tv Senate Energy Hearing on Interior Budget CSPAN March 18, 2018 3:46pm-6:01pm EDT
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on c-span. interiorsday, secretary ryan zinke he testified before the senate energy resources committee about the president's budget request. he was questioned about allegations that he used taxpayer money to fly private jack's -- private jets. this is two hours and 10 minutes. good morning, the committee will come to order. we are here today to >> good morning. committee will come to order. the morning. we are here today to consider
the budget request for the department of interior's fy19. this is the first of three budget readings we intend to hold this year and we look forward to hearing from the department of energy and the u.s. service in the weeks ahead. est service in the weeks ahead. secretary zinke e, we appreciate you being here this morning with your team. you and i have worked closely to chart a path to greater energy security, which as you have noted that our runs right through the state of alaska. i would like to thank you for all you have done to help alaska and the nation this past year. he made one of your first trips as secretary up north and i also thank you for just recently sending deputy secretary bernhardt and assistant secretary bayless to the state last week. they engaged local communities and stakeholders as interior lays out a framework for responsible exploration and development in the 1002 area. the president's budget request
aims to build on momentum created over the past year. the department has requested a $11.7 billion in appropriations for fiscal 2019. that is a reduction of over $1 billion from the current level, but in line with the administration's efforts to shift more funding to defense needs. while i do not agree with everything in this request, i think it is fair to say it is a lot better than we have seen in recent years and i thank you for that. it focuses on taking care of the lands the federal government already owns rather than continuing to buy more. it will help us increase responsible production of our funded natural resources. -- abundant natural resources. the department's new draft five-year plan for offshore leasing, which put almost all the areas on the table, at least from the start. i always emphasize that was the starting point. like a lot of members, i support a plan that provides greater access, while protecting areas
where development may not be right at this time. this request also reinforces our efforts to improve our nations mineral security. both the president and you have recognized this is a critical issue. need to continue to address our mineral security this year through administrative actions and complement ready legislation. i support the funding proposed for modern geologic mapping, which will contribute to this effort. during your confirmation hearing, you made a commitment to work on the backlog of deferred maintenance in our national parks. his request reflects the commitment to create a new public lands infrastructure fund , which was recently introduced by senator alexander. we are still examining the proposals and details of that bill. senator portman has long been lead on many parks issues and also has a bill that we anticipate we will be looking at
in the weeks ahead. mr. secretary, i do appreciate your effort in reducing that backlog priority. and working with not only the members of this committee, senator portman, senator alexander, but others. one thing we can all agree on is that the federal government needs to be a good neighbor to those with federal lands in their state. with that, the proposal to expand and increase payment program is a good sign. territories,o our i was pleased we were able to authorize the 2010 agreement to oftinue to allow as part last years defense authorization bill. i would like to fund that agreement in the near future and finally meet our obligations to our allies. finally, i would like to note some interesting data the partnership for public service recently sent our way. according to their survey, the
department of interior improved all 10 workplace categories in 2017 from effective leadership fairness, tont and strategic management and support for diversity. we know the department has not always fared well in these types of surveys, but last year showed some bona fide improvements. your continued work to improve its culture and performance. i think we are seeing that prove out. you for being here this morning. i think you per your leadership. we will all have an opportunity for questions after hearing your statement, but thank you for appearing before the committee. you, madam chair. the trump administration the past year has overseen an attack on public lands and nation's irong conservation ethic that think is unprecedented. this budget and the secretary's actions represent an abandonment of the secretary's stewardship
is possibility of public resources. in 1903, the supreme court described the secretary of interior as "the people's guardian over our public lands." us inary zinke he assured his confirmation hearing that he would manage the department like a teddy roosevelt conservationist. i believe his actions and public policies have been the exact opposite. in the past year, president trump and secretary zinke he ofe abandoned responsibility stewardship of our public lands and undermine the public trust by removing over 2 million acres of the bear's ears national monument, grand staircase in utah. it has proposed opening up drilling on the outer continental shelf waters oil and in places the united states pr. it has poked -- hunters to
import body parts. willieve these actions ultimately be overturned as unlawful exercises of presidential or secretarial power. they have favored industry over conservation and the taxpayer. proposal for 2019 abdicates responsibility for stewardship of natural resources and public good. the budget gets key conservation programs and favors energy development at any cost. at a time when the visitation to our national parks is at record levels, the budget proposes and programsement at national parks instead of maximizing the opportunities for our citizens and the public. these funding and staffing cuts are made worse by the ill-conceived proposal to raise
park entrance fees at some of our nation's most popular national parks, including mount rainier in my state. a 300% increase. how does that make sense? the two national parks in my state together have more than 4.8 million visitors a year. your proposal would increase the park insurance fee and cost visitors to these parts an additional $215 million a year. so the impact on these parks impacts the livelihood of businesses and communities throughout my state. secretary zinke, while my constituents arguing about private jet rides and expensive doors, they want to understand why someone is proposing to raise park fees at this level. i have heard from many washingtonians, and they are concerned they will not be able to afford to go to national park and that these these are absurd. these increases imposed on america's public lands are also in sharp contrast to the
millions of dollars of royalty reductions that the secretary is proposing for oil and gas and coal companies. the staffing and budget cuts also combined with similar budget cuts at virtually all non-energy programs within the interior shows the administration's failure to recognize the importance of the outdoor recreation economy. further proof of the administration's efforts is that almost all appropriated funds for the land and water conservation fund are cut. one of the most successful programs. in fact, the budget goes further by proposing to rescind previously appropriated land and water conservation funds. it also dramatic cuts funding programs to the management of water in the west, and i can tell you this committee has dealt effectively with this issue, but a lot more needs to be done.
we cannot have programs like conservation programs, drought resiliency programs, programs to help fund rural and tribal communities cut, leaving farmers, fishermen, tribes, and communities high and dry. secretary zinke's proposal for offshore leasing is also unprecedented, in my opinion. it allows for offshore oil and gas drilling in over 90% of the coastal waters, including off the coast of washington and oregon. these are things that have been considered in the past and shelved. dramatic increases propose a direct threat to a robust coastal ocean economy. the fishing communities, the recreation communities in my state are opposed to this idea. secretary zinke is also playing a political game in choosing where to drill. the secretary's decision for last second opposition to florida while ignoring opposition from 10 other states has made this process seem very arbitrary and capricious to taxpayers. on top of that, obviously, there are other safeguards and regulations being proposed to
roll back. the president's budget would also gut oil spill and environmental research. this is important as there are important questions we have not answered on oil. let me talk for one minute about methane. the senate and house have upheld important legislation to make sure we have commonsense regulations relating to oil and gas leasing and not unnecessarily the waste of methane gas. fortunately, the courts have continued to say we need to hold this up, making sure that the administration takes action. but the administration continues to block the implementation of these important rules. last year, the senate spoke on this and defeated an effort to roll back the methane rule using the congressional review act. senators recognize that wasting $330 million of the public's natural resources is a bad idea. yet those ideas continue to try to move forward in various ways
so i am, madam chair, disappointed at this budget proposal and the actions of this administration as it relates to these important issues. yes, i can talk a lot about private planes, helicopters, and doors, but they are also very -- there are also very important public policy issues that i hope to get answers on from my constituents. thank you. sen. murkowski: thank you. senator collins. i need a little coffee this morning. it is that daylight savings time. we are going to have to do some thing about that. secretary zinke, welcome back to the committee. we would welcome your opportunity to speak to the fy 2019 budget request for the department of the interior. please proceed. hon. zinke: thank you, madam chairman, ranking committee members. i continue to offer support for the president's 2019 budget for the department
with your permission i'd like to submit my entire record -- senator murkowski: it will be included as part of the record. secretary zinke: the president has made it very clear about his priorities. he spent the first year in office keeping the promises he's made to the american people and there are many promises and there are many promises kept. this budget is a major step towards keeping another one of the public -- president's promises -- rebuilding our infrastructure. the president is a builder and the son of a plumber, as i am. i look forward to working with the president on restoring america's greatness to an historic investment of our public lands infrastructure. this is the largest investment in our public lands infrastructure in our nation's history.
let me repeat that. this is the largest investment in our public lands infrastructure in the history of this country. our public lands are our greatest treasures, but they have suffered serious neglect from our nation's leaders over the years from both sides. our interior deferred maintenance backlog is $16 billion. $11.6 billion can be found in our national park service alone. this includes everything from our roads, bridges, tunnels, visitors' centers and restrooms. at the grand canyon national park, as an example, visitors receive water from an obsolete pipeline that's broken more than 80 times since 2010. it has forced emergency rationing, costing millions of dollars to fix over and over again. the president's budget proposal requires legislation for a new public lands infrastructure fund to address deferred maintenance
problem and this is a legislative priority. the fund would provide up to $18 billion over 10 years for maintenance and improvements in our national parks, our national wildlife refuges and bureau of indian education funds. similar to the water -- land and water conservation fund, it would be funded from energy revenues -- all energy, not just oil and gas, all energy from public lands. the budget also includes $1.3 billion for construction repairs. infrastructure is not merely an expense. it's an investment. improved infrastructure is an economic driver.
our public lands should be for the benefit and enjoyment of the people as the roosevelt afternoon in the yellowstone national park so proudly proclaims. in 2016, 330 million visitors went through our park system. half a billion through the interior lands. it's estimated that those visitors spent $18.4 billion in our parks alone, and overall recreation is an $887 billion in consumer spending and employs 7.6 million people. all americans should have the opportunity to enjoy a national park, but without an investment in our infrastructure to go along with a record setting amount of visitors, we are loving our parks to death. i was pleased to join senators alexander, king, daines, heinrich, gardner, tillis, manchin this week in introducing the national parks restoration act which follows the blueprint set in the department's budget. it is bipartisan. along with being the chief steward of our public lands, i'm also responsibility for the education of 48,000 american indian students that deserve a world-class education too.
the public lands infrastructure fund supports 150 bureau of indian education schools in 23 states. the school maintenance backlog stands at about $634 billion. also across indian country, the opioid epidemic is a major problem, along with drugs. with the president's leadership we're cracking down on drug dealers who are selling out to our kids. this proposal -- this budget proposal invests in joint federal efforts like opioid task force that we've already conducted. we are also seeing a great opportunity to reorganize the department of interior for the next hundred years, just as teddy roosevelt did a century ago. as a retired navy seal commander, i believe giving more
authority to the front lines where it should reside so decisions can be made at the local level rather than washington, d.c. clearly the one-size-fits-all model has been ineffective. this budget includes $18 million to begin shifting resources to the frontline in the field to establish unified regional boundaries for interior bureaus. this organization will enable us to achieve our core mission of stewardship. in planning this organization, i've taken account feedback from congress, governors, interior employees and the stakeholders. it's a reorganization based on science. watersheds, wildlife corridors, we brought in our professionals to look at it, adjust the boundaries to make sure they're practical and i met with the governors.
like roosevelt a century ago, we want to achieve the greatest good for the greatest term using best science and best practices. this budget also recognizes the american strength on our american energy. under president trump, we're pursuing an american energy dominance policy. last year was much about energy. this year's a pivot about conservation, infrastructure, and reorganization. the president has delivered on his promise of energy. this budget includes $43 million for american energy development to continue our mission. presently we stand at 10.6 million barrels a year in our country. first time in 60 years we're exporting liquid natural gas. all told our budget request for fiscal year 2019 is $11.7 billion with a proposed transfer of the department of defense for a compact that raises to $11.8 billion. this budget clearly lays out top
priorities of the administration and speaks to the priorities of the american people. rebuilding our infrastructure, fixing our schools, achieving energy dominance, and holding the line for fiscal responsibility. above all, we do it in a responsible manner, understanding we are the steward of our greatest treasures. with that i'm happy to take your questions. senator murkowski: and, again, i will -- i'll repeat my thanks for your he focus on the energy side of the business that you and the president clearly addressed last year and we have i think a great deal to do to fulfill what was begun, but we have made considerable progress and i look forward to even more
of that. i'm going to keep my questions this morning relatively parochial to alaska. i know members will have questions about the parks backlog and the reorganization and i will go broader in the second round but let me first begin, mr. secretary, with the eastern interior resource management plan. as you know, this came down in the last few days of the obama administration, and one of those plans in particular -- this is the 40-mile district -- turned a management regime that had worked for decades to literally turn it on its head. we have gold miners in the 40-mile district that had some real trouble working out standards for revegetation. and this has been really quite problematic. so the question for you this morning is whether or not we have any administrative -- excuse me -- administrative options to address some of the very valid concerns that exist with regards to this 40-mile plan, if you're willing to work with us to help restore balance to that plan and specific to the
revegetation standards, if we can find a solution to help our miners out in that area? secretary zinke: well, thank you for that question, and restoring trust and being a good partner is what interior should be. the government should not be an adversary. and that's been clear across the states and some policies have been not willing to be developed where you listen to the local populations. while i did have the deputy secretary and our a.s.l. up there talking to the 40-mile miners, there are some administrative procedures we can do. we're looking at streamlining it. reclamation and mining as a geologist, the fair proposition is, if you're going to develop on federal land, there needs to be a reclamation plan to make
sure it's returned to as good or better condition than what you found it. there are a number of advanced technologies in reclamation that we need to incorporate into our regulate framework to ensure that happens. oftentimes our regulations do not take into account innovation. they don't take into account science or best practices. so when a regulate framework becomes punitive on an industry and the local population views it as targeting, then there's a breach of trust. so we are aware of it and we look forward to working with you and the good folks out there to make sure we have a path forward. senator murkowski: well, and i thank you with the willingness to work with us. again, these are the small -- some of them are the smallest of the small gold miners that are operating out there and, again, that but we need -- we need some working with the administration on this. another effort in rural alaska
is the ambler road, which would help to facilitate not only minerals but jobs in the region. and there is an issue that is coming up right now with regards to permits and approval for ambler road. and one issue is whether or not the park service can complete its assessment prior to the completion of the nepa and the e.i.s. that comes within it. and it's been one of these situations where we just can't seem to get all of the agencies on the same page. so all i'm asking for this morning is your commitment to work with the army corps on this issue so we can make sure that basically our federal agencies are working together instead of a little bit here, a little bit there. it needs to be -- it needs to be more coordinated and your assist on this would be appreciated.
secretary zinke: and thank you and i agree with you. part of the frustration has been multiple agencies involved in the same project with different objectives, different locations independently producing multiple biological opinions which results in delay, arbitrary results. so part of the reorganization in interior is to address just that. making sure the arms of the government work together to produce the best possible outcome given based on science, based on best practices, longest good, greatest term. so we are working and i'm happy to report we're going to have the decision on it shortly. we have the lead. we're working with the army corps of engineers. the president also has tasked us to look heavily at the army corps of engineers to see if we can't look at streamlining the process with the army corps of engineers which effects a lot of our projects.
they are really good people but some of it the way the system is set up doesn't allow them to move forward and this is an example. senator murkowski: well, it is an example and i appreciate the focus from within the department on permitting and some of the regulatory overlap that we just get snarled up with. so the effort that has been made to move forward on a permitting perspective has been appreciated. we just need more in that area. senator cantwell. senator cantwell: mr. secretary, you are asking working americans to pay higher fees on entering national parks, is that correct? secretary zinke: our proposal looked at multiple options on our parks. one of them was to look at our top 10 parks or so and look at during peak season. our proposal also looks at our past. i've spent a lot of time in the
kiosk and it's amazing on our parks which the maintenance, as you know, we're far behind, but when you give discounted or free passes to elderly, fourth graders, veterans, disabled, and do you it by the carload there is not a whole lot of people that actually pay at our front door. as well as you have a lot of foreign guests, a lot of population. so we're looking at ways to make sure we have more revenue in the front door on our parks themselves because when you have a park like rainer, the money they receive coming in the front gate, i want make sure more of it goes to the park superintendent so he has flexibility on how to spend it. right now, much of it comes back to washington, d.c., and the superintendents don't have enough flexibility, in my opinion, to spend the money.
park fees does not and will not ever address $11.7 billion. it just won't. but a lot of our parks have record visitation. certainly last year, we expect them to have record visitation again and we're looking at the proposal of many different options. one of them is during peak season raising the rate. we have not yet concluded and likely we're going to look at it to make sure there's not any unintended consequences. senator cantwell: am i understanding your statement that you think we should raise them on veterans and fourth graders? secretary zinke: no. what i'm saying is this. we subsidize and we allow by design a lot of people to go through. if you're in a car and you have a veteran in the car, everyone, whether they are a veteran or not, is free in that car. same thing with the disabled. same thing with an elderly on
passes. basically, one person with a pass, everyone in that car comes in for free. now, whether or not that's correct, we're looking at it. but what clearly is the case is we have an $11.7 billion backlog. the greatest bargain in america is the $80 a year pass. i just took my kids to the theater and after going to paying the ticket at the theater and having popcorn, it's more than $80. this is a pass all year around. so we are looking at ways to make sure that revenue coming in the door of our principal parks is appropriate.
making sure we still have value. because american parks belong to the public. they belong to all americans, and every one should have access. sen. cantwell: we definitely think we should be increasing access, not this incentivizing it. i want to ask you about this issue about the agency and spending really about things that may not be in the public's interest. you took a private jet home from las vegas. do you think that was a mistake? hon. zinke: insults, innuendos are misleading. i never took a private jet anywhere. the previous secretary to 80 drips under $3 million. one of my trips was with the senator, your chair, on a prop plane. my second one was with the governor of the virgin islands and the prime minister. again, a prop jet in between islands to make sure we were on time. the threat was to take a king
air late at night after traveling all the way across nevada to meet an 8:00 in the morning meeting with the governor of montana for the governors conference. so i resent the fact of your insults. i resent the fact they are misleading. i resent the fact of doors. i will go line by line. you know what? sally jewell, i think she was right. i think her travel patterns even though she took a private chartered airplane, was met by helicopter, did a hike, i think she did write because as the interior, she was out hiking and doing what she needed to be doing. a flight from the north slope to anchorage with the chair to allege it is a private jet, inappropriate. sen. cantwell: well, mr. secretary, i have given you ample time and i simply ask you a question about the private jet trip to vegas. i guess we will ask you in writing and maybe get an answer. the i.g. is looking at the issue, and we are looking at a
larger issue of how time and money is spent. the reason why we are is because of our citizens who want to know why the park fees are going up and they are reading these stories. so i think the i.g. said they made a mistake when they were trying to use wildfire preparedness money to take helicopter tours in nevada when that was not the purpose. what we want is to see the transparency within the agency. so we will ask you again for the written record. hopefully we will get a more sustained answer. thank you. >> thank you, chairman. thank you so much for mr. secretary, for being here. i appreciate your testimony and acknowledgment that there are many issues facing the department requiring immediate attention. last year during the hearing, we spoke about the several billion-dollar problems facing the department. i want to ask if you could talk a little bit about how you envision these programs to work together to deliver funds on the ground. \ground
-- on the ground. hon. zinke: we face a number of challenges in the interior. one of them is we have multiple bureaus with different regions. we have the regions are not based on ecosystems, watersheds, so structurally, it is very difficult for an old department like interior to work together. i give a simple of fish and trout in the same stream. upstream, you have a dam. downstream you have irrigation. if the stream goes by, the fish are fish and wildlife by me. upstream, watersheds, or temperatures, or generally army corps of engineers. downstream irrigation is bureau regulation. serviced apartment of ag. subsurface is blm. seen stream. same issue. you can have multiple biological issues produced independently with different results. some of them not reconciled. so i think we should look at making things like recreation, permitting, and nepa to do it jointly, to rearrange our regions to be unified based on watersheds in science.
to rearrange our regions to be be unified.- to that would be wonderful. our trail system should connect. our ecosystem should be on the same page in permitting -- they need to -- permitting should be joined with all stakeholders in the beginning. the department of defense went through a reorganization. jointly,forest fires but when we manage our lands, we
,re not in a joint scenario which i think will be the biggest help in eliminating some of the bureaucracy. >> thank you, mr. secretary. an environmental impact statement. the blm estimates that this will bring as much as 28 alien dollars of -- $28 billion of economic impact to the state. i am concerned that it needs to be revised. it does not include guidance is for year round drilling and does not fully acknowledge the ongoing work by the state of wyoming, specifically to implement the guidance on the core unit of protection. greater sage grouse core area of protection. the timely correction of these errors and completion of the apartment to review for this
project is critical to the state's economy in our nation's energy security. i ask you if you will work to ensure that the blm will complete the final eis in a timely manner and issue a decision consistent with the commitment to's achieve energy dominance. hon. zinke: we certainly will commit to working with you and making sure the eis is fair and make sure it takes into consideration the stewardship responsibilities as well as the president's energy dominance policy. as secretary of interior, it is really two sides. even roosevelt said conservation is as much development as it is protection. as interior, i have responsibilities of both sides. i am not oil and gas centric. i am american energy centric. there are places where drilling for oil is absolutely appropriate, and there are places that are not. that is why we have nepa. that is why the process has been the backbone of what is strong and appropriate policy in this
country. so wading into it, our commitment is to get the eis out and measure it is unfairly, based on science. from there, we will make the best determination we can. sen. barrasso: finally, mr. secretary, last year when you testified before the committee on the budget, i ask you to take steps that the blm field offices have sufficient resources to process the new oil and gas permit application and clear the sizable backlog. i am encouraged by the progress the department has made on the issue. also encouraged by the attention you and deputy bernhardt have paid to this and other issues with cooperation among agencies you all receive. i look forward to continue to work with you and your staff to
resolve the concerns with the department's proposed action for the moose wilson road in the national park. i continue to urge you to listen to stakeholders across the west as we look forward to your proposals. thank you. sen. murkowski: thank you. >> mr. secretary, during your confirmation hearing, you mentioned teddy roosevelt nine times. oregonians have a strong appreciation for that it was about as a conservationist and president. with his signature, he created crater lake national park. it is the deepest lake in the united states known for beautiful blue. teddy roosevelt understood that when you sell off or exploit your public lands, you do not get them back. him mr. secretary, that is something you don't seem
to understand at all. first, you pushed the largest reduction of conserved treasure public lands in american history. two million acres sacrificed for private exploitation. you proposed opening up america's coast for offshore drilling only to walk it back in one state where it seemed there was a potential republican senate candidate who opposed it. i can tell you in our state, oregonians know what to look out over haystack rock and see oil derricks. third, during the most expensive wildfire season in recorded history, you played a shell game with the wildfire account at interior to pay for an unrelated helicopter ride. this is another matter that the inspector general is looking at. so my first question, mr. secretary, is would teddy roosevelt be sitting where you are today advocating the virtual elimination of the land and water conservation fund? hon. zinke: mr. senator, i
challenge you to give me -- sen. wyden: i would like a response to the question, mr. secretary. time is short. hon. zinke: it is short, and i challenge you to get me one square inch that has been removed from federal protection. one square inch. in the case as stated, afterward restored 400,000 acres awarded its, after it restored almost an entire national forest, the boundary of the revised area is -- combined.- and
what i did do is increase public access and traditional rights. under the current administration in interior, we have increased ordinance last year. specifically in new mexico. i worked with the delegation in utah because utah, the entire congressional delegation, including your colleagues, and the governor wanted it rescinded. rescind it. sen. wyden: you took almost half my time. could you give me a reason, an explanation for whether teddy roosevelt city where you are would advocate a budget that virtually eliminates the land and water conservation fund? hon. zinke: i believe the land and water conservation makes $122 million available. it does not add more property into the federal estate. but our budget also has the largest investment in the history of this country on three critical areas.
one of maintenance backlog of our parks system. two, maintenance backlog of our wildlife refuge system, which teddy roosevelt initiated. thirdly, making sure we meet the treaty obligations of 48,000 american native kids. that is the largest investment in the history of this country, so i believe teddy roosevelt would be proud of the focus on preserving, protecting, and maintaining our treasures. sen. wyden: what i asked you, though, because it is in your budget is whether he would support something that is so fundamental, for example, to what you said you're prepared statement, which is increasing access to public lands. i am quite certain teddy roosevelt would not be here defending the virtual elimination of land and water conservation fund, and i want to close on a personal note. mr. secretary, you and i talked a lot before your confirmation.
and i felt, in an attempt to build a bridge to work with you, particularly in a state where the federal government owns most of the land, i would support your nomination. and i did. i voted for your nomination. i will tell you right now, as of today, it is one of the biggest regrets of my time in public service. thank you, madam chair. >> thank you for joining us today. good to see you. we have talked about our shared passion for national parks on a number of occasions, including park, the number 11th visited park in the ohio's dayton area national
historical park, where the wright brothers' great work is preserved. like you, i have concerned about the maintenance backlog in our parks. that is why i am pleased that with the help of chairman murkowski and ranking member, we were able to look at what we passed the national park service intentional act. this was at the end of 2016, as you may recall. that has worked in the sense that it provides funding that is not matched. we think that about $65 million from the federal government has gone into this challenge project has resulted in about $500 million in nonfederal funds. a lot of it comes from the national park foundation. they say $460 million in 2016. so that is helping. again, i chairman murkowski for ensuring the centennial challenge part of this, which is the part that can leverage private sector funding, was
fiscal year 2017 funding bill. $20 million in 2017. $50 million in 2016. how can we ensure we have a stable level of early for that challenge? in the legislation, we also included a funding source. that was to be sure that the senior pastor was reformed so that we would receive some funding on a naval bases to be deposited in the centennial challenge. so my question for you is, how much has the centennial challenge fund received that you can tell us today is a result of the senior pass? how much do you expect to be put in 2018 and 2019? hon. zinke: thank you for your question. in the budget is $15 million for the centennial park challenge fund. i have talked to the national park foundation. they have done a wonderful job. their target of raising private funds is just under $1 billion this year. i believe they will make it. we have a good board.
>> as you know, when you are addressing a backlog, it did not meet the funding for our parks. effort and much of our buildings today are a reflection of that program -- 19 budgetok at the fy there from you all, i don't see funding for the centennial challenge with the exception of the senior pass. again we fought hard to get this funding into the appropriations bills and the c.r.'s and now under the omnibus. again chairman murkowski this
year has been a leader on that. so my question to you was, i have -- secretary zinke: i have $15 million in it. mandatory funding at $15 million. in 2019. senator portman: is that from the senior pass? secretary zinke: i'll figure out whether it's from the senior pass. it's offsetting collections which i believe it is. senator portman: that's my -- secretary zinke: it should be. senator portman: that would be an historical level. if that happens, great. would you want to work with us to ensure we have the appropriations to be able to continue this important part of the overall effort to deal with the maintenance backlog. i agree it's not enough, but
it's critical that we have it. broader question is, how do you get at this $12 billion in a more significant way? as you know i have introduced legislation i worked on the last couple years with senator warner, the national park legacy act. it provides funds from oil and gas revenues for maintenance backlog projects. my question to you there is, can you commit to working with us on the legacy act to be sure we can take these oil and gas revenues and provide a funding source to deal with the deferred maintenance backlog? secretary zinke: i certainly can. to be clear the proposal that's in the budget is capped at $18 billion. the proposal that i do support is taking and addressing how do you get to $18 billion and have the revenue? tion is you should also contribute to the maintenance backlog and preservation of those lands. that is where the $18 billion comes from. we think we can get there in eight years given the scale of what has occurred, especially if
alaska comes online. sen. portman: would love to work with you in that, and i hope you will work with us. your proposal does not have guaranteed funding as we look at it. your treasury has an estimate of what is coming in and anything over that estimate would be provided for maintenance backlog. our legislation is a little different. it provides that funding as a secure source. in other words, it is guaranteed. items that you worked with other senators apparently on another proposal, but we have been at this awhile. with the we have a good proposal. it is bipartisan. i hope you will work with us on this proposal as well. hon. zinke: absolutely. i will work with you because i think we both share the same issue that we have to address long-term, so 10 years from now we'll look back and we are still behind. i think it is a long-term solution. i think we are similar on energy. i am more inclusive. i include wind and everything that is on federal land. i would love to work with you on it. sen. portman: thank you. i have another few questions for
the secretary. sen. murkowski: senator smith. sen. smith: thank you, madam chair and secretary zinke, nice to meet you. i would like to ask you about the lewis and clark regional water system, which as you know is a critically needed water project that serves south dakota and iowa and minnesota. we have attracted latest project, which was authorized about 18 years ago. when it is finally finished, it will be a vital source of drinking water and also a very important economic development driver in our three states. the southern part of minnesota, where there is actually a shortage of water. the federal funding of this has been delayed. of course, as you know how this goes, that ultimately means it ends up costing more.
the estimate at the current funding levels, we would be completed with this project by 2048, costing the taxpayers additional $55 million. in a meanwhile, the states have been filling the gap, including my state, so the project and continue. in the president's budget there is $100,000 for this, which is clearly not a serious number. would you agree with that? e: you areinke right. at the end of the day, the budget is difficult on the bureau of reclamation. we think there is some flexibility in infrastructure, particularly when it looks at the bureau of reclamation holdings.
whiskey a saying that is for drinking water, not for fighting. there are number of legacy projects from the bureau of reclamation that need federal assistance. the grand bargain know, when bureau reclamation was put into place was the federal government would come in and invest, and then over time though water users would pay for it and that title would be transferred. we have enormous holdings we have not transferred title. even though the water districts have now paid for the projects. but we still are responsible for maintaining them. i think in the budget also we ask for some authority, if those projects now are in a good place to transfer, so we can be relieved of the maintenance responsibilities, that will allow us additional funding to do what the bureau of reclamation was intended to do.
senator smith: i appreciate your agreeing with that. i would ask for your commitment to continue to work on this. i think it is an extremely important -- to all three of our states. coming from -- originally from new mexi >> thank you for that. it sounds like you are committed to work with us on that. the best guys as far as brenda and allen in the bureau of reclamation team. they are from rural places. they are committed. i'm committed to work with you on this project. senator smith: thank you very much. i was going to touch on the land and matter conservation fund, i think that senator wyden has covered that for us. just a few minutes i have left i would like to highlight
something which i think is important to minnesota is that is in the budget which is the important pilt program. in northern minnesota we have lots of forestland and federal land in addition that means that our huge northern counties are -- suffer because of a lack of property tax base. i hear about this from our county commissioners all the time. just appreciate how important the payment in lieu of taxes program is for not only minnesota but many western states as well. just wanted to see if you had any more comment on that important -- secretary zinke: we appropriated $465 million, which was the same level. and again i'm from montana. timber town at one time. but it would be nice if the federal government would be better partners. so the federal lands could be used in a responsible manner.
but minnesota, one time we had a lot of smaller timber mills out there where people could gain some land and wealth. it's a challenge when the federal government is the biggest landholder and there is no economic viable business there. with pilt we understand we raise it to the 2017 level. we heard clearly from the west last time on pilt. we remain committed to it. senator smith: thank you very much. senator murkowski: senator cass idy. senator cassidy: congratulations on your leadership. the chair of the committee mentioned at the outset over the last year morale's improved, diversity has improved. not bad for a navy seal commander. good for you. let me thank you for being here. thanks for visiting south louisiana. our coastline is vanishing. we have had a hard time getting permits to repair our delta. by the time we get the permits
the delta is gone. thank you for your commitment to make that work. thank you for the decision and the proposed budget to maintain the payments to the gulf states. we need that money to rebuild our coastline. existential. let me get a couple things straight. they are giving you heck for taking a private lane from the north slope where? madam chair? senator murkowski: we went to fairbanks. senator cassidy: if you had driven that? is one possible? senator murkowski: from where we began it was not possible to fly. we were up in the -- senator cassidy: did you drive? senator murkowski: it was not possible to drive we had to fly. there is a haul road. senator cassidy: to fairbanks, 400. 350. senator cassidy: no road. giving you heck for that. mr. secretary, take that heck.
because if you got to see the north slope and there is no road to get back where you need to be, you got to get there somewhere. secretary zinke: i have been shot at before, i'm very comfortable with it. do right, fear no man. do the best you can. everything i do is scrutinized. i'm willing to take attacks on myself. i don't like attacks on my family, kids. which i get raked all the time. but we're pretty tough. we're a military family. we're pretty tough about it. do right, fear no man. wake up and make sure we're accountable. everything i do is looked at through a whole legal team, office of ethics. senator cassidy: let me congratulate you for being so gracious regarding your predecessor, secretary jewel, who i guess you point out that she took trips totaling a million dollars in cost. that was very gracious of you. i think you recognize your presence would be very important to somebody in las vegas if they are going over an interior issue.
one more thing, we in louisiana have recognized you can't be pro-environmental unless you are pro-business, you can't be pro-business unless you are pro-environmental because one sustain the other. i see that the interior department has spoken of decreasing the royalty rate for offshore oil and gas for leases sold later this year from 18.75 to 12.5. i get that. there's been a real difficulty in jump-starting development out there. without the development there won't be money for the land water conservation fund. there is a national interest in that. let me say -- my questions relate to this. how does interior's analysis project the revenues would be impacted if the recommendation is accepted? secretary zinke: certainly the advisory board is just that. an advisory board. they made several recommendations as you point out. one was to remove or lower the royalty rates.
on the gulf, we are due to put up for lease the largest acreage in the history of this country. in the central and western gulf. it will be interesting to see what the level of interest we think the interest is good on that. senator cassidy: is the interest sparked by the lowering of the royalty? secretary zinke: the data is, i would say you could go either way in the data. lowering rate, the supply and demand, lowering the rate one could say, well, it increases the production. what we're seeing, though, is more production onshore than offshore. we saw companies like exxon, $50 billion in the wofford onshore. still offshore is more risky. it's more expensive.
the gulf has been advantage that you have subsea infrastructure. the gulf has advantages as opposed to both the east and west coast. i think this lease sale will be a bell weather bellwether on the offshore. senator cassidy: on the one sense you could have increased revenue if you have more production to offset the lower royalty rates. any modeling of that or -- obviously we in louisiana are concerned because go mesa funding is linked to that. and those who get money for the land water conservation fund , likewise concerned. any modeling on that? secretary zinke: we do have modeling. we'll share with you what we have. it's a supply and demand model. you'll lower the royalties, make it more attractive. production increases. revenue in some cases can increase.
what you want to do is make sure your royalties are fair, appropriate, don't penalize production. incentivize overall energy dominance, but make sure that also that you incentivize reliable, incorporating innovation into regulatory scheme. what i'm hearing from the industry is regulation that incorporates innovation, best science, and best practices is not punitive. is as much of an economic driver as royalty rates. senator murkowski: thank you, senator cassidy. senator cortez masto. senator cortez masto: thank you secretary zinke. i want to start with renewable energy. we have had this conversation, the state of nevada 87% of the land is owned by the federal government. our partnership is key. the interaction that we have with alt federal agencies is important to the state of nevada. one of the areas that we have
been focused on is renewables. responsible development when solar and geothermal energy on public lands has long had a broad bipartisan support, including from you during your time in congress as a co-sponsor of the public land renewable energy development act. it's played a growing role in our economy. solar now supports more jobs than natural gas. over twice the jobs in coal, according to a 2017 department of energy report. yet for the second year in a row the administration's proposed budget looks at cutting d.o.i. renewable programs by almost half. proposed 50% cut for fiscal year 2018 and 40% cut for fiscal year 2019. looking at these numbers it
appears that renewable energy development is not an important part of the department's charge. if this administration is committed to what i have heard you say time and again, all of the above energy strategy, then why is renewable energy the only energy program that is proposed being cut? secretary zinke: thank you for the question. that was a great question. we looked at the expected demand. the expected demand by all our modeling was about $73 million. that's what we funded at. down from 20. with solar there are some projects out west, particularly in california, that are proposing 338,000 acres of a solar field on federal land. that's 500 square miles. every energy, as you know, every energy source has its consequences. wind chops up birds. i was criticized for saying 750,000. i have the study that says about 800,000, over 800,000 bats and 573,000 birds. that's a study from the usgs. wind chops up a lot of birds.
solar when you put a solar field in, it's single use. you are not going to hunt on it. you are not going to recreate on it. and tough for habitat. our policy is all of the above. and there are appropriate places for wind. there's appropriate place for solar. we just have to make sure that we understand the consequences and have a national dialogue. it is better to produce energy in this country under reasonable regulation than what you get produced overseas with none. energy is core to our economic well-being. and quite frankly morally to produce energy in this country is morally right. because i don't want to see your kids have to go overseas and see what i have seen. senator cortez masto: your concern is environmental impacts that solar and wind have that's why you have taken a look at cutting this -- secretary zinke: no. our budget reflects the expected demand. there was great demand in solar early.
solar demand -- senator cortez masto: did i not hear you say in offshore drilling there is low demand but you are increasing the budget? i'm confused with the overall energy policy. secretary zinke: what i said was in offshore we'll see. with the lease about in march i think it will be a bellwether of interest offshore versus on shore. there is no question that offshore oil and gas is riskier than onshore. secondly, the shale plays -- senator cortez masto: the environmental impact or nobody will come out because it doesn't pencil out? cost prohibitive? secretary zinke: riskier for a number of reasons. one is environmental. when b.p., it's well over $20 billion, $30 billion b.p. has paid. senator cortez masto: the budget has increased for that.
we'll submit this for the record. the reorganization, you and i have talked about this. this is a tough thing to do. i have talked to you about the fact that the death valley indian tribal reservation is both on idaho and nevada state land. straddles that. b.l.m. in idaho treats them than -- treats them differently than the b.l.m. in nevada. what i'm looking at now in your map is cutting nevada in half. for your b.l.m. regions. i don't quite understand that. what i'm asking you for is a commitment from you and d.o.i. to work with the stakeholders and governor in the state of nevada to address our concerns. will you be committed to doing that? secretary zinke: i am. i have talked to the governor and now i understand he's in support of our plan. if you have a map in front of you nevada's already divided in multiple regions.
we're going to -- our plan has it right now is keeping the b.l.m. directors because almost the states that have b.l.m. enjoy the relationship with having a b.l.m. director, a state director. but our larger issue is trying to bring b.o.r., b.i.a., park service, the different -- the bureaus within interior and realigning them to make sure we're on unified districts. unified regions. based on water shed and science. you can see the map on the right is our current organization. you look at nevada, nevada is carved up probably seven or eight different lines. and the map on the left is how our proposal. what we have done is looked at science, water shed, wildlife corridors, ecosystems. then we brought our s.e.s.'s in. these are career professionals. senator cortez masto: my time is running out. don't want to get into anybody else's. can i just ask for a commitment that you come back to us and go through this and be willing to
talk to us more about what is going on here? we have not had the opportunity to explore this with you and your staff. secretary zinke: absolutely. congress has a critical role in this. "draft."y it says we're introducing it. we'll go through -- can outline the steps we have taken thus far. we're to the draft of where we are. but both the house and senate have an enormous amount of say in this. we think we need the reorganizing unified districts. we're willing to work with it if therer board it out tosome adjustment that needs be made, great.
senator murkowski: thank you senator. these are issues on this reorganization that we'll be -- we'll all be learning more about. but the opportunity to have the one-on-one i think is important. senator gardner. senator gardner: thank you, secretary zinke, for your time and service. thanks for your investment in our public lands and support of the national park restoration act. that will make a huge difference as we get and deal with this backlog of maintenance international park system. ennis mills, the idea behind rocky mountain national park you visited, i'm grateful for your visit, said within national parks room, glorious room, room in which find ourselves to think, hope, dream, plan, rest, and resolve. i thank you for the resolve you are showing to address the backlog and other issues facing our public lands. secretary zinke, want to talk about the conduit, comment than anything, the conduit project is in southeastern colorado authorized in 1960's. president kennedy signed the arkansas valley conduit into law. since then we have had a number of people providing resources,
dollars, to this pipeline from pueblo, colorado, out toward lamar, hundreds of plus miles of pipeline provide, abundant, affordable water to some of the most economically distressed areas of our state. the colorado water conservation board has committed $60 million to this project. i know you are very well aware of this. in rural southeastern colorado 50,000 people depend on it, would depend on it for their drinking water. we have had previous conversations with administration officials. this administration as well as previous administrations, southwest water southeastern water conservancy district. state of colorado have joined together in working on this. just thank you for your commitment to working with us as we work through the needs of the arkansas valley conduit. just thank you for that commitment. to work with us on that. also thank you as well on the b.l.m. reorganization. headquarters relocation. federal government owns roughly 47% of the land out west.
the bureau of land management's responsible for administering 245 million acres of federal surveys lands and all but 100,000 acres of those -- that number are located mostly in the 11 western states. 11 western most states and alaska. at the beginning of this congress i introduced the b.l.m. headquarters relocation act. the soul purpose of which is to relocate the headquarters of the agency so people among the lands they manage. i have a number field officials and personnel out in the states where the 245 million acres reside. we can get those headquarter employees there as well.
i believe decisions are better made when they are made by those communities within those communities are most affected by their decisions. certainly pleased to see within the budget request interior's planning modernization of the organization for the next 100 years. at the top of the list i think it should be relocating the b.l.m. headquarters out west. i would like to plug personally grand junction colorado. some others may have different ideas. i think it's a uniquely qualified location to host it. i just want add brief update on the agency's reorganization process. secretary zinke: thank you. you'll be happy to know anvil point, which has been languishing for decades, has been resolved. the check is in the mail. senator gardner: that is big news. damn big news. secretary zinke: reorganization. senator gardner: let me stick on that. that's a big deal. it is a big deal. i want to thank you for that. secretary zinke: north carolina, for those -- there was commitments made that money was in the account but never distributed. you had north carolina, anvil point. the money was being held. but never released for some issue. we have looked at it. we have resolved it. the government check's in the mail. senator gardner: for the information of the committee. this is something that has been
a broken record. scott tipton, myself, others in the colorado delegation have been talking to you, previous administrations about this. secretary salazar, senators udall, senators salazar. everybody has been involved in this. this is $18 million to the people of western colorado. thank you. thank you. thank you for that. secretary zinke: my expert has said the payment is going to be made march 28. the end of the month. the check's not in the mail but coming. senator gardner: thank you for that. i'll yield back my time and call the county commissioners out there who would be doing hand stands right now. secretary zinke: on the reorganization quickly. 16% of interior is retirement age today. in five years, 40% of interior is at retirement age. so looking at replacement, people retire, looking at pushing more assets out west, it makes a difference if you are a gs-5, gs-7 where you live. san francisco, seattle, washington, are very expensive
cities and quite frankly the quality of life if are you a gs-7, gs-5 entry level is difficult for a number of reasons. we're looking at smaller communities out west because as --remember the organization there are three areas focused on. recreation, permitting, and nepa. we think we're going to do those jointly. all those don't have to be co-located, but the recreation has to be co-located. the nepa has to be co-located and the permitting has to be co-located. we have 2, good hospitals.
we haven't determined where. we think we'll probably have three candidates within the different regions and work with congress to get metric applied to it so we do it by best practices. certainly the smaller towns across the west, there are many in everyone's district, is kind of where we're centered on at the moment. >> thank you. congratulations on your good news. >> a couple of quick questions on this royalty issue. has the decision been made or is this a proposal to go down by 35% in the royalties offshore? secretary zinke: no. the decision has not been made. senator king: is there data to support this change? is there economic analysis that somehow the current rate is impairing the ability to lease these properties?
secretary zinke: there is data. their recommendations -- senator king: from whom? secretary zinke: to be clear where are we in our energy? the president signed an executive order tasking me to look at energy and prepare -- senator king: i'm sorry. i have a very limited time. is there data to support a 35% reduction in the offshore drill that indicates that this is somehow an impediment to the execution of leases? yes or no? secretary zinke: i would say there is an argument. senator king: there's been no economic analysis to justify this massive cut? these are resource that is belong to the people of the united states. we're taking the money out of pockets of taxpayers. secretary zinke: i agree with you. i haven't made the decision because i have not looked at it in detail.
there's an argument. there's an argument on the other side, too. the data is not conclusive. although i have not looked at it in detail. i just looked at the broad brush -- senator king: any analysis what the cost to the taxpayers would be of this reduction? secretary zinke: there is no doubt when they present the recommendations to me the supporting data will be there. senator king: they being the -- secretary zinke: royalty committee. it's an advisory board. senator king: could you supply for the committee the names and affiliations of the members of that committee? secretary zinke: sure. i can tell you that i think the industry -- the energy industry, oil and gas, is doing very well. so -- current rates, they are doing very well. senator king: you just made my argument. secretary zinke: but i have not made a decision, but when you are producing as a country 10.6 million barrels a day, first time in 60 years we exporting liquid natural gas, the oil and gas industry is doing very well.
senator king: i appreciate that. and i hope you'll apply that analysis to this rather significant change. second question, you made a proposal, or the department's made a proposal on offshore drilling. i hope you will take into consideration the interests of the states involved in maine during the northeaster last week, a nor'easter we had a turnout at a public meeting. i asked my office i bet it was 95% opposed. they said no, you're wrong. they said it was 100% owe 30esed. legislature opposed it unanimously, our delegation is unanimously in opposition to it. and the coastal economy of maine is enormously dependent upon fisheries, lobsters, and visitors throughout the year. i hope that that will be taken into consideration because the benefit we see is minimal and the cost, potential cost is enormous. secretary zinke: this is what i did. the last administration took about 94% off.
what i did is zero based. i put everything on for discussion. knowing -- senator king: you took florida off. i'm hoping do you the same for maine. secretary zinke: by putting everything on we had a discussion. florida is different for three reasons. one is every member, both sides of the aisle, wrote me an immediate letter said we don't want it. senator king: that's true of maine. secretary zinke: second is your governor. governor of maine is for it. and third, florida has a federal moratorium in place until 2022, which no other state has. a federal moratorium. had i left florida off in the beginning, it would have been arbitrary and capricious. i put -- florida is still in the process. senator king: i'm not arguing you made the wrong decision in florida. i'm arguing for a similar decision in maine based on our circumstances. next, different area. park fees. significant increase, i agree with you we need to look at park fees and they should be looked at and part of the analysis.
my problem is, the park fee proposal, the increases are so significant, i wondered if there's been an economic elasticity analysis to determine whether we could end up losing more money than we gain by increasing, for example, for a person from $12 to $30, a vehicle from $25 to $70. those are really significant. there could be two results. a reduction in visitation. and also a closing off of the parks to the people of america who we want to have access. secretary zinke: i agree. we have several proposals. we have not made a decision yet because of the data. but you're right. one of the proposals on the table was you look at the peak season on our top 10 parks, that's where the significant increase is. still the greatest bargain is $80 for a year pass. that's the greatest bargain in america. senator king: the greatest bargain used to be the senior pass which i had which was 10 bucks for life.
secretary zinke: now it's $80 for life. secretary zinke: now it's $80 for life. part of the value of entrance fees is what we want to do is push more flexibility to the park itself. the superintendent. so we're very aware. we haven't made a decision yet. clearly it's on both sides of the issue. we want to make sure that the parks remain a value and accessible for america. that's the promise this country made. that's the promise we'll keep. we have not made a decision. i am aware that an increase hurts some families and the intention is not to hurt families. senator king: of the course, motorcycles went from 20 to 50 dollars.
for me i'm just kidding, but when you see a motorcycle change, that gets my attention. i think your answer summarized on all these issues we have been talking about today is data will be collected. data will be made available. and final decision vs. not been made. you will listen to the views of the people of the state involved. is that correct? secretary zinke: as well as this committee on it. so you know about half our parks don't charge. there's also -- we're inconsistent on across-the-board on what we charge. a lot of our parks either don't charge or there is a tier system they are not adhered to. that's part of the issue. then what represents the best value? how do we do it? some of our parks when you have yosemite, the experience of visitors experience, is a parking lot, it is so crowded, yellowstone, some of our principal parks, we love them to death. how do we manage people, traffic.
do we go to a transporter, public transportation system? because it is untenable, unsupportable, unsustainable the way we're doing -- we're managing our parks. let alone the backlog. all these -- senator murkowski: move on. senator king: i hope it will be done over time and systematically and data driven. senator murkowski: senator lee. senator lee: thank you, madam chair. thank you, mr. secretary, for being here. i want to thank you in particular for your leadership and for the president's leadership. in addressing the concerns expressed by people in utah, particularly in southern and southeastern utah, issues related to the designation of the grand staircase escalante national monument and bears ears national monument.
i note that some criticism has come your way and the president's way over this, but what you did was courageous and the right thing to do. take for example the people of san juan county, utah. this is utah's poorest county. it's our poorest county in part because nearly all of the land is owned by the federal government. that was the case before the bears ears national monument was designated on december 28, 2016. and it remains the case since then. it also was the case before president trump made the modifications to it and it remains the case now. what changed with the monument designation was that people in san juan county, people of utah, particularly those closest to the monument, were even further put outside of any process that might determine how that land can be used. how they can access that land. sometimes for recreational reasons. many times for religious purposes.
the land is considered sacred by the native american tribes. residing there. this was a big move that was made. and a move that was much appreciated by people across the political spectrum. in communities throughout utah, especially southern utah. and i appreciate and applaud you for doing that. i'd like to talk to you a little bit about a topic i know you and i have discussed a little in the past. as you know, b.l.m. law enforcement has earned something of a poor reputation throughout much of the west. and this is particularly true in rural utah. because of the agency's history, particularly through certain personnel of intimidation, of heavy-handed tactics. and a flagrant and in some cases well documented abuses of authority. one major problem has been b.l.m.'s sometimes blatant disregard for state and local law enforcement. during the last administration, for instance, b.l.m. allowed
eight of 12 cooperative agreements with local law enforcement agencies to expire. this flies directly in the face of statutory guidance from flpma that directs b.l.m. to achieve "maximum feasible reliance upon local law enforcement officials." logic and the law dictates that, this is important and -- logic certainly dictates that minimal help from local law enforcement means maximum strain on the department's resources. that also is going to lead to maximum strain with states and with local communities. affected by these vast swaths of land over which the b.l.m. has charged. this is certainly the case in many places in southern utah.
trust between local residents and b.l.m. law enforcement officials has completely deteriorated. i wanted to ask you about what you're doing as the secretary of the interior and what you look forward to doing to change the culture of b.l.m. law enforcement and to maximize reliance on local law enforcement within the west. secretary zinke: great question. i have great respect for law enforcement. it's difficult, especially sometimes when you are the only guy out there isolated, duty stations, long ways away from help. there's a lot of activity that's not good on federal lands. this covers b.i.a., covers b.l.m.. but i am in support of cooperative agreements because when you see a b.l.m. truck, the first thing that i would like the public to think about is
land management. when you see a b.l.m. light go on behind you, i would like the public to think about maybe there's a lost kid out there. have you seen a grizzly bear, and not get a ticket on a county road. and we have fired four, to readdress. it's about public trust. law enforcement individuals have a higher responsibility because they have a badge. and because they have a badge they also have to make sure that the power that is given them is exercised correctly. and heavy-handedness has led to a breach of trust, especially out west. we're very aware of it. we have taken action to restore trust. we think the cooperative agreements are good. when there is an issue, there's been several issues recently out west, i think your first line of defense or first action is probably call the local sheriff. he knows the people.
he's an elected official. he's not an appointed federal agent. there is goodness of having an elected official take the action and be the face of enforcement. that certain is the direction that interior's headed. senator lee: my time's expired. i would add that is one of the reasons we have a long, proud tradition of local law enforcement in this country for when we allow the law to be enforced by people who are accountable at the local level, good things happen. happen when we have people who are accountable to someone 2000 miles away. >> senator hirono? >> thank you, madam chair.
you noted several times that providing up to $800 billion to address the maintenance backlog, to support indian education schools, the longest -- the largest commitment in these three areas ever made. what is the department's estimate of how much funding this would generate on an annual basis for the next eight years? sec.zinke: if you go back to 2008, interior was the number two generator of that revenue behind the irs. it was a banner year. the revenue was about $18 billion a year when we first took office, it atrophied down to about 2.6. some is market conditions in -- and some is not.
given growth, our projected income comes online -- given that we think we can do it with eight years. the $18 we can recover billion. >> based on the projections from new at energy. >> we took a baseline. the executive does not have the power. it has to have a companion bill. what we did is, we look in the budget of taking a baseline of what we had in 2017, 2.6. new energy is all of the above. -- ncludes wind, solar >> do you believe it is a certain you be able to raise $2.6 million every year for
maintenance and this is something that can be relied upon so the mps employees will know how much to expect? sec. zinke: i would say it is a cf at bet than funding lw the moment. $11.7ason why we have billion in backlog is that we have not been able to a dress a backlog that we all know is there. i don't give criticism of the house and the senate. i was a member of the house. but our current system does not provide any assuredness either. probably, that is possibly a better way to go. you mentioned several times that its organization based decisions on science. do you believe that science and
scientists should be unafraid of political interference 2% science, -- two present science, even if it includes the words climate change? sec. zinke: i am a strong reliever of science and quite frankly, i was criticized because it was my right as interior to look at a usgs document as it pertains to alaska, prior to publication. i did not change a comma, but i did want to know, given the same data, why were the energy resources so radically different between one study and a study done two years prior? what methodology did they use for making sure those resources were recoverable? >> you referred to a usgs report where in the report stated, "global climate change drives, increasing the
frequency of flooding." this was area -- ncgs.gcs your department released the press release on this report but it excluded the climate change. this is why i asked the question. do you censor? sec. zinke: i do not believe the report itself was edited at all. it could have been interpreted because it was a press release and not the report. any reference, any allegation that -- >> i have two correct you. the paper has that sentence which you excluded from your press release. this is not the first time the issue of this administration actually believe that climate
change is science-based so this is why we have some concerns about what the policy of your department is, where scientists are able to make certain statements that include the terms climate change. if you are sitting here telling me that you do not edit out references to climate change, great. please answer, yes or no. sec. zinke: are you suggesting that we changed the document itself? >> i am asking you whether the words climate change are not acceptable in your department, your various releases, and your preference within your department would be not to refer to climate change? sec. zinke: i do not a problem with climate change. climate is changing in ways we do not understand. man has been an influencer. >> so you would not be editing out? sec. zinke: there was no
incident we ever changed a comma on a document itself. on a press release -- but i don't know of any document we have changed. i challenge you to find a document we have actually changed on a report. i read them all. i do not change a comma. i know i have the right, because they work for me, to read it prior, and i have questions. i'm a geologist. why did they come to this conclusion? i have a right to know. your staff would do the same thing. >> based on everything we know about this administration's view on climate change, it would comport with that view that climate change would not be included in press releases. thank you, madam chair. >> secretary zinke, i think you were pretty clear in terms of your views on climate.
you are not altering the reports from the agency. senator daines. inky, -- secretary zinke he, always an honor to have you. i want to thank you for introducing national parks recreation -- restoration act. , so fellow montana and grateful both of us got to grow up in montana. i am very proud you are the very first montana and to serve on a presidents cabinet. i am proud of that. we both grew up in the shadows of our national parks systems crown jewels. you grew up in the shadow of the gratian -- glacier national park. i grew up close to yellowstone national park. i know addressing the maintenance backlog in our
national parks has been a priority for both of us. i also want to stress the importance of addressing the issues of sexual harassment in workplace environment issues that i know you are working on in the department of interior. with the recent reports of federal agencies and more particularly, the u.s. forces, there is a strong need to take this across federal agencies. i was a thank you for being a strong ally in the forest management space. you have been a strong supporter of my legislation to reverse the ninth circuit courts disastrous .ottonwood decision this decision was so disastrous the obama administration supported us and we have had bipartisan support to reverse this decision. this imposes unnecessary red tape on federal agencies. the obama administration said, that administration has the potential to cripple federal
land management. secretary zinke, can you elaborate why the department of interior and the fish and wildlife service believe the cottonwood decision would needlessly slow down land management? sec. zinke: thank you. the cottonwood decision. what it essentially does is hold land management plans when there is a change in species status. that is unworkable at the ground level. we have a lot of challenges out west. thank you for your support of making sure that our parks, the maintenance infrastructure and backlog is addressed. no one loves public land more than we do. but we have to also look at active management. when decisions are made in the court that prevent our professionals from managing land, from reducing dead timber,
from removing protections of a species that has recovered, we should be applauding when species have recovered and we take them off the endangered and threatened list -- we should applaud that the system has worked and diapered those assets to another species that needs help. assets -- those divert those assets to another species that needs help. it has been tough lately about what is hurting us and hurting our ability to manage and has the consequence an effect on our ability to be stewards of our great treasures. >> thank you, secretary zinke. the fix in this omnibus negotiation.
i want to turn towards this issue of the workplace environment. can you update me on what the department is doing to address sexual harassment and other workplace environment issues? sec. zinke: i fired four, i will fire 400 if necessary. as a former navy seals commander, i think you should have a work environment that is free of harassment and intimidation. it was amazing to me the lack of commitment, lack of the lack of priority about an issue that is a cancer that will bring down any organization. , all ofrocess in place my leadership team meets and talks about it regularly to make sure we are addressing it. i think we have made great progress.
i had an advisory board that resigned. one of the members stated they knew about sexual harassment, but it was not my job to say anything. i'm not sure what type of advisory board that is. ,f i would have known about it i would have fired him before they resigned. that type of attitude, when you see sexual harassment and turn a cheek and don't say anything, that is exactly what is happening across the country. starting with the hollywood group. i am glad hollywood has addressed the problem. i'm glad this country is addressing the problem. when you see something, say something is the policy in the department of the interior. >> thank you for your leadership. i appreciate your leadership in that area. i'm out of time.
i'm going to submit additional questions regarding the maintenance backlog as well as the blackfeet water settlement funding. thank you. >> thank you senator daines. just a few more questions here this morning, the issue of the advisory committees you just raised, mr. secretary, i know with regards to the various advisory boards, the various advisory councils out there, you had conducted a review of the same -- i hear from people in the state, they want a process that allows for their input. yesterday a report came out announcing blm has renewed the resourceof 21 blm advisory councils which had been suspended. update give us a quick on your national review policy process for both these internal
and external panels, and give us some sense in terms of timeline as to what folks might be expecting getting back to regular meeting schedules? sec. zinke: when i assumed the position, -- i have over 200 buys reports. -- advisory boards. here's what i asked. i said, who is on your board. me what your expectations are in the next two years. tell me what your mission statement is in your budget. >> reasonable, so far. sec. zinke: what i did is i suspended everyone until they could provide that little information. i want to know very i think a lot of these boards are meaningful. those that did not provide that were in suspension.
we contacted everyone. they can meet again. i think it was a reasonable expectation to ask people on some of these boards, what do you do? who is on your board? if they need assistance -- and a lot of these boards are volunteers. we do pay about $10 million a year on administrative costs, but a lot of the boards require enormous amount of commitment. i want to know who is on it and what can i do to help them. if they can't answer those five questions, maybe we need to review with the leadership is in those boards, or whether boards are important or not if they are not doing anything. i think we are pretty good with and theys we have now, are coming back to us with
goalss as they meet their . i am comfortable with where we are with our boards. >> it seems reasonable to do an analysis every while and again. as you say, see who is there and what folks are doing. i mentioned in my opening statement mineral security and my appreciation not only for the executive order from president trump, but also your secretarial order on mayoral security. you have got $19 million within your budget. morew we need an awful lot to map out the country, but given that you are putting this priority within the budget, how for these the process funds, and what steps are you taking within the department to address the mineral supply chain issues we have been raising?
>> thank you for the question. the usgs delivered a critical minerals report. america should read it. >> they would find out how vulnerable we are. sec. zinke: we really are. as a former ceo, the number of components a modern warrior has that we rely on overseas for a lot of it is a national security issue. usgs has not prioritized and focused on basic field mapping in a long time. we think we can get there using new and modern technology. uavs, magnetometers. ago, it's labor-intensive, it's going to be a long time. modern techniques, particularly
uavs, we can catch up quickly. the usgs has to prioritize this. it is in our national interest to do so. geologists won't be able to see what is below the surface. as a geologist, i'm confident we can catch up. we're going to focus on the areas we think are the best value. and the greatest potential it will be a long time, remapping the united states. when you look at our current mapping, canada has done a good job. when it gets to the border, it stops. we have to look at critical minerals to make sure we do our part of the mapping the lower 48 and alaska. opportunity, but it's innovation, best science,
best practices, greatest goods, longer-term. >> i appreciate that. we have heard in this committee that we have heard other countries do their own mapping. we are still deficient in this country. senator king? >> thank you for joining us today. i serve on armed services and intelligence, and i commend you on focusing on the critical minerals issue. it is a serious national security issue. the first thing we need is to know what we have and what we don't have, and how to proceed. this is a long-term national security and very important role for your department. thank you for bringing new focus to that. i also want to thank you for the work on the backlog bill, addressing it in a serious way. i am a cosponsor of the bill.
i think it's a creative response . it doesn't guarantee funding, but it makes it likely, and i'm for anything that will seriously deal with the park backlog. i appreciate that. a detailed question on the leases. you mentioned there is a lease offering going out later this month were fairly soon. rfp will be based royalty rate,ing not the new proposed rate. is that correct? sec. zinke: police is the largest in the history of this country offshore. it is primarily central and western gulf. the leasing is a little different than the royalty rate. when you lease, it takes three years to go into production. again, the lease is a bellwether for the market.
sen. king: so at least the current -- the people who are bidding, assuming current levels , which would be an indication whethera point as to the lease level needs to be changed. sec. zinke: yes, sir, i would categorize that as you put it. i think they are leasing it without anticipation. other, as they should. they areleasing -- leasing should be on the basis --what the royalty rate, not sen. king: on the park fees, as i have mentioned, some adjustments are almost certainly necessary. i would hope you could step back and do a more comprehensive view through some economic analysis. season and have a
more thorough analysis. i don't want to end up with fewer people in the parks, lower revenues, and cutting off access to people -- all americans should have access. sec. zinke: you have my commitment -- interior is not going to do anything unless it is well thought out. there is unintended consequences of actions. one of the reasons we are getting more visitors is because less people don't travel overseas as much. sure what we do does not have any unintended consequences. on a broader scale, we are looking at ways to innovate our park fee collection system. sen. king: one of the things i have been pressing for three years is an app. there is a pilot that is worked very effectively.
doneof the fees were online, that's another way to increase fees collected from those who are not even paying them. sec. zinke: or going online, looking at kiosks. a lot of people enjoy the visitation of the ranger, the maybe a fast-track to go through for frequent visitors. we are looking at different innovative ways to use technology. , but we arehere also not there on a decision. no doubt, this committee has an enormous amount of passion in our park fees. this committee will be notified first and in advance, so if you have comments, we will take them into consideration. a loteason is going to be
like last season, except it's going to be probably greater visitation. sen. king: i believe that's right and as a testament to the parks. thank you madam. >> senator cantwell. >> i'm sorry, i have had to step out for other things. to go back to the world water issue, in your budget, there are ,uts to the rural water program populations less than 50,000 people. there is so much of my state in need of smaller communities who are being impacted by drought and you are working diligently to come up with ways -- i think there's actually three projects in montana that are going to be impacted by this as well. it's a 60% cut. why cut at a time when water is becoming such a major focus for us on the claims of resiliency
programs helping our western states deal with the impact? >> i share your concern. for a kid who grew up in montana, water is the economic driver. there's number of districts that are sold -- sorely underfunded. part of the work looking at the in,s when acclamation came the agreement was federal investment would be repaid over a. of time -- over a period of time by the water users. we have a lot of holdings, the title has never been transferred even though the water district have repaid over time. that is eating our maintenance budget. in the president's infrastructure bill, which it should be bipartisan, 25% of that bill specifically looks at rural.
infrastructure in rural is often times the water. i share your concerns on the water. i understand how important water is. sen. cantwell: i think the thing i would say deserves a major infrastructure investment is anything that can take the existing sources of water and use them more resiliently. i think that is why you are seeing -- what you are seeing some committees trying to do. when you get an aquifer or something that fall, you need help and support in doing so. i would assume these smaller communities -- on the oil drilling, would you consider taking the comment period and expanding another 60 days? this is something we have written to you and asked about. sec. zinke: yes, you should know, off the coast of oregon, washington, most of california,
there are no known resources of any weight. i put everything on so we can have a dialogue and take what's appropriate off. i'm going to markdown washington as opposed to oil and gas trolling. -- drilling. i know where every state is, every member of congress across the board. the comment period has closed. i know where people are. i certainly know where the state of washington is. the state of washington is passionately opposed to oil and gas drilling off the coast. i have committed, and the president has committed, to make sure our plan, which will be finished our first draft, you will get another bite of it, probably late fall on a proposal. our proposal will have the interest of washington reflected
florida,an as well as the gulf states, and where there is a norm is opposition, we will do that. maine also does not have resources of the coast. i was sure the maps we have as far as the geology goes, where the areas of interest are, and where the areas of interest are not. sen. cantwell: would that include doing no analysis of those opportunities for the future? one of the things the communities on the coast are worried about, fishing communities specifically, some type of testing that would be done to discover if there were undiscovered sources. the communities are very concerned. sec. zinke: for many, they have used seismic as a predecessor to oil and gas. seismic also is required for wind.
seismic should be required in many cases for mining. the argument that seismic is the coast,, a lot of particularly the east coast and the gulf, rely heavily on reclamation done by offshore mining on federal land. i can tell you from a geologist, offshore mining is a norm asleep --tructive environmentally enormously destructive environmentally. seismic is not necessarily a precursor of oil and gas. the other side of it is, i am confident e oil and gas reserves on short to meet our countries needs. i am confident we do. to the my response interior is we should know what our reserves are as a country. seismic is appropriate. there are places where seismic is not in the interest of
taxpayers interest. particularly if the urology was just there is no oil and gas. you would do point seismic if you're going to put a wind field out there. given that the design of a winfield also affects fishing. with got to be smarter. >> i appreciate the chair allowing me to go. i did want to file some thing for the record. removelieve when you part of utah's monument that is now going to be open to mining claims and uranium development, you did take an inch of public land out of that use. you and i can dialogue. thank you madam chair. >> thank you senator cantwell. mr. secretary, i appreciate the time you have given to the
committee, how you have worked veryspond to not only local interests, whether it's ,hat i raised with our 40 miles or senator gardeners news that the county that -- is going to have a good day today. but also the broader picture of reorganization you are proposing within this department, the on the respective regions, how we ensure we do ,ight by our national parks with a focus on the maintenance and backlog. because this is the first fy 19 budget hearing that i have participated in, it is going to be a long couple of months between my role on this as antee and
appropriator, but on the committee, as long as i can remember, when we have budget requests, i will ask the question of you, in terms of what -- you look at your budget for a department of interior. where do you see this administration's priority and focus on the arctic and arctic related activity? i'm sitting here with my cochair of the arctic caucus, senator king, and we have -- i think we have worked hard and will continue to work hard to raise the interests, the awareness, of not only this administration, but administrations that have preceded you in focusing on the arctic as a place of , butderable opportunity also challenges as we recognize
that we have -- much of it is lacking by way of infrastructure and how we are able to take the opportunity of a changing and evolving arctic. you,s a long lead up for but i put it out there to you and everyone else who is going to come before any of the committees i sit on, we are going to be continuing to ask about the administration's arctic priorities to ensure that this does continue to be viewed as an area of focus, not only from the budget perspective, in terms of national priorities. sec. zinke: i would think three things. the arctic is a national security interest. it is imperative. secondly, energy dominance is
not possible unless alaska's resources come to bear. natives.the alaskan better we need to do being partners, particularly with our wildlife management. the folks i have met there about whether it's wailing, or seals are walruses, no one knows better how to manage those alaskanshen our native . i think there's a lot of room looking at ways we can be better partners, comanaging areas, it -- they are so much more knowledgeable and we are. i think the arctic area, for national security, from oil and it's an enormous
amount of gas on the north shore . we have talked about different approaches on how to recover that. overall, liquid natural gas is probably a rich fuel. someone argue with that. ourlook at how to bring natural gas resource to bear certainly, you have to talk about alaska. i'm very bullish on the arctic. i don't think there ever been done take interior that has focused more on the state of .laska we spent a lot of time in alaska for a number of reasons. i think the relationship between the real the -- the interior and
this committee will only grow. sen. murkowski: i appreciate that. you feel that this administration is focused more attention on alaska. we have received a lot of attention in previous administrations. most of the attention has been on how we can basically locked up more of alaska rather than to work, to not only access our resources, what to do so in a balanced way. we have a special environment, special opportunities. we appreciate you working with us to allow us to achieve that level of independence that any state would want. independence to provide for your people and take care of your land. your focus onr
the opportunities we have their, and in particular recognizing the great benefit, the great value our indigenous peoples can provide, whether it is in operation of -- comanagement or consultation. we have not had much discussion here in this committee about your role within interior. with regard to the various agencies that have oversight, whether it is through bia, particularly through bia. we need to get that position filled. seeinglooking forward to that assistant secretary advance quickly. you have a big job in front of
you. we have moved several other men and women that you need to help run the department. , unfortunately, has been held through a process that is frustrating on all ends. my goal is to make sure that you have the team in place you need to do not only execution of this budget that is being laid down, but the focus on the public assets, the public resources that you are charged with, as well as the people. we appreciate the job you are doing. appreciate the positive relationship that you trust you, and the are working to restore with the
people of alaska. it is appreciated. it is noticed. we will welcome you back anytime. with that, the committee stands adjourned. [crowd noise] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [crowd noise]
an african american was arrested in new orleans for taking it on a train reserved for white. the supreme court's decision established the separate but equal doctrine. this narrow interpretation of -- 14th amendment wan't wasn't overturned until brown v. board of education. examined this case and the ruling with ted shaw, professor and director of the center for civil rights at the university of north carolina, and former director and counsel and president of the naacp educational fund. and michael clarman, constitutional law professor at harvard law school and author of "from jim crow to civil rights." c-span,ndmark cases on c-span.org, or listen with a free c-span radio app. and for background on each case order your copy of the companion book. is available for $8.95 plus shipping and handling at c-span.org/landmarkcases.
and the interactive constitution created by the national constitution center. there is a link on our website. this week on the communicators, journalist jimmy sony, co-author of "the mind at play." decades before anything like the world we know had come to pass, claude shannon sits down and rights of paper pretty essentially shows all types of information are the same and that information can be turned into bits, then encoded, compressed and sent flawlessly so we can take a message from point a and have it be received a point b. all those principles seem natural to us. of course that is the way it works. when i go on twitter, things will happen. someone had to lay the intellectual architecture for
all of that. that is the field of information theory. that is the field in a very real sense claude shannon invents. >> monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> newsmakers is pleased to welcome john yarmuth, the only member of the kentucky delegation that represents logo. and also ranking member of the budget committee. congress has a deadline on march 23. negotiations are underway. this is the fifth stopgap measure. we will find out what the prospects are with christina pearson of the wall street journal and mike dibona. >> how confident are you we will see an omnibus spending bill passed next week? rep. yarmuth: well, i'm