often involved in taking a look at impacts to water quality. so there's a water quality st certification as well. whe and some of our members have had issues in the past where certaih states are not listening to the explicit direction that congress gave them and acting within a reasonable period of time not to one year from receipt of a request. so we really need to make sure that everyone is acting in a timely fashion, streamlined, not duplicating effort, and trying to ensure that these decisions l are happening in a timely manner. it's important in our industry in particular because our projects are completely funded l
na private capital. >> switching gears just a little bit, ms. snyder, how does natural gas infrastructure support the development of renewable energy? >> natural gas infrastructure is foundational to our energy ll system. and it really does complement rb renewables quite lewell, becaus it is extremely reliable. as we looked at data from a ten-year period our members were able to meet their firm contractual commitments 99.7% of the time. so natural gas can be availablet to support renewable energy sources at times when they are available. >> mr. chairman, thank you. i yield back. >> thanks, senator lummis. i believe next in line is senator merkley by webex followed by senator boozman, senator kelly, and finally, last but not least, senator padilla.
senator merkley.erkley: >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. this winter a lot of oregonians lost power as a result of st sum climateme intensified extreme weather.esse lastntia summer we had a lot of folks who lost power when essentially the windstorms knocked down power lines which created fires and then the firen were driven by the windstorms. and we had a number of towns ina oregon burn to the ground.gi you couldn't imagine going through those towns. i traveled 600 miles around oregon, north to south, never en got out of the smell, it was armageddon, to see entire towns disappear, nothing but a little bit of plumbing hanging, it wase something i never expected to rd witness. so the towns are very interested
in how to harden their infrastructure, their electric y infrastructure. and today i'll introduce an act in partnership with senator wyden, it provides a matching grant program to incentivize utilities to do some of the hardening of electrical infrastructure in places that are high cost. sometimes that includes moving s wires underground, when you're in an area prone to high winds and trees falling on the lines and knocking them down. so i just would ask mr. rusco and mr. garcetti whether having a matching grant program might f berom helpful. california has certainly suffered from some of the same effects. >> yes, i think so. there's no question that the costs of making the electricity
grid more resilient are going to be high. and it's also -- it's going to i require aet whole of government and a whole society effort to make the right decisions and to do it in the right way. >> okay. and yes, senator, absolutely, we would run towards that, we would bring our capital towards that and we would embrace that in a minute. be great, thank you. mr. garcetti, los angeles has t benefitted from distributed programs.ally l have you had resistance from public utilities that don't wabe really love the idea of people u generating their own electricity? if you've had that sort o resistance, how did you overcome it? >> we're in charge of the utility, we oversee it, they have to do what we say. we embraced it for reliability, first and foremost. as i mentioned, in the n saddleridge fires, three of our
transmission lines had to be shut down that came from outside of city. we came within an inch of rolling blackouts. it's distributed solar that saved us. it's complex, you have to rewire your city, you have to have storage. we have massive out of basin solar generation too. having in-basin, putting nomy veterans to work, low income . communities, putting it on rooftops, has been great for our economy and our resilience as well. >> we're going to be having a build back better infrastructure bill. should a program kind of copy op the l.a. program for really a lot more rooftop solar across rt america, would that be somethino that would help expand renewable energy infrastructure? >> no question. wor these are actually jobs that y e produce a lotr of work. and it's a relatively lower skill but a great entrance intos
becoming an electrician and earning a lot of money. we're training those folks in community colleges.re it's not some liberal lefties and democrats. it's veterans, it's republicans, it's people who see the power of solar to be able to have our destiny in our own hands and cheaper now than fossil fuel o plants when we do that out of basin. >> you mentioned storage. one way to address the demand/supply balance is the ability to pull energy from other regions and balance things out. you mentioned storage.r garc what is the primary means of energy storage you're using? >> well, you know, we're looking at three. one is, in utah where we have the intermountain plant, which v will be turbine run with hydrogen in the mix, hydrogen, over some time, if we can make e that work, we've got ten equivalents of the empire state building salt ge, caverns underneath that plant and we're looking atatthe ho wh can store hydrogen there.
we're looking at water storage in thena hoover dam, pump that back up and use it as a water battery, essentially. are bui and then of course conventionale batteries, the largest generation plant in america.olds it's enough to power for three ? days 286,000 households. >> do you have automated demands adjustment as well, for examplen a way to turn down air mayo conditioners by a degree orr t? >> not yet, but we're looking at jobs.s. the infrastructure bill could help us here, where we have to install smart meters. we'll try in the next 18 to 24 months. we're looking at hundreds of jobs for americans out of work e right now, that would be a great way to have an energy corps across the united states and help with this just transition. >> let me turn to you, mr. arte fowke. smallhas been interest ind d modular reactors. you there's a company that started in oregon that's been one of the
companies pursuing this. natur are you interested enough that - you're heading towards actual financing of a small nuclear operation? >> no, senator, we are focused on relicensing our existing nuclear fleets at this point. t i think the technology continues to need to be developed and deployed, then potentially we would be interested in it. obviously we need to look at our state regulators. but right now we definitely need to preserve our existing nuclear. >> putting out request for proposals, maybe it was two years ago, time flies, but it had low costs for solar and wind. i think solar was per kilowatt hour. it also requested storage as part of the bid. have those -- has that project that you're putting outut there is that now in construction? did it turn out to be as
inexpensive as it appeared from the bids that were submitted? >> senator merkley, you're a minute and a half over your time. would it be all right if we had that question, it's a good question, answered for the record? so we can get tose ourn. m folk haven't had a chance to ask any questions. >> yes, those prices were real. thank you. >> thanks so much. h mr. boozman by webex, are you there? >> yes, sir, i'm here. >> welcome, you're recognized. >> thank you so much, senator carper, senator capito, for having this hearing.ties s as always, we've got a great panel and getting a lot of good information. low income communities spend a larger share of their budget on energy costs compared to middler incomeic families and upper income. we especially see this in rurali america, probably 50% of the ret counties o in arkansas will los population as a result of the
census. so having problems there anywayu tell me -- well, again, in my y opinion, when you look at environmental regulations that increase energy costs significantly, you're talking about it, you know, a regressive tax. do you agree that increased poro energyna costs have a disproportionate impact on low income families, and particularly an impact on rural america that does so much traveling for everyday basic necessities? >> yes, i think affordability of our energy system is extremely important for low income communities, and also rural communities as well as small businesses. we do need to keep in mind thato you know, aroundun one-third of the generation of electricity in the country is from natural gas. natural gas has been helping ti keep our energy very affordable.
and i think that this is something that we have to think about as we move forward and look to moving america towards r clean energy future is having it be affordable at the same time and not having disproportionate impact. >> very good, thank you.zman: ve ms. snyder, there is a bipartisan agreement that on sho congress and theul administrati should make increased federal mn investment in infrastructure. that's something we can be very proud on the epw committee, it really has just been a great example in that regard. unfortunately, such investment sometimes hindered by duplicative and complex permitting process. in previous years, congress and previous administrations, both republican and democrat, have made changes to the permitting o process to increase efficiency withoutlessenin lessening envir protections. a great example of that would be
the rebuilding of the bridge in minnesota that fell down, that was done in a year.are dr normally it would have taken probably ten or 15 years. would you agree that projects t which are drown out due to regulatory burdens have a hand h in making infrastructure projects more expensive? and why is a quicker, more efficient permitting process a good thing for smaller and more rural states like arkansas? >> yes, i think that it's very important to have an efficient a environmental review and permitting process. you know, this is not about trying to shortchange the review that's undergoing. it's just trying to make sure that agencies are working together, collaborating, sharing information, avoiding duplication of effort, and also sticking to a timeline. this is very important to, as ie mentioned, those rural communities and, you know, a d. little bit more disadvantaged communities so that they can get
the infrastructure that they need. we think it's important toougho expand the availability of natural gas throughout the country so that people do have affordable energy.y.into a >> very good. again, i agree totally, not cutting corners but sticking to a timeline, getting the agencies to work together.you to thank you, mr. chairman, very much, and thanks to the panel o. for a very,y, very good discussion. >> mr. boozman, you're good to join us, thank you for your questions. c we have twoom new members of ou. committee, senator kelly and senator padilla.se senator padilla, you've been n very patient, we appreciate that. senator kelly. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. rusco, in your testimony, you noted that climate change dh and drought can overwhelm hydropower generation. and during last year's extreme heat wave in california, energyi from theci hoover dam and parke
davis dam destined for arizona customers was called upon to help keep the california grid from completely crashing.ou so do you think are d.o.e. and are prepared for a scenario where water levels get so low in the colorado river that hydropower wouldn't be able to sustain california, arizona, or other western states during an extreme and prolonged heat wave? >> no, i think d.o.e. and ferc have work to do in this regard for sure.do on th ferc has, as has been mentioned, had dockets on energy resilienct and they've come to no conclusions, but they are opening a new docket in light oo the recent events in texas.the they really do need to understand that the system is going to be stressed going forward and they're going to nao
have to figure outr how to regulate to improve that. >> and how important are hydropower and nuclear in situations where the electrical grid needs an external power source to recover from a total shutdown? >> so definitely hydropower is probably the best source for a black start or a quick return to power. and so if the whole system goes down, you're going to need to restart it, you need something that can turn on.p. and hydropower plays that role. and you're going to need pretty much all sources to keep it up. >> thank you.i and mayor garcetti, good to see you, mayor. >> good to see you too. >> as you know, for many low income families, keeping the air
conditioning running during a heat wave is often a struggle. and the federal government rnmet offers grants to homeowners such as the low income housing energy assistance program. liheap. but thatwo program was originale designed to help nonwestern communities save on heating p costs in the winter. would you agree that climate change has put us on a path where liheap funding may need to be realigned for disadvantaged o communities in the southr garc u west due to extreme heat and drought?d, senat >> i very much would, senator. and my family, my dad's side comes from arizona, from superior, and from phoenix, emigrated there from mexico.. we know what that heat is like, i talk to my cousins, we know what it's like in los angeles, this wasn't the hottest year of the last hundred, it's going to be the coolest of the next
hundred. housing efficiency standards could be established with an prficiency metric. if you look at the infrastructure bill, put that in there.ow we inc should look at existing weatherization programs that could be expanded for our low th income families and incentivize that they go to fossil fuel free appliances. these will help us with the bills, with the climate change t emergency we find ourselves in, but absolutelyse will keep thos bills low and contribute to cooler homes. >> thank you. and a followup, just a quick comment on senator merkley's rms question aboutta being able to control smart thermostats from the power company, that's in something we have now in w arizona. and i think it has beenen used on a number of occasions when it was both extremely hot in arizona but also in california where we often have to try to get some additional help in our summer months.fully it
so it's been a success in arizona and hopefully it will be something that will be used mor: in other western states. thank you, and i yield back. >> senator kelly, thank you so a much. senator torpadilla, you've been here as long as i have today, and senator capito.thank we're happy to yield to you for your questions.any ti thank you for bringing the mayof of los angeles. >> any time, we would love to have him here often. one of the challenges of being h at theinking other end of senios thinking of what else to offer, value added to a hearing like this that hasn't been raised already. i know we've covered a lot of is important a and timely issues a it relates to build back better the theme, the focus of this hearing.ag and i agree it is time to build back better. but not just build back, but build back smarter, build back greener, build back more
sustainably, to address a lot of big issues. i'll just share some thoughts here and end with a comment and ask for a response from mayor garcetti and the other witnesses. i to think we all agree on a bipartisan basis that we need to build back to address deferred maintenance issues when it come to infrastructure across america. several members of the committee havety of ou touched on the nee mindful of reliability of our electrical system as we're building back and building backv better. for those of us, at especially those of uss that have served a the municipal level or even at r the statee level, we're very wl aware of the need to avoid grea, shock. we know that costs over time go up, whether it's infrastructure, fuels, et cetera, but rate payer impacts, both residential and commercial, are also an al important concern to include in our deliberations.able and we have additional cha challenges nowadays that are
absolutely undeniable, otallenges imposed by climate change, whether you call it climate change or the concerns about adaptation or any other term, they're real.the and add consideration for resiliency separate and apart from the reliability questions and concerns that have been raised. so there's a lot of policy considerations to consider all at once, as we will be working together to further define what build back better means. we need to address the gas resiliency given the extreme weather that's impacting every region of the country in re rel different ways,at let alone alt natural disasters that sometimes are related, sometimes not related at all to changing climate. again, being mindful of the impact of rates versus build, wa got into that conversation,
where california for example may have on a per emergency calculation slightly higher rates but the energy bills arriving every month for customers to pay still remain in the lower half of the nation's energy bills. we're going to be working together. and one thing i'll invite us all to consider is the impact of some of the policies that may y not have been within the four ig corners of thehe subject matter today but do relate into our planning and investment in the trade, in the industry, it's known as the integrated resource plan. so we do talk about power plans and generation, multiple sources of it. is it coal, is it natural gas, not fossil fuels in my opinion, go more in the renewable ission direction. california has shown you can do that aggressively and the sky fall.not we'll be talking about infrastructure as part of build back better.
i want to make sure that includes conversation and consideration about smart grid deployment. every utility in california is dequired to have a smart grid deployment plan.pl not just smart meters, but an actual comprehensive smart gridd but there's another piece that i want to raise for consideration. that's the topic of energy efficiency. energy efficiency is anlps important tool in an integrated resource plann that helps addres demand side management. it should be consideredomes to a of the most cost effective emis measures when it comes to supply side management and achieving do witnrtant emission reductions. i would love to hear from the witnesses, any comments or feedback on those elements in addition to job creation opportunities that energy efficiency provides, whether al, it's until the energygy audits,n the residential, commercial, or industrial sector, installationn retrofit of facilities, et cetera.
that's my best effort, mr. chairman, to add something of additional value for consideration in today's hearing. i invite thehe witnesses to respond or comment if they might. mr. chairman, with that, thank you very much. >> senatoror padilla, a vote ha started on the senate floor, as you probably know, we're about ten minutes into that vote. what i'm going to ask, if you're okay with this, is that our witnesses -- is there anyone you want especially to comment verbally? the others i'll ask to respond for the record so we can recognize senator capito again and wrap it up. choos >> my friend eric garcetti, if he chooses, if not, for the record is okay with me. >> how generous you've been, abu absolutely, senator padilla, en thank you. this is about jobs. i would just say, we get in l.a. the 100 report, written not at my level of government but y hee yours, it shows we can do this.t second thing, think big and think jobs, and speed. think about the transportation engineers that we want innwent america, not in other countries.
think about the manufacturing we want inlace america and not someplace else. think about the building trades. as they're part of building thia out.aves to your point, it's not just what we build, senator padilla,g it's what we don't build when we save energy, that saves our planet. a cli there's a ten-alarm fire going on, it's called climate emergency. what i loved hearing across partisan lines today is it's not relie transition, it's when. let's show america we can do it quick, we can do it well, we cai do it safely and reliably, and we can do it in our lifetimes s: we leave something better for par children behind. thank you so much. >> senatordimuch. padilla, than much. let me yieldse againn. to senat capito for any closing comments or questions she has.ant to t >> i just want to thank the witnesses. i want to thank the chairman as well. and as i refer back to my opening statement, i see there's a thread that's gone through eli this, a lot of different themes but certainly the reliability and affordability issue is
important as we move forward. thank you, mr. chair. >> we have to go vote, i'm going to stay for a few minutes. thank you to you and to our staffs to helping pull together a terrific panel and making reo possible an excellentns discussion. i have a couple of question questions, i'll ask for brief responses. first, mr. rusco, does gao have a view on whether current siting and permitting conditions adequately factor in climate change? >> in general, no, they have not. there was a recommendation way back in 2013 by gao that nepa id should include climatee risks h part of its consideration, and that is currently not the case.r >> all right, thank you. one question i would ask mayor garcetti to share with ben fowke, and that is with respect
to clean energy targets. mayor and mr. fowke, you both in discussed ambitious clean energy targets for your respective city and company. in both testimonies i heard that the path to lowering electric sector emissions by 80 to 85% is fairly certain based on the technologies that we've today. and it's's the last 15 to 20% emissions that are going to be l mored difficult to reduce based on we today's technology. question, would you both agree that we have the technology available in this country to et reach 80% reduction to the greenhouse gas emissions across the electrical sector and the next decade, as the country implemented the right federal n incentives and regulatory structures? do you both agree with that? just yes or no. >> yes. >> i can't answer it yes. we can do it at xl. it's going to be way more difficult in other areas of the country, quite frankly. >> all right, thank you. would a national clean emissions or clean energy standard for the
electricity sector help drive innovation and deployment of clean energy? >> yes. >> yes, it would. >> good. my -- in wrapping up, i love to wrap up a discussion like this by asking the diverse panel, an excellent panel that we've beeno blessed with today, maybe tosi share with us a closing thought, what you heard today that at you demonstrates the agreement, areas of agreement in the views that you have shared with us, and agreement on the actions of the federal government should t take tori support a clean and a resilient electricity sector ins this country. i'm looking for consensus here as we close out. and let me just say, i am -- onh of myer colleagues, in fact the guy who often sits to my left oa heret on this committee, says o the most persistently optimistic person that he knows. my wife thinks i'm too optimistic, that i ought to be more realistic. but i'm too old to change.f my f i say everywhere, i quote almost every day of my life the words
of einstein who used to say in adversity lies opportunity. i've lived it.cer, v when i was a naval flight officer in the very unpopular war in southeast asia, i never imagined i would come back a couple of years later as a congressman to work with john mccain, john kerry, a bunch of my colleagues in the house of representatives, to normalize h relations with vietnam. when i was 29, i got elected to be state treasurer in a state with the worst credit rating in the country. i couldn't balance budgets for nothing, we were just dog meat when it came to running our economy and our finances. and we ended up with a triple a credit rating, still have it today and a strong economy. i know from personal experience that in adversity lies opportunity. we continue to face huge ty her adversity with respect to extreme weather events. but there's opportunity herewel well. i just wanted each of you to take no more than 60 seconds, something that you've heard hat
today, maybe said today, that of you think demonstrates areas ofd agreement for the member of this panel and for those of us with whom we serve to support asilieo and resilient electricity sector in this country. and let me see who we'll start off with. hol hold on.. okay. mayor, you go first, please.may >> thank you so much, senator. first i would say there was so much common ground, what an honor it was to be with all of my fellow panelists. one is, i repeat what i said, ry the transition is coming, it's not a matter of if but when. if, second, the federal government, be there more when we need you,e get out of the way when we don't. be there for a national transportation and innovation institute, jobs consortium, but
help those regulations get us to build these things quicker. third, diversity is quicker in a our energy supply.. but remember that renewables are diverse. it doesn't mean a code for getting in the way we've done things before. fourth, reduce as well as build, reduce consumption, not just what we build out. thanks for the hono >> mayor, thanks so much. frank rusco, give us a wrap-up thought, please. >> yes, thank you. i agree that, you know, to be betterer we back have to build.itting and there is room to improve the federal permitting process and i streamline it. there have been steps taken in the last two administrations to do so. and i hope that we continue that effort to get agencies to work u together and efficientlyct so tm we can actually get the important infrastructure built to make our system ben resilien. >> thank you, frank. think
ben fowke, please, mr. fowke. >> yeah, i think there's a lot of consensus that we can achieve remarkable carbon reductions over theon next to decade. it's going to vary region to region, by geography.ave we can do a lot. my hope is that we don't make perfection the enemy of the we a good. we are going to need tong to nee our nuclear fleet. we're going to need to preserve natural gas. w we'll need to keep our eye on the prize which is carbon reduction in the most affordable, pragmatic way possible. we cannot sacrifice affordability and reliability. we can electrify things like transport and do it economically. we >> thanks so much. ne. sandra, please. >> i would say we're allce agreeing here today that energy policy changes are necessary, wl and that really includes ensuring that we have permitting predictability as well as consistency in our regulations so that we can buildar back ne better. second, i would say that we're all in agreement that there is v going to be a need for new
innovative technologies and having federal support and funding to progress those technologies is going to be turl critical. and then third, i would say thas we all seem to be saying that natural gas is key to complementing the growth of renewables and ensuring reliability. >> thanks so much. i'm going to come back to you with a question for the record, ms. snyder, that relates to natural gas. could the building of coal-fired plants and other places around p the world tola provide electrict in places like china and india and to see what kind of opportunities there are for us to provide natural gas for them as a bridge fuel so they don't build more coal-fired plants. mr. wood, please. >> i agree with ms. snyder. i think affordability, grid we stliability, reduction of carbon, our consensus here. we also have an example of what's done a lot of good and something we can use as a model.
>> mr. wood, i was distracted for a moment. could you repeat again what you said? i apologize.he >>r co oops. agr i said i agree with ms. snyder on her comments, and i think we agree as a panel on need for affordability, diversity of cybs source, group reliability. we haven't mentioned it often nf but i think we ought to keep a cyber security in mind and thduction of carbon.n. >> all right, thank you. is gordon yee still your president at the west virginia e university? >> yes, he is. >> you've been president twice there, twice at ohio state that i'm a graduate of, vanderbilt, maybe a school in colorado. would you tell him a native of e west virginia sends his best.r >> i hope he's watching. >> we hope maybe to put together a symposium with the help of thn folks at aspen institute to come to west virginia in late spring'
and t' focus on how do we make o sure that we don't leave folks p behind whose jobs have disappeared or are disappearing. we look forward to maybe having the chance to be with you then. give him my best, please. i have it looks like a catchall unanimous consent to place all materials into the record. and i ask unanimous consent to m submit for the record a number of reports anded for articles f on the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector while improving the k our reliability, if i've already said that before, please bear with me. th closing i want to thank our witnesses. this has been an extraordinary n apparently. and just a wonderful time of sharing. and the creation of a lot more consensus than some people would have imagined on a really important subject. our panel has included the es, n leader of n one of our largest t cities, a nonpartisan expert in industry stakeholders, hearing
each of their perspectives shows the complexities of the challenges ahead on this chall critical issue.e after hearing from all of you today what strikes me the most o isn't the pchallenges. it's really the opportunities, the opportunity to put our nation on a path to a toil safe more prosperous future, the opportunity to create millions of good paying jobs, the e opportunity to build a strongern and morevi innovative economy, e opportunity to clean our air and protect the environment for our children and our grandchildren. it is the job of those of us in the federal government and andm government at all levelsak to ce together and make those opportunities a reality for the american people.in and again, i want to thank all of our witnesses for taking a part of that process.this h i want to thank our colleagues, almost everybody on the committee has joined us and been a part of this hearing, that's e terrific. i want to thank our staffsfs for wit pulling together a great group s of witnesses from across f our s country. senators will be allowed to submit questions on for the rec through close of business on
march 24. we'll compile those questions l and send them tothe wi our witn and ask that our witnesses repls to us by april 7. and with that, this hearing is adjourned. god bless.oning pe ormed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy, visit ncicap.org] weeknights this month, a provide of what's available every weekend on c-span3. tonight, the nantucket historical association hosts a talk on the book "in the heart of the sea: the tragedy of the whale ship essex." he details the sinking of the
essex in the pacific ocean following an sperm whale attack. watch tonight, beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern, and enjoy american history tv every weekend on c-span3. american history tv on c-span3. exploring the people and events that tell the american story every weekend, coming up this weekend, saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on the civil war. a discussion on sheridan's ride. the october 1864 arrival of union general john phillips sheridan at cedar creek battlefield, ending the confederacy resistance in the shenandoah valley. four films marking women's history month including the 1978 film "crossing borders" and "women in the family of man" from 1971. at 6:00 p.m. eastern on american artifacts, a recreation of
events of the assassination attempt on ronald reagan. and tevi troy, the author of "what jefferson read, ike watched, and obama tweeted." exploring the american story. watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3. you're watching c-span3, your unfiltered view of government. c-span3 was created by america's table television companies. today we're brought to you by these television companies who provide c-span3 to viewers as a public service. co-hosts of the history chicks podcast talk about the podcast's origins and growing popularity over the years covering women in u.s. history.
>> women and girls for one thing are just hungry, hungry for role models. we keep hearing representation is important. really, that is so true. the amount of emails and other messages that we get from very, very young girls and/or their mothers saying how either the subject that we cover or just the very fact that they hear two women speaking in that format, how it has really affected them. >> all throughout history, women have typically been the woman behind the man. and what we get to do here is we get to talk about the men behind the women, but focus on her life and tell the story from her point of view. so the fact that we get to do that, like beckett said, we hope and inspires people to do the same and we know it does. >> the history c