tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN July 11, 2011 2:00am-6:00am EDT
the tangible and crucial to the future of the world that we needed to act first and study as we were allowed to. and so we were faced with lovell climate change steamroller coming down the hell that expected the space program cannot start studying it but in fact implementing large programs in lower orbit to begin providing data to actually start acting on global climate change. the eos, the earth observing satellite system which was right at the end of the reagan administration was started at nasa. it was designing to gigantic platforms both in excess of a billion dollars it would take 10 or 12 years to develop. again, it was the result of the
enthusiasm in the science community and it was also the nasa culture. there was money to be had and project. there was the big exciting new they embraced it heartily. as gil said we also had an emerging commercial space market. it is something that has been on the horizon with the carter administration. it was embraced in the reagan administration. by the time we arrived there was $5 billion a year of commercial beginning to get complicated. space business and it was rules of the road, with the proper role of the government is and how to interact with other countries, what we expected and what is the role of government services? utilization of commercial contributor. so that was clearly a large so all those things were the word gets complicated vision of where we get space policy and space needs. as we said before we had a national space council. the president was interested in
the area of it and so he was more than happy to have one. we had rate relations and is each one of these guys will tell you, the chemistry inside the white house makes a big and how it is done. difference on what can be done there is internal wrangling for a variety of reasons, things get hard. if there is comedy, if there is clarity, and there is unity than a lot of good things can happen. we had a clarity, comedy and red -- unity. scowcroft is a terrific guy. he deferred to us on matters and their intelligence space matters that required the nfc to be a joint partner in all of these things. he had no ego, enormous energy and there was a lot of things he was focused on with the end of the cold war. in our case we had ballot from way. he was focused on supercollider.
it was the main focus of osd tea and we also had a variety of things on diametric separately focused and allen was more than willing to let the space council take -- dollars matter. darman was our director of omb and he was a bona fide space guy. he loves space. very energetic and extremely brilliant guy. and as long as we stayed within certain boundaries, he was the actual l.a.. -- ally. he did some really remarkable things when he was at omb. john sununu for crying out loud was a scientist and tea as he reminded us on occasion went to graduate school on a basso -- nasa scholarship, so he certainly was enthusiastic and it turned out to be the one of two most primary policy of the
vice president so we had all the ingredients to make a space all of the topics. council active and engaged on so it works very well. reran it just like the nsc. we had regular meetings and we and deputies. had meetings with the principles we had a variety of committees formed etc. to go deal with the confluence of issues that i described in the very beginning. our primary policy focus, the first direction of the president was keep u.s. out in front and space. as the cold war bore down that leadership was not just a consequence of the cold war, not just a reaction to the soviet space programmed but in fact u.s. space leadership had salience and important for the country going forward in that
and that we were to tailor and design the policies of these administration to ensure u.s. space readership given the changing circumstances. probably the most significant thing we focused on was the space exploration initiative and it is very complicated. but the basic tenants were that all the problems that we saw, all the problems from u.s., domestic and economic to technology pipeline etc. were at risk in the president's mind with the end of the cold war. that infect with the rapid reduction of expenditures in defense and the heavy leverage, deleveraging on r&d and procurement would really put the united states at a technological disadvantage. one of the primary motivations space leadership is important for america even outside the context of the cold war. second that the technology driver, the historic technology driver that national security space it played in the previous 30 years really need to be sustained and in fact a bold
new initiative and space exploration would be a way to continue that flywheel of technology going in the future. international leadership post- cold war. again, it is now a truism that at the time the sheet was blank about what world leadership men, -- meant, with the new world order was going to be as president bush he wrote in his book with brent it literally was transformed and the space was a vision of how the united states could show leadership and could infect or -- in fact provide by positive global leadership in an area that is talked about technology and economic advocates to all nations. and most importantly the vision from the very beginning included, including russia and the soviet union and now russia in the mix and an act not just as an adjunct as a lot of participants in the space station program had been that
it's a real partner. it turned out that leverage really was used with great success in the clinton administration where those initiatives and that vision were really put to great use for different purposes and i will let richard tell you about that. we wanted to refocus the entire the shuttle station as i said was very confiscated and when he began to look at the real structure of the program and it added in with the national academy about the value of the science, we didn't call it that but it has been termed a dead end program, stuck in lower orbit doing science that was not being endorsed by the national academy of science. it had budget treasures and the program.descoped. things like the centrifuge being reduced bersin finally eliminated and that in fact we needed to reorients this entire civil space rogan.
-- program. many of us have been believers. we also, many of us were some have been -- took some heat for it but we believe some of the context were applicable to space program. what was then an aging civil we called it faster, cheaper better. i think the clinton administration morphed into a different way and that is great but we believe that there were ways to do things in space that really could give us better technology, faster and in fact been doing it better and faster it would be done more cheaply. we also wanted the aerospace industry to pivot from its focus on supplying critical national security needs to an ambitious civil space rogue ran. -- program. we been as another policy
initiative, took a new launch capability. the shuttle as i said it gone through a lot of fits and starts. it is a very expensive program. magnificent technology and extraordinary capability but it was fragile and it was expensive. and with the incident of the challenger, even though they flew eight times after a return to flight eight dad in september of 88 it flew eight times than a chair but within 18 months we were stood down again for month after month after month with hydrogen leaks etc.. this is a very complex system. we had the ceo of the program, the titan four as gil describe. very expensive, 18 months on the we needed a new launch system and we needed for national security purposes and they wanted it for civil space purposes. we wanted it flexible, robust. we wanted it very affordable, adaptable to a lot of means and we spent a lot of time and energy in that program and a
lot of money. we look at a national aerospace aerospace plan, get something resident reagan admired with the idea of going from los angeles to tokyo in three hours and then ultimately being able to sustain normal flights in a vehicle that would be a single stage to orbit which as you all know is more or less the holy grail of the space launch business. we made in important policy the president made an important policy decision with regard to the study. there is my quest for quest for an order by nasa and after we went through this entire plan of putting together an overall program, decided additional shuttles were not going to be the way we wanted to go. it was very good with it and i think as we will see some of the speakers that will go down the chain, if you keep the baseline program intact and then try to do something new, i will cut to the end of the story. you can do both and it is very hard to stop. believe me, it is very hard to
stop and everyone here has had this experience. it is very hard to stop once you start. we stopped the space shuttle program and our view was that the stop time was 2005 and it turns out it looks like he was going to be 2011. that is pretty good. okay, let's see. a new launch. okay. again, as gil said in seven arsenic commercial space is growing. it was $5 million a year when we were there. there were a lot of policy decisions made that were clearly on the side of encouraging commercial space but there were a lot of detailed implementing policies that needed to be rolled out and we spent a lot of time on that. it was a serious policy focus. just defining it, defining what the role of government and the responsibilities of government
work, dealing with the issue of subsidized development and operations as opposed to non- subsidized. again, it is in the grind it out phase of government. the real estate work was done by presidents reagan and carter recognizing this would be an important part of the american space teacher but it really was left to the bush administration to provide the real rules of the road. we restructured the climate change program. we were able to use independent commissions etc. to say hey, study first and then take action. so we didn't need to do everything at once the climate change. a big rob long, important problem, urgent problem but in fact it was better to build multiple platforms to collect data on climate change rather than wait for 10 years for a multibillion-dollar program that was going to collect data
on everything. you guys remember the disc program, some of the original ideas for the amount of data designed to come down to the earth daily was staggering although it is probably in a handheld today. finally i would like to say that desert storm really helped solidify national space policy and national security space policy. it is space policy national space program that was primarily designed to prosecute a potential war with the soviet union and we all know all those activities and nuclear attacks etc.. desert storm really began to show how all those space systems that have been designed could be used in complex far short of a major conflict with the soviet that could involve nuclear union. weapons and an act that established at the beginning of the policy a policy with regard
to national security. we needed that they were absolutely critical to military operations whether they were small or large. that was new. that they were necessary, that they needed to be sustained, detected. modernized and they had to be all of a sudden we crossed over the line. are talked art talk about a missed opportunity, where we could have signed up for an arms control agreement with that. i think by the time desert storm occurred, it became clear that arms controls will be very difficult if the united states national security apparatus was to be as reliant on space assets as was clearly demonstrated in desert storm. it was eye-opener. chuck horner who was the allied commander of air force in desert storm called desert storm the first space war, between navigation real-time
recognizance communication became very clear that the u.s. military forces in the future would operate on a backbone for space providing capability. not cold war space providing capability but new space capability involved in doing military operations around the world, 24/7 in regions that could not be predetermined and pre-positioned more. this was really new and important and we spend a lot of time on that. they asked about what were some of the impediments. refocused on a lot of different policy areas. see, there is a lineage to all this. we did have an impediment and i think it is important to get them out on the table because it is part of the space policy and space program history. and it is best summarized in my opinion by a chapter or a paragraph in the final report we provided the president in january of 1993 that said, and here it is talking about the
space launch and what we wanted to do at the space launch but it applies to a lot of things across the board. during the intervening five years, efforts to secure support for a new launch system have been largely unsuccessful. the failure of our institutions, u.s. government agencies, congress and the aerospace companies to converge and agree to support and fund a new launch system not only short-sighted but will prevent us from achieving many if not most of our long-term space objectives. that is something that is worthy of discussion because that is a recurring thing. a missed opportunity. we do have a missed opportunity when we came in. senator william proxmire had put in the appropriations bill and the requirement that the person certify within 30 days of being station freedom. sworn in his intentions on space senator proxmire was not a fan of space station freedom.
it turns out the time was so fast and i think all of her colleagues will attest to this, the time was so fast you are playing doubletime, triple time when you are in the white house. it seems to be of blur that moves at the speed of life. 30-day injunction after swearing in -- i was sworn would sworn in on march 1 of 1989, and we were already 10 days in zip ear of - in the period of time. time. we didn't even have an office. long story short, we ended up working quickly and getting the certifying space station freedom. it was an opportunity missed. if we had really done a real thorough base review. it is arguable whether at that time and that place the system would have stood still for that is debatable but it is a regret i've had and i've talked about the president and vice president about it and given the way things robot eventually on the space station have we done a thorough base review at that
time we got it been looking at things that are different picture so that is a small missed opportunity. it for the significant achievements of the bush ministry semi-opinion? -- administration in my opinion? first and foremost we defined a national security space rammer bets is sustained today. i think you could take a direct line from that because before cold war national security space policy and strategy and portman in portman afterwards was a post-cold war world. it must be protected and is we created a policy for commercial space commerce that is the same today. government supports, utilizes facilitates encourages and protects u.s. commercial space enterprise. the russians. we initiated cooperation with it was modest by the end of the bush ministry show and we had
agreed for the shuttle mir program which was then in the works for about three years, but desert storm intervened and eventually before the president left signed with force yeltsin an agreement to fly a cosmonaut on the shuttle and put u.s. astronauts on the space station mir and that really opened up the opportunity for a lot of cooperation, very positive on the u.s. side. i want to talk just briefly about something that will be a little controversial here. i think it largely unintended but are half the most significant policy initiative by the bush administration, unintended but potentially most significant, was when we convene the advisory commission on the future of the united states space program the so- called augustine commission. long story if you want that story by the way i have a book coming out. called falling back to earth, a
first-hand account of the great space raised in the end of the cold war. you can read in detail about that. but the augustine commission even though it's designed to focus on specific issue of nasa and nasa organizations, the space exploration initiative, freedom, space station freedom and the shuttle and the unintended but significant consequence in my mind of creating the intellectual and programmatic framework for nasa post-cold war that was based primarily on our wallet, not our will. and it was focused on balancing and satisfying competing space stakeholders rather than supporting -- subordinating them to national objectives. finally in conclusion i would say another thing controversial thing and that is my opinion having looked at this and this
would be a fun thing to have the panel discussed -- i believe the united states human spaceflight throw graham died at the end of the cold war. and it was like a radiation sickness. execution. the lethal dose was a in the cold war for a variety of reasons. it seems to be a i believe we are incapable now if reenergizing the human space program. i think it is a human tragedy and something that needs to be rethought, but i think at this -- as we look down the list here i look at our chair during the bush ministry should nasa period a time when the space financially was terminated. program in the united states is so with that, i look forward to questions. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. next we have the clinton
administration. it was marked by the emergence of globalization. the emergence of terrorism. we have the bombing of the uss cole. cruise missile strikes into afghanistan. we had the somalia situation, the bosnian war. we also had the rise of china. and in our industry, we have the rise of satellite services to the consumer. during the clinton the administration, i bought my first satellite dish for direct tv services. by the end of the decade, it is the same. to represent the clinton administration, we have two gentleman. richard was the assistant
director for aeronautics and space -- in space. we also have the stephen moran. he was a policy adviser in the white house. once of caveat. -- one small caveat. steve has to take a phone call at a specific time. depending on how richard goes, we may have him just by himself. >> thank you. it is a pleasure to be here and to echo what mark said, to listen to this fascinating story as it on schools across time, i think clearly one of the themes
we are hearing which i am sure will continue with the other speakers, is that although the administration's change in focus sometimes significantly, we have some very stable thames that are running through this story, and the kennedys administration they there are themes that started in continue on now into the obama administration. and i think the organizers and thank you very much to the space enterprise council and the conceptualizing this very marshall institute for interesting event. the one of the things the organizers asked us to do is spend a little time talking about -- and make decisions in those times. and i think at the end mark was trying to be controversial but i think he is putting his finger on an important fact that where we are today in society and our economy and our place in
the world, some things that were possible during the kennedy or the reagan administrations are again. probably not going to happen again. there are significant changes that have changed the context of where we are so what we want from the nation of our space program and who we want to do those things will be fundamentally altered as we go forward in the future. each administration as we have already seemed don't indent the -- invent the world. the world is as it is when you take over. you may have won the office with an orientation. ronald reagan certainly was an orientation of strong leadership, and a goal to express a unique american voice in the world. the clinton administration, not quite so dramatic. looking around the room i guess about half of you were around and thinking about administrations when this happened and the other half of you are probably not, but if you recall, the big praise in
the clinton election was the economy, stupid. it was a goal to refocus america on america and now an interesting -- and interest to remember the context was where we are in the budget today. really hard focus on the budget reality. we have a young, you think with all due respect, slightly disorganized president, tremendously creative, congress first then democratic and the republican congress after a significant i think misstep on part of the administration. and a reenergize focus in this was the period in which we shut the government down so there was a lot of looking inward at this time. the themes that mark talked about are still fundamental. in the clinton administration
comes in, you had a winding down of cold war. you at a very serious concern with what was going to happen to all the very very talented soviet scientists and engineers. there was a lot of concern as has already been mentioned about the concept of terrorism and they fear over the issue of loose nukes so a great deal of the energy and i will talk about the organization in a minute that a great deal of the energy in and thinking about space and the white house during the clinton administration was in the office of vice president. vice president gore had a very strong concern about what we could positively do to affect change within russia. the white house. this was certainly limited and the united states congress was deeply engaged in this issue but certainly one of the things that happened was because of the world situation there was a
renewed focus on trying to engage the russians again as mark said, dialogue which had already been begun and the bush administration was then broadly expanded trying to bring the russians more fully into the space station. it was not without its bumps and bruises for sure as these two cultures collided in a very significant way. you have the u.s. which liked like to do things its way and the russians who although at the time were in the middle of a significant financial and political crisis. of course the proud people and proud of their tradition and space exploration. so those two cultures colliding in unlikely places like houston was always an exciting thing to watch. i think another big theme which we have seen and gil described i think very well, the atmosphere and the goal of the reagan administration and began rolling out these really big themes. the star wars initiative, the
national aerospace claim and then to the administrations a expiration issue. strategic -- sorry this space i think in all honesty, what you saw in the clinton administration was a realization, again a renewed locus of the economy, the budget, the realization of what what -- certainly there were always ideologues and people who would come to a position with an already prefix mindset about it but i think also there was the realization that the technical level just how massive these programs were. we spent a lot of money on these issues, and we had a very much progress. turns out the national aerospace plane which is a great idea and perhaps someday we'll be implemented, which is simply didn't have the technologies to do it. the same with -- we were now -- we have done a substantial amount of spending on the strategic defense initiative
since it was first announced by president reagan and we still see the complexity of that. they are all these people who argue if you spend more you would have made greater progress but these are monumental issues. the issue isn't can you make the issue is whether the percentage of countries will put thing. you want to spend on any given again, coming back to this issue during the clinton of renewed focused on the budget administration. if you were caught we drove the budget and it just -- wasn't just the clinton administration. we drove from a significant budget deficit to an actual surplus with the clinton administration left office. there is at the same time and neither -- another key theme was reinventing government. rightly or wrongly and it is interesting now in light of the
tea party and the other thing is, to think about these roles. if you think about it ronald reagan was pushing a large government program. the clinton administration was talking about reducing the size of government. so we have all the strange role reversals that happened as we go through time. cheaper, faster, better, one of the themes that was i think administration. planted in the bush it was again played out more administration. fully in the clinton there was a sense that we had bureaucracy and endless tied ourselves up in and less objectives and there ought to be a way to move through technology and a more crisp fashion and again, think the key -- a key environmental aspect of the clinton administration was that to understand it, this was the first of the internet. i remember physically seeing the engineers come in and hook up the first t-1 line to the white house. so prior to that, we were
communicating over regular telephone wire so we all got the internet on our desks. and to think at the same time of the tremendous explosion of the dotcom revolution was happening and there was rate sense of the vitality of the american entrepreneur. there was a company being born every minute so you know some of those have now gone away for some but some of the large icons .. remain. the sense was a space was not at sixth -- exciting of all of this. space was too slow and bureaucratic. it was too expensive. there was some second and third guessing about the ultimate value of investment in space. the united states congress had a
moment of doubt about the space station. there was a vote in the house. italy passed by one vote. there was a real thinking that the space station might have gone away. that vote reenergize the whole purpose. it reoriented the thinking about the space station as a fully international space station with the russians. which has paid off handsomely particularly now has first of all the russians have made significant contributions over the years, but important now is we wind down the space shuttle program's russians will be the only access we have to this peace mission. let me talk about wins and losses. is steve? did he run?
let me talk about organization first and then wins and losses. we started out the process. it grew in conjunction with the national space council. when the current administration came in, there was a real sense that the white house had grown too large. there were too many white house advisor groups. whether it was wise or unwise, and we can have that discussion, there was a goal to cut the white house. as part of that initiative, they decided to take a step back and said, there was just like any other complicated issue. we do not have councils for the air. you do not need a space council.
what happened was the responsibility for space went back to o cp at that point it was run by doctor gibbons. who is a scientist and a physicist. his perhaps -- passion was less than it was for science. that reflected some of the decision making of course will is had the full involvement of vice-president gore. in terms of the day today, that meant something critical there was an extremely national- security space program. you did bifurcate these worlds in a way. i was one of the team. we were nasa guys. we were brought over to the white house. our focus was civil space. we did not have the same focus.
old simile, that is not a good thing. i would never argue you ought to do in space council again. there are pluses and minuses. not having a coherent vision is important. . if you come to this enterprise without scope, you cannot see the whole picture. there is a tremendous amount that happens on that side. i think the organization does matter. we made the decisions of the year had a triumph but. there were many large decisions which were handled by the national economic council. there were many large a dollar decisions that were handled by the national security council. when some losses and then i will
wind up. the biggest win without question was the clinton administration's decision on the program. certainly we can't take credit on the program itself which had been the product of many presidents and investment in a very wise decisions on the department of defense to invest in this critical technology but the clinton administration had a fundamental decision to make which is is this something that we want -- you probably don't recall at the time they were actually did during the signal. -- dithering the signal. so to make it impossible to get an accurate signal out of the gps they are actively involved in making the system that for every one except the military. and there were fundamental decisions made and essentially the question they were asking is are we going to make gps -- are we going to pay for it and need a global utility? is the united states going to give to the world this incredible toole which you and every soccer mom and dad in america uses on saturday and
sunday now and we couldn't -- all of us have it now indicted -- embedded in our mobile device, so we couldn't find a starbucks without it. but we made that decision, and it was not without controversy and i think that was perhaps our best and most important decision. bringing the russians into the space station is a lot to be said about the space station whether it's a good idea or not and history will write and cover some of this, but bringing the russians and i think was an unqualified good move. there was a lot of creative work that was done on air- traffic and steve is coming back. i will not talk about the air traffic modernization program. an important thing the clinton administration did is to privatize the entities that time they were basically intergovernmental organizations.
the clinton administration claim and said this doesn't make sense. why do we have governmental organizations providing a commercial service globally when companies can do this easily. it's very controversial at the time, very, very little support from other countries when it was first announced that it's paid off handsomely in both countries, both companies have survived the generations with in service, and in ways that are fundamentally improved life or on the planet. and there's a lot that can be program. said of the planetary science this has been mentioned by several speakers. the question of getting the space station and planetary science program to a place where it was fumble and sustainable for long period of time this a challenge and was one where the white house and congress have to work
cooperatively together, and i think by and large it's turned out well. there were some big losses on fortunately, some big lessons learned. perhaps the biggest loss was the program. we encourage the consolidation of the military and civilian weather system. it turned out to be a logistical nightmare with the primary user met with nasa in the dod to agree on a system of grow phenomenally out of the budget just went haywire, and requirements for the system were not controlled in a way that is spending dramatically out of control and eventually the program had to be killed and separated, so there was a big loss.
my own personal loss i was involved in this case transformation policy-making at the time and we were passionate about the x33 program single stage oregon and i learned a very important lesson, which is policy never trump's physics. so you can say whatever you want, but if you can't do it, if it will happen, and we wanted to will the single states to orbit in existence and we had a beautiful concept that looked like the future we did this didn't have the technology. and ultimately we didn't have the will either. i think that i wouldn't say that national security space was a loss under the administration. i think a lot of great programs were developed by can't take credit for any of that is what i'm saying. there were good people working and we were not really deeply
involved in that. with that i will wrap it up but this is a fascinating exercise and i look forward to hearing the rest, how the story is going to end. [applause] >> thank you, richard. so now we are the second bush administration, the out ministration of george w. bush where the world begins to change again. you have one of the interesting perspectives i think on the bush administration this time is the importance of expectations. secretary rumsfeld comes in and assumes control of the defense department, but he had just been share of two other commissions in the latter portions of the clinton administration. those commissions one on missile defense and other concerns in space management organizations. the expectations for how the community at large sought the
defense policies related to missile defense were going to evolves. the rumsfeld missile defense commission outlined a very aggressive set of programs including some elements of the use of space. the rumsfeld space commission talks in great detail about the billing of the organizational process and the importance also of space to the national security missions and warns of a space pearl harbor. the expectation on the part of the community that was then observing the decision the rumsfeld defense department and the bush defense, bush national security policy at large than expects movement in the policy and movement in the budget along the lines predicted by these to commissions but three of these changes. we have a terrorist attacks of september, 2001, the subsequent war in iraq and afghanistan which divert attention and
resources on =to immediate critical national priorities and perhaps shift attention away from the policy movements we thought would happen. you have the vision for space exploration that comes out in 2004 which again attempt to define a new path and a new set of priorities for the american space exploration. and you have a deterioration in economic conditions in the second half of the two bush administrations. all of these things that affect space decisions central into these decisions were alexander has the advisor on space issues of the white house office of technology policy urging the clinton administration into the hour georgia will you bush administration and while he was at the white house but serve as one of the principal authors the division -- formation. >> thank you very much, jeff.
as you mentioned, had the pleasure of being there at the end of the clinton administration through the transition, the election that lasted 35 days and then the transition to the bush ad ministration, and that sort of period of turmoil we thought would taper off into an administration that moved out in lock step along the new lines of the way the rumsfeld commission had talked about national security space and other issues. obviously in the first year with 9/11 it didn't happen that we overcome by events is a good way to describe the reality on the ground in terms of the making of space policy and the use of space so what we have for the next seven years really is a reality of the dramatic
increase in the use of space for national security purposes space being at the forefront of those issues and those activities afghanistan, iraq, global war on terror around the rest of the world as well. and at the same time, a space policy that is then trying to reflect that as opposed to trying to leave that so when the national space policy comes out in 2006, it is also not a similar infected chemical to the -- dissimilar but is in fact previous policies is viewed not only by the administration and viewed by the rest of the world is fundamentally different for the new lines. it is viewed as more telcos, more unilateral things that the
rest of the world view as hallmarks and the rest of the bush at fenestration. so backing up before that there was a reality, as i sit in the use of space for the national security purposes on the civil side the reality on the ground was the columbia accident. february 1st 2003 change everything from the civil service perspective. it changed, with it can recognition of the civil human space flight program as being fundamentally different than what we have fought, where is the community thought that was more of an operational system that had had people in this case on space station in the presence it was working toward scientific goals and i think in the light of columbia, people said what are we doing we are not going anywhere, why aren't we moving forward fleeing something we've been flying for 25 years, we need to change this paradigm, and i think an accident like that instantly
changes the paradigm for folks watching it. one of the very first actions the bush administration took command this was pre-9/11 with regard to the civil space program come was on everybody's favorite program, space station program, so throughout the clinton administration, when the program was finally solidified from a political perspective by bringing the russians in the commit the same time every two years there was a budget overrun or cost approve of multiple billions of dollars and always had to be worked out, and my impression of those battles was in the end of the schedule slip but nasa got the same content for the station
with minor changes here and there. at the beginning of the bush at a demonstration there was a 4 billion-dollar i believe it was overrun on the space station that was presented to the omb within the first couple of months and the result of that was omb and the white house pushed back and said you don't get any more money. you don't get to keep the content. you have to cut content to meet your goals. that results in what was called the u.s. court complete, which dramatically reduced the capability of the station, kept a lot of the scientific things folks wanted of the habitation modules and things like that that were no longer part of it and then over the next year the u.s. court sort of morphed into the international court complete because it sounded like we were not going to allow the international partners to ring of the modules, but of course that was always part of the plan was to let them continue in
that part of the program, too. so it was a fundamental budget reality that the administration programs. tried to instill in the along with that, outgoing and minister who had been there for ten years started under bush 41 as they dropped the budget administration was still there beginning in bush 43 was replaced by sean o'keefe who had been a deputy during a tour of the office and management budget for the first nine months, nine to 12 months in the bush administration. so it was a recognition to put in a program manager someone who can manage budgets, not a space person, not an astronaut, not someone who is sort of was in and of the program itself, and i think that really said
where the bush administration was going. you mentioned the columbia accident, and that really fundamentally changed everything from the bush administration's view of the civil space program. there had been an ongoing review of this base will the ccf remote sensing policy that had come out or was about to come out space transportation policy was 99% done. i remember a meeting on the very last issue between a o.s. tv and the mass of an administrator o'keefe that happened on wednesday when columbia was in order, and at the end of that meeting we all thought we had come to agreement with the policy was done and in the net saturday morning everything changed, and we ended up putting up the transportation policy and redoing it two years later so i had the pleasure of writing a policy twice and
leading the agency twice with 50 people around the room twice for a year each time. and i bring that up because the average ministration -- the obama administration kicked off the space transportation policy review, and i just so glad it's them and not me. [laughter] but i did enjoy the process. two things about the columbia accident and what can out of it that led toward the vision that i think are important, one is that the columbia accident investigation board came out in august. we yet known if leading up to that, but it came out and said some very important things. there was a leaked to add to the columbia investigation board where folks were to focus on policy instead of just the
technical reasons why the accident happened. that made a lot of us in the white house nervous because now you're going to broaden it from here is what actually happened to here's why it happened and start pointing fingers and plame, and what they ended up saying and it was john larsen in particular who was on the committee who wrote a chapter nine, and what it said, you know, that was if importance that it was a failure of national policy, it was a failure of national leadership that that contributed significantly that within the organization there wasn't a sense of why we were doing it, where we were going, the been lost. importance of it that that had the second thing they said was it wasn't a failure of this particular administration of this a failure of the leadership over 40 years and a failure both in pennsylvania
avenue and in both political parties, and that was very interesting because i think at the highest levels of the bush administration, what that said was this is not your fault. but if you don't change something now, there will be another accident and that one will be your fault. you may be out of office. it may have been ten years from now but the finger will be pointed back at you and you will say you were warned and didn't do anything about it. from the beginning after columbia, about three weeks after the accident, most of the pieces were being picked up literally and down in texas. we started a very small group of folks that said dhaka what does this mean for the program and human space flight in general? and there were folks that said you know, we shouldn't be doing this. we don't have the rationale to do it anymore. we don't -- it's too much money. we don't have the money.
and president bush on that day wanted to come back from camp david and he said something very important in his speech that he made. he said we are going to keep doing this because it's important. he didn't say we are going to keep flying the shuttle or in the specifics like that. we are going to keep doing this because it's an portion part of the american character and that was useful so i carried the speech around the next two months when people said we shouldn't be doing it i would say you don't get a vote the president of r. dee said we are going to so let's figure out what we are going to do not if we are going to do it and that was very powerful at least it stiffened up my spine of a lot in those conversations. consequently i almost got fired a few times but you have to stick up for what you believe in when you get these opportunities and i think anybody who has been up here
today has come and you know, understands when you get the opportunity to work at the white house whoever you are working for it's an opportunity number one you can't pass up but it is something special. so, as we were looking at what is meant for the space program, human space flight program in particular, we kept having interactions with senior administration folks, chief of staff in the card, deputy national security advisor stephen hadley, national security advisor condoleezza rice and others, and every time we brought them sort of the latest rock what we were thinking, they didn't say i'd like that or i don't like that or change this, change that,
they just said keep working. figure out what you think the right answer is, you know, and bring that back. and i think there was very different than a lot of frustrations with has acted. in the end when the decision making happened with the president and the senior advisers and the president and all of the folks people know in the bush and administration with karl rove and others, the decision was made not on the basis of wanting political credit because frankly at that time in the administration, you know, they just have gone into iraq. it wasn't going that well. nobody was thinking this is going to be kennedy speech moment and everybody's going to love it. the president's father had done that and it hadn't gone so well but it was a matter of what is the right thing to do, how do we fix this, and therefore all options were on the table. ethical cynically what i believe most about the vision was that it confirmed was
certainly those of us in the space community always said which is that it's about exploring and going beyond not operating and doing things, but it once again put on the table but which had been taken off the table which is that nasa should be going out and exporting. it also laid the groundwork for turning over giglio activities to the private-sector. it said i think it was a choir commercial and international services in the international station later that summer in 2000 for the elbridge commission that was put in place to look at implementation of the vision came out and said turn me over to the private sector right away, and they said much more elegantly than we did in
the policy and with the clarity of hindsight i think we would have written things quite a bit different in order to make that happen. with that, the vision became a sort of signature policy direction of the bush administration. the u.s. document that was issued with the vision which was the vision there were documents on the space transportation, remote sensing. remote sensing had a fundamental shift to allow foreign access to the capabilities, commercial capabilities and bush 41 or early clinton years which in the end set up the structure how foreign companies could get access in the industry to develop the key devotees and after ten years or so it hadn't developed of the way we thought
>> mr. chairman, it is a pleasure for me to be here. are the happy to answer any questions you may have . >> thank you for your testimony. we would like to hear from the next witness. >> thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony today. a company need today is tony ferguson, our director of minerals and theology management. to begin, i want to be clear. the u.s. forest service has no
policy nor doe w we have plans o ban horizontal drilling. forest plans are place-based based on local concerns. the forest service is committed to doing our part to contribute to the nation's energy goals while perfecting the landscapes -- protecting and the landscapes and watersheds that are important to so many. the forest service and the blm work together. agencies follow congressionally authorized mandates that all love for the responsible development of domestic energy and mineral resources. the forest service's and manages the national forest system lands, while the blm issues leases for exploration after receiving consent from the forest service. the forest service bases its
decisions on whether to consent to leasing on gardens provided in our forest plans. plans a guide to the management of national forested lands and are developed by local, state government, and private citizens. the current oil and gas production on national forest system lands is sizable. 16.7 million barrels of oil and 194 million cubic feet of gas is produced in 2010 from federal wells. in addition, there are 12,800 additional wells where the subsurface is privately owned. in 2010, production from federal $361 millioned
dollars in revenue. the forest service is committed to providing these energy resources and their benefits to the american people and a way that is consistent with our mission to safeguard the health, a diversity, and productivity of our nation's forests and grasslands. we understand that some members are concerned about the draft plan for the george washington national forest in northern virginia and west virginia. the proposed several options for public comment, one of which is a preferred option that provides for oil and gas leasing but would have horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in certain areas of the force. this plan includes several alternatives, which would allow for horizontal drilling. we will carefully consider all public comments prior to the regional forester making a
final decision the forest service is accepting comments on the draft plan through september 1. this plan is place-specific and is not represent a broader policy with regard to hydraulic fracturing. there are no force service discussions or efforts underway to develop a national policy to ban horizontal drilling. on the contrary. the administration believes that the recent technological advances that allowed industry to access abundant reserves of natural gas, particularly from shale, provides potential benefit to the country, as long as it is done and with a protect public health and the environment. the epa is currently studying potential impacts to water resources from hydraulic fracturing. a subcommittee of the secretary of energy advisory board is developing recommendations on steps that can be taken to
improve the safety and environmental performance of shale extracted. the forest service will move forward to allow the safe and responsible development of domestic oil and gas resources consistent with the recommendations from these and other efforts. thank you for the opportunity to provide information about the oil and gas program on the national forests and clarify the situation related to horizontal drilling. i look forward to answering any questions you may have. >> thank you for your testimony. a housekeeping notes. we will soon be going to the floor as they call votes. it would be a lengthy series of votes. when that times happens, i will remind everyone that we will have to leave. i will set a time for us to come back. hopefully, getting some some certainty to our schedule. i think we have time to do the
first couple sets of questions for 10 minutes. two sets of 5 minute questions. then we will recess and set a time for coming back. i wish this did not happen, but we have no control over that part of our schedule. as we read this morning, each member will be recognized for five minutes for questions. i'll open. our national unemployment rate unfortunately has risen to 9.2% in june, with only 18,000 jobs generated. when you decided to include a horizontal drilling ban in your draft forest plan did you consult with the commonwealth of virginia and the impact that would have on existing and future job growth in the energy development sector? >> congressman, first of all,
i would like to thank you for asking me to the hearing and giving me an opportunity to answer questions. we are in a draft comment period. at the transcript will be taken into consideration and part of the planning record. in answer to your question, early on, we understood and believed that energy development was very important in virginia. that is why we decided to go ahead and address the need to make land available for oil and gas leasing. it was a very important consideration for us. >> i asked did job growth or job creation factor in at all your decision making process? >> we understood the relationship of energy development and jobs in virginia, yes. >> so you are saying you did take that into account? >> we will continue to take that
into account. and we welcome additional information on that subject through the comment period. >> ok. did you seek to find out if there was any horizontal drilling or hydraulic fracturing going on in any nearby public lands that may have been done in this safe and proper manner? >> in virginia, there is yet to be any hydraulic fracturing done. we did not have information available on the impact. >> and anywhere else in the country, even further distances away? >> this is a local base. >> a safety record of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. >> this is a local plan. we focused on virginia. that's what our focus was.
it's a community-based plan. >> thank you. a recent study estimated that development of the shale added 44,000 jobs in pennsylvania, over $1 billion in tax revenue and $4 billion in value added to the state's economy. in west virginia, it created 13,000 new jobs and contributed million in local tax revenue. when proposing possible job- killing regulations or administrative actions, do you do a cost-benefits analysis on the outcomes of local job growth and revenues? >> we do take into account the economic impact and implications of decisions that we make. again, i would like to stress
there have been no decisions made in the george washington national forest plan. it is a draft open for public comment at this time. if in the analysis of that or any other plan we go through, yes, one of the things we take into account of the economic opportunities presented -- opportunities to do resource extraction or recreational opportunities. that is one of the things we take into account, just as we take into account the environmental concerns over the use of water, etcetera. one of things -- another demonstration of the importance of the jobs in economics is, in the draft forest plan for george washington, the proposal is to open nearly 1 million acres of the george washington national forest to oil and gas leasing. >> at this point, i will yield back the remaining time.
and i will recognize the ranking member for any questions he may have for five minutes. >> thank you. mr. abbey, much of the concern about hydraulic fracturing floyd's is related to the types of chemicals that are pumped into the ground and come back of the ground sometimes with added contaminants, including at naturally occurring radioactive materials. it's been reported that waste water from hydraulic fractured wells in pennsylvania and west virginia have been sent to sewage plants that were not able to remove the radioactive contaminants, even though the levels were as high as 2000 times epa's standards. and then radioactive water was released into waterways. as a requirement for drilling
permits on federal lands, does the blm require assurance that radioactive of waste water will not be dumped into rivers or onto public lands? >> water management is a big concern for all of us. >> specifically radioactivity. >> the blm issues authorizations' based upon the applicant being able to produce a permit from the authorizing local community or the authorizing officials. >> so it goes to the state or local officials? this is not a blm criteria. >> exactly. >> as a requirement for drilling, does the bureau require any radiological monitoring of drilling wastes for protection of either the public or the workers? >> we differ back to state or local government officials. >> in light of recent
developments, do you plan to revise regulations to ensure that drilling wastes are handled in a manner that does not lead to public or worker exposures? to radioactivity? >> our current regulations addressing hydraulic fracturing on public lands are 30 years old. we are reviewing those regulations to determine what if any changes we would like to make and pursue any new rulemaking required. >> i hope to pursue them aggressively. yes, fracturing has been used for decades on a small scale. on this scale, this is new. and so, i hope you will pursue that. nepa, one of the best features of the environmental protection law is it provides for american citizens to have input into
the planning process, which is something that was lacking in previous decades. how does the forest service and gauge local stakeholders in the planning process? in particular, i am considering in the consideration, economic considerations. i am concerned in the -- interested in agricultural jobs. are you getting good input on that aspect? in my opening statement, i commented that several agriculturally in tens of counties have issued public objections. >> the process that the george washington national forest has gone through as well as the process that occurs across the country during is planning processes is very much, as you indicated, a public process. we consider that a positive benefit. in the case of the george washington national forest, we
did have public meetings throughout the area, the communities affected and interested in the george washington. there are letters that we have received from three of the counties in the george washington and two of the cities associated with it the george washington. all requesting that the forest service take a hard look at or asking us to not allow all horizontal drilling or hydraulic fracturing. taking those into account is one of those -- not the only -- but one of the considerations we would expect our local managers to do as they are determining what is the right course of action. >> just a quick question. under the mineral leasing act, gast it correct that no deposits to be released except with the consent of the servers managing agency? >> that is true.
>> that would be who? >> [inaudible] >> thank you very much. we are in recess until 12:30. i do not have a crystal ball as to when our vote series will finish. it is a link the vote serious. is the only one of the day. to give certainty for all of you who came here, to give your testimony as well as any other concerned citizens, we thought it would be good to give a time certain for reconvening so that you'll know we will not be here any time before that. we will reconvene at 12:30. the subcommittee is in recess. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
we appreciate your being here. we will get to the second panel as soon as we can. the next set of questions for five minutes is with mr. representative thompson of pennsylvania. >> thank you, chairman. appreciate your assistance in coordinating this hearing. first of all, i want to submit for the record -- permission to submit for the record and peace of mind for the ranking member of the natural resources committee, regarding radioactivity in the region. this is an article june 21, 2011, that reports on a study that was done by the department of environmental protection and pennsylvania that showed no radioactive contaminants in water used and produced in western pennsylvania, where we do a lot of horizontal drilling.
with your permission, i would like to submit that for the record. >> without objection. so ordered. >> i want to thank the panel for being here and your testimony. i want to start with forest service. on page one of your testimony you state that the u.s. forest service has no plans to develop a policy to ban horizontal drilling and the associated hydraulic fracturing. i am looking for yes or no answer. does the forest service have a draft eif dated april 2011 that states the surface management agency has a moratorium on processing surface used over an application for a permit to drill for any horizontal well?
the moratorium will end of may 1, 2013. does that exist? >> can you tell me what the title of that eis is? >> i sure can. i'm reading it from the federal oil and gas stipulation, appendix one. in section 1. my quote comes from section 1, very prominent in the document. horizontal drilling moratoriums stipulation. >> is this the george washington forest plan? >> george washington is noted on here in the heading. >> what that is is it is an alternative in our draft forest plan, amongst several. >> i am trying to figure out in my own mind. so this was not an internal exercise? it was something that was a
proposal being considered. in your testimony said, nor do we have any plans to develop any policy. >> correct. what i am referring to -- there is no policy. the title of the hearing had to do with a policy on banning forest service ban on horizontal drilling on federal lands. my statement was intended to assure you that there is no intent for us to develop a policy nationwide, broadly. what we are talking about on the george washington it is site specific and locally driven analysis. and there is a range of alternatives we are looking for on the george washington. >> it still sounds contradicting. i took note of your opening testimony that horizontal drilling and a hydraulic
fracturing is something that is embraced. i assume that even the consideration of this, which really is developing a policy, developing alternatives for policy, which contradicts your testimony. the potential for a moratorium was prompted by specific occurrences in national forests. environmental degradation or damage from horizontal drilling. and that is what i am assuming. were environmental and economic assessments conducted by the forest service? >> yes. analysisnvironmental and public input. there is a look at all of the available science we have available that led to the range of alternatives that we are looking at. >> so, based on the science, was
there evidence of environmental degradation and damage from horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing? >> the concerns had to do with both the potential, whether there would possibly be potential effects on surface water and ground water. and there was concern over what might be the chemical makeup of the material following the use , fracturing. there is a great deal public input from a lot of interest asking us to take a hard look at this issue. we are being responsive to the public's requests. >> i understand public input. i appreciate the forest service. what's the data show? the forest service is involved in providing resources. oil and gas. and there is a lot of the pumped out of the allegheny national forest. is there data? is there a track record, is
there established environmental degradation? were these concerns of what may happen ? >> i think the best way of answering that is as we are looking at the full range of resources values we have, that we are responsible for, that there were concerns raised that we felt was important for us to consider a full range of alternatives that we should look at. we have every intention of using whatever data is available. if that science tells us that this can operate safely with public health and resource values accounted for, that is a determination that we intend to make. i think what we have with national forests across the united states, we have a recognition that there are great energy values on our
national forest system. there are other values as well. there will not be one solution in each one of those situations. we will look at all the resources values and all of the opportunities associated with those. >> i am just asking. i would ask if you would forward to my office. i am looking for the fact in terms of on-forest lands, whether there has been environmental degradation versus speculation. >> we will provide that calculation. >> thank you. >> the gentleman from colorado is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. appreciate your holding this hearing. i'm a westerner. so there are few things that are important -- our public lands, access to energy and to jobs. as an aside, when i read your
testimony, you noted about the importance of public input. i really want to encourage you when you are closing of some of our forest lands that you listen to the public testimony, particularly in colorado. to the points we're dealing with in this hearing. we have some confusion. if you could answer this. we recently had secretary salazar for the natural resources committee. i met with blm officials. when the what lands policy was going to be in play, they were not going to allow lateral growth. when we spoke to state officers, they did not know what the policy was going to be. the secretary indicated no lateral drilling would be allowed. it seems we have no basis to make any kind of determination and you have not decided.
>> thank you for the question. first and foremost, we do not have a wild lands policy. we are not pursuing such a policy. >> we appreciate that. >> the bill recognizes the importance of horizontal drilling on -- the bureau recognizes the importance of horizontal drilling on public lands. it allows more wells to be drilled from a single location. we recognize the advantage of horizontal drilling. time as itnt in relates to public lands, we will continue to look at all opportunities we have in responding to requests for applications to drill to see how we can lessen that surface disturbance. as we indicated earlier, but there is no ban on horizontal drilling. >> when we are talking th how farabout the depth,
below the water table does fracking take place? >> it can vary. most drilling that's being done technology isng below the ground water level. well below. in the east, it might not be the case. >> have we had any evidence of contamination of the water table? >> the blm has never seen any evidence of in packs to ground water from fracking technology on wells approved by the bureau. >> it appears to be safe. >> we have been using that technology for a number of years. as long as we are diligent,
relative to reviewing proposals to ensure well casing integrity. to ensure that the design of well bornes are appropriate, working with the epa to ensure that the necessary permits are adhered to. we believe that based upon the track record so far, that it is safe. but that does not take away the need to continue to be diligent in reviewing each of the proposals and making sure monitoring takes place for a >> i appreciate that, to hear the endorsement that it is a safe process. we have to have the policies in place to make sure that we meet those safety and environmental standards. i do appreciate that, director. i have listened to several questions so far and i do not believe i have heard the answer. have you done a cost-benefit analysis? >> an economic analysis is part
of the eis. >> it has not been done. >> there is a draft eis available for public comment. >> so that is in progress? >> is available for public review now. >> as we were going through your establishing policy and part of the concern is president. -- is precedent. both the forest service and the blm are moving under the authority that it has been granted by the congress in terms of developing these policies. would you gentleman be agreeable to coming back before they agricultural committee, the natural resources committee before going active with your proposed regulation to get them back to the authoritative body of congress for their review
before you go active? >> which regulations? >> northeast regulation. >> we believe we have the administrative authority to pursue our own regulations and policies. >> was that granted by congress, sir? >> it was consistent with the the loss. >> with that the appropriate to bring back to congress? >> i'm not sure we would seek approval. >> i think that is curious. this body has been elected to represent the people of the united states in your acting under the authority of congress. i think you might want to consider allowing congress to have some input as well. when we get down to the regulations. i think probably every member has heard, we are spending one trillion dollars a year right now in regulatory costs. all regulations are not bad, but
i think it would be appropriate for your consideration to come back to the body that authorized your agencies to be able to review those regulations rather than assume that you have absolute authority. i yield back the balance of my time. >> the next person in the order of questions is mr. fleming of louisiana. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm from the fourth district of louisiana, shreveport, ocean city, the sonia sotomayor parish. that is where the shale deepwater horizis. only three years ago, we had no idea what it was or would be in the future. it's had a tremendous impact on our economy. $11 billion so far. jobs. poor parishes that are now doing well economically.
we see police departments, infrastructure, all of these things being improved. local government. high-paying jobs. and we're beginning to meet the country's needs in terms of natural gas. i can tell you that we have not seen any significant problems. and so it really is beyond me to wonder now with a 9.2% unemployment rate, with energy costs as high as it is ever bent, and the country in such a desperate economic situation and a technology that is 50-60 years old, and has been proven safe and the epa said was safe, why
in the world would we be thinking about getting this type of technology which is so essential not just for gas but for the future of oil domestically? my question, for instance, do you -- what is a typical depth of drilling iin the horizontal drilling process? >> i'm not aware of that. we have no wells that are drilled in george washington. >> in a typical gas well. >> i'm not aware. >> it depends on what part of the country you are in. as a general rule of thumb, most of the shale-gas development that i have read about and not witnessed firsthand, there is a vertical well drilled at 4000-
5000 feet. >> where is the water table? >> that varies. it could be in 100 feet or 1000 feet. near surface. >> the horizontal drilling is five times the depth. how many layers of casing is there as you bore down to get to the horizontal drillilevel? anyone else? >> it can be a number. 3-4 with cement. the collapsable cup. >> in our shale formation, typical is six. how many episodes are you aware that hydro fracking fluid is leaking through the casing?
>> i'm not anywware. >> can anyone specify a single resultts of deatch as a of the hydro fracking contaminating the water supply? anyone? serious injury? >> no. >> so, if we are talking about billions of dollars of impact and the possibility of transforming our energy from an oil based system to in part natural gas, and by the way, we in the u.s. have more natural gas than anyplace in the world. this is a fact we found out in the last few years. if we have all this potential available to us and no harm to
anyone, why in the world would we consider banning this process? is anyone on the panel willing to answer that question? >> the purpose of us looking at the restrictions on the use of horizontal drilling on the george washington national forest have to do with issues around water use, the volumes of water associated. what would be the potential effects on surface water? >> we have had 60 years and we have no evidence there is a problem. why do we want to ban it first and ask questions later, when we have 60 years of experience? >> one of the things i think -- the input we are getting through this the draft environmental impact process will allow us to have additional information for us to make that decision. >> you have had 60 years. how much do you need? >> i believe the horizontal drilling technology is more recent than 60 years. hydro fracking has been around
for 60 years. >> 90% of wells require hydro fracking. not only single death, no injuries. yet, we are going to ban or potentially ban horizontal drilling. >> the proposed, the preferred alternative that we are talking hydroa loallows fracking. >> it's no use with horizontal drilling. the type of shale formations we have today, you will get very little yield out of vertical wells. we have to go horizontal at two miles down. you are below the water table. you hit that through the vertical. it's safe at the horizontal.
>> mr. floeres of texas. >> the jobs report confirms the impact of a couple of things. one is an out of control fiscal situation in our federal government. also, taking a more presidents over the economy today is the overreach of administrative agencies. in that regard, there seems to be a process that is of control. i want to dig into that a little bit more, but before i go there i would like to ask the three witnesses -- what was the target? was it fracking or horizontal drilling or both? what was it you were trying to shoot? >> we were trying to address the
local government and community concerned with horizontal drilling and the excessive amount of water used in a hydro fracking. where the water comes from. what do you do with the water. the effects on the infrastructure. we looked at seven different alternatives so we could explore different possibilities. >> what sort of facts and science did you use in coming up with that option? you heard the local community say, we are worried about it. there does seem to -- you've got people like "the new york times" writing about fracking. 2 million wells h ave been fracked with out any problems worldwide. yet, we are trying to go after a
problem where i am not sure there is a problem. what are the science and facts that you used? >> some of the science was the recognition that we had different your logic features on the george washington in places where hydro fracking has been used with horizontal drilling. we have a different do logical situation in terms of the configuration of the -- geological situation in terms of the configuration of the shale. there has been little demand for this activity in that area because there seems to be limited opportunities. as we look for ways we can be responsive to the full range of public desires, which included no leasing, no oil and gas development from some local governments, what the forest ame up with was a range of options.
>> was there going to be a dialogue? what i have seen from rulemaking today is that you will get substantial number of comments back, and those are ignored. the rules become final without change. are you different than the other agencies we are seeing these days ? >> i suspect many agencies are like us in that we pay a great deal of attention to the public. we analyze input. i would be happy to show you the type of analysis we do, when we do that type of public input. every time we do a draft forest plan, when we come out with a final plan is different than what was in the draft, based largely on public comment. >> so as i understand the option for the band of horizontal drilling, vertical drilling is
still acceptable. you do understand that the surface footprint of vertical drilling is much more invasive two to 10 times more. >> we are aware. that is one of the reasons why we do recognize the values of horizontal drilling, when the situation calls for it. >> your primary mission is to protect the surface. blm is responsible for sub- surface. am i correct? >> the blm has a 40 sub-surface. we have authority for the surface. but our shared desire is to protect water resources as well as other resource values. >> ok. i hope you pay lots of attention
to the comments, because i assume you will receive a lot of,. this ban is the wrong thing to do from an economic standpoint and jobs stand. and energy standpoint. >> i recognize the gentleman from maryland for five minutes. >> i appreciate it. thank you for your patience and your testimony today. i appreciate your efforts to explain that moving with some prudence and careful thought with respect to this hydraulic fracturing and horizontal constituteoes not secured a ban. i think you described very well the broad activity that
continues to happen on federal lands with respect to development and production of our natural resources in terms of oil and gas and so forth. i don't want any audience that's watching or listening to this herainaring to go away with the impression that your caution or your desire to move in a deliberate way in considering the potential harm from this, that doesn't have any support in reality. and so i'm aware, because i bring particular attention to this as a representative who cares deeply about the chesapeake bay. and the watershed.
that there have been incidents recently that point to the potential harm that can come from the fracking process. there was not too long ago in pennsylvania a blow out of one of these wells that resulted in a discharge of thousands of gallons of fracking fluid. the record should stipulate that it can contain toxic materials. my understanding is that even in those areaas with 60- years of experience -- you have to distinguish where this experience happened. you have different geology in the chesapeake bay than you do
in oklahoma and texas. we should not borrow the lessons from one part of the country and try to impose them on others. even in those parts of the country, my understanding is that there was a discharge line installed in connection with a fracking process operated by the chesapeake, when operating in oklahoma and texas that resulted in discharge fluid into the river. can you speak to the fact that there are instances that suggest there is potential harm that could come from the process, from the beginning to the end process, that it is a good reason for you to want to step carefully in terms of whether you open these kinds of public lands to horizontal drilling? mr. abbey and any others who want to speak to it.
>> that's an excellent question. the increased use of hydraulic fracturing on public and private lands has generated concern among the public. regarding its potential effects on water quality and availability. as i mentioned before, as part of the blm, we have not seen impacts to ground water as a result of using the technology on wells we've approved. that does not take away the need to be diligent. that is why we focus on the integrity of the wells. also to make sure the well itself is well-engineered and designed. if there is going to be a leak, it will be part of the drilling process. there is potential for the chemicals to get into groundwater. that is why we put most of our focus on the casings and the well bore, and the integrity of
that. at the same time, it behooves all of us to maintain diligence on the monitoring so that we are cognizant of any potential impact that might be occurring so that we can take immediate steps to rectify those impacts. i have read about some of the impacts associated with fracking in the eastern united states. i am not familiar with those particular cases. raise our s awareness that we need to be careful as we review those proposals. >> if i can add to that. the part of your question, thinking from the beginning to the end of the process, those are things that we are continuing to pay attention to and think about, not only the source of the water and where the water is coming from to provide the material for the frackciing and what would be the implications of the water coming
from that source, but the material after words. there is a lot of success in disposing of that material. we have to be diligent in paying attention to how we dispose of the material following hydro fracturing as well. >> now the gentleman from virginia. >> thank you. i thank you and the chairman for holding this hearing. my district in the shenandoah valley is the focal point. i have been along supporter of the use of natural gas. for those concerned about greenhouse gas emissions, it has fewer emissions and other sources of energy. i am a big advocate of local and decisions made by the federal government,
particularly in the case of the management of george washington and jefferson national forests. i commend them for doing that. they've heard from some of my local governments on the issue, and i think that is important. my understanding is that the forest service would have other ways to stop horizontal drilling in national forests, should a permit be requested. should one be filed in the george washington national forest, would there be other ways of stopping horizontal drilling from taking place if you found there were not the correct precautions being taken? you talk about the necessity, which i think is true, that you have to deploy good, safe technology to do this.
on the other hand, the preferred plan of the forest service for the george washington imposes a 15-year ban oas the preferential way to address concerns. what i would ask you is why did the forest service feel that a 15-year ban was the appropriate way to go and their preferred plan, as opposed to looking at the science, looking at the technology that mr. abbey referred to, of making sure the drilling goes well below ground water? geological formations are different everywhere. it is my understanding that there is horizontal drilling that takes place right now and the jefferson national forest to the south of the george washington. pwwhy a 15-year ban?
as opposed to taking other measures that would assure my constituents that this is safe. >> thank you for that question. thank you for your continuing interest in helping the management of the george washington national forest. i believe the best way to answer that direct question is that i think as the forests weighed the variety of information they had in terms of local input, in terms of the recognition of the high values of the water resources from the george washington national forest for millions of people, that as they weighed those in order to generate the kind of interest in the topic that that was the preferred alternative.
but again, not a decision. it was to make sure that there was the appropriate type of continuing public input. >> was there a safety or scientific reason for the forest service to propose the ban? >> again, the science -- we used to the best science available to us. i would prefer -- again, i would like to express again, there has not been a decision made it so there is not a ban. >> i understand. is there a difference in the shale formation in the gw forest, different from the jefferson that would require such an absolute difference in approach?
>> maybe somebody else can answer and i can fill in. >> the shale formation under the george washington is folded and fracture. over the last 30 years, there have been hundreds of thousands of acres leased but only five wells drilled. they were not successful. on the jefferson, it is more accessible. there are a number of active wells. >> that might provide more assurance to my constituents that there may not be the activity they are concerned about, because the formation may be different for that reason. is there a safety difference between the two? that should be the basis on which should make a decision on whether to and pose different regulations for drilling there
as opposed to an outright ban. >> that's a point we need to consider. >> i also understand that public input is important. it's importance as representatives. it is important for government agencies to take that into account. i commend you. but some of the same localities that came out in opposition to wilderness, which is included in the plan, they came outin opposition, and yet you have included wilderness in those same jurisdictions. do you have a comment on why you responded to the localities in one issue and not the other? >> we have been working with the counties on that issue, also . we have looked at what the potential is for wilderness and what is most suitable. we did not recommend a deal of wilderness at this point.
we were concerned that we needed to have a balance of uses and development activities on the national forests. we were concerned about jobs and energy development. so we looked at the broad range. we continue to work with the counties and will continue to work with them on that issue. >> we appreciate that. one last question. thank you. if i could briefly add, the range of public input in the communities of interest, some of them requested no leasing. some of them requested no hydro fracturing whatsoever. the preferred alternative selected does allow, does open up 9000 acres to leasing. it does allow hydro fracturing for vertical wells. there was a consideration of all of those inputs.
what we came up with is not totally -- >> my colleague made the point that with vertical wells, it requires more surface disturbance and more drilling. also, if you allow hydro fracking with the vertical, the issue is greater in terms of ground water contamination. i am not sure your position is consistent. >> i agree with what you just said. if the concern was the impact, the service impact, that would drive the decision more. when the concern is water quality, that is the determination -- >> prior to proposing is a ban in your preferred plan, had any companies approached the forest service about the possibility of obtaining permits for horizontal drilling?
>> not to my knowledge. >> my recommendation would be that you anticipate that could happen and that you have good regulations that put in place the kinds of protections that mr. abbey referred to, because this is a very common practice that takes place all over the country. millions of wells have been drilled. it is the most efficient way to extract an important source of energy. i would hope he would take into account that a simple 15-year ban does not address. it just punts. it does not take into account the need to have good technology deployed, if he were to receive applications. that might be the better route to go. >> i want to thank the panel for their testimony. that concludes our questions. sorry for the delay earlier. thank you for your patience on that as well. >> today on "washington >> today on "washington