tv Newsmakers Rep. Rob Bishop R-UT Natural Resources Cmte Ranking Member CSPAN September 20, 2019 10:06pm-10:39pm EDT
contribute resources to help them defend themselves and the things i spoke about i don't think is too much of an ask in the situation. gen. dunford: we will work at the details and i will come back to the secretary next week with recommendations. reporter: can you confirm -- >> thank you, everyone. neck in des moines, iowa this saturday for live campaign 2020 coverage of the annual steak fry for the pole cats were 2017 -- 17 candidates will take the stage. watch on c-span, c-span.org, or using the free c-span radio app. on "newsmakers" this week is representative rob bishop, republican of utah and the ranking member of the natural resources committee. representative, thanks for joining us today. rep. bishop: thanks for having
-- the invitation. >> along for the questioning is ben hulac with "roll call" and miranda green with "the hill," who is an energy and environment reporter. thank you both for joining us. ben: this is ben. there are millions of people globally right now striking for action, political action on climate change in places like australia, japan, the philippines, uganda, germany. people are in the streets pressing the government to do something about climate change. where do you think that urgency is coming from? what is the impetus driving people into the streets to demand action? i don't have access to someone else's heart, you'll have to ask them. from our perspective is a makeymaker, we want to sure our actions are not overreactions and they do actions that need to need of the time and the ability of us to make positive changes that help the american people.
if you want me to know what the incentives are for other people, i can't do that for you. sorry. miranda: to build off of that a little, what do you think republicans could or should be doing to address climate change since obviously it is an issue that is important to a number of americans? rep. bishop: if you look at the number of bills introduced by republicans already, especially in our committee, i think we have talked about that. we did one for an energy policy for america that was all of the above actions that would encourage all sorts of energy production in an effective and efficient way and we would partner with states to make sure the states truly have a say in what is going on in their particular area. those are the other areas in which we are looking at. there was a whole range of options and opportunities if people would try and be bipartisan in this and allow us to have some say in the process. the democrats are often pushing it along when it comes to pushing it along.
in-house you were recently a cosponsor on the america first energy bill you introduced a couple of weeks ago. can you talk about what is in the bill and why you think this might be a bipartisan solution to climate change and how -- health? rep. bishop: it was ironic when we dropped that bill because that was the democrat energy week in which their proposals basically did nothing to actually have a comprehensive energy policy. thingswas was saying that were existing to basically -- what we did was come up with a policy that does have an overarching emphasis on making sure that we have an all of the above energy policy, are putting emphasis into fossil fuels as well as renewables, and giving incentives to states to be partners with that. the ability of states to keep half the royalties is something we are doing, the last
administration decided to take 2% out for administrative costs and take it out of the states i'd rather than the federal side. that is ridiculous. actually allowing states to become part of the permitting process is a way we can move forward not only for traditional forms of energy but in alternative and new forms of energy. those are the things we are dealing with. we are talking about other issues that can help facilitate those kind of changes. the idea of the blm trans-locating their people from washington to where the land is, that is a positive element that can build in the process. ben: let's get specific, congressman. to lower the omissions -- emissions, what is the republican plan? the warnings are start, what do you propose we done domestically? rep. bishop: a bill policy is to state an overall approach to make sure we are not dependent on foreign sources for energy so
we don't go back to the bad old days of jimmy carter where there embargoes and he was telling us to get used to being cold and in the dark. there are two ways to solve this problem and the other side is not talking about both those ways. you can either prohibit emission or do carbon sequestration. if we were active in carbon sequestration opportunities, printed use existing processes we have, specially on public land to pull enough carbon out of the air to meet the paris accord standard in that alone. there are a whole lot of opportunities and what i am trying to say is, we not having a great dialogue on what the act -- options actually are. some people are. focusing on myopic approach is when there are lots of things, and carbon sequestration is one of those areas we need to discuss because the potential is huge and massive. we don't have that discussion going on yet. it is sad. it should be.
ben: i agree, the ground is softening around carbon sequestration and there are more centrist democrats who talk about sequestering carbon but what about other sectors? what about transport and agriculture? rep. bishop: you are looking at it well because they are starting to pick up on it and that is one of the things we need to do. he comes into the basic idea of what you do and how grazing can help you meet those standards. i'm glad there are some people, especially those who are presidential candidates were talking about that issue. i need those who are in congress to start becoming specific and talking about the details of how you can use that. there are lots of demonstration programs we can look at. we should be doing that. miranda: do you think that is something your democratic counterparts in the house would get behind? have you had conversations about bringing up a bill to talk about carbon sequestration? carbon capture is something the senate has flagged but we haven't seen much house movement on that. rep. bishop: no we haven't.
some bills have been floated about doing project, nice first step but doesn't really meet the goal of where we need to be. carbon tax fit into an all of the above structure? rep. bishop: i think that has a role but if that is where you put your basic and all your effort, some -- you are missing the boat. there are more creative ways than just that alone. andnda: you mentioned 2022 talk about grazing and carbon capture issues. one of the topics that has come out in a lot of the policies has been placing a moratorium on oil and gas drilling on public lands if they were to be put into office. i wonder your thoughts on this policy, obviously being the raking member of the committee that oversees the interior department under the trump administration, has proposed increased drilling on public land. do you see this as a feasible position? rep. bishop: i think you are saying if you take what the candidatesesidential
are saying publicly, that is for political purposes and is counterproductive if you are try to come up with an overall conference of policy, but it does illustrate one of the things we are talking about. if you are talking about energy production on public land, post public lands are found all in the west. if you have a bureau of land management closer to the beat land the land, you will have better decisions and ideas he made. which is why i am so excited about moving the bureau of land management from washington to the west where there can be a better correlation between what people need, want, and what you can produce. hopefully a better understanding of how public lands can be used. miranda: you are talking about the proposed move to move the headquarters of bureau of land management from washington, d.c. to colorado. this sounds like something you are supportive of. what about the criticism that moving so many employees from willaway from washington bury the management of that important department and put
them out of sight, out of mind in the president year? -- resident's ear. rep. bishop: i don't buy that at all. a lot of the arguments i hear is throw something out there and see if it sticks. those are those ideas that are out there. there was a book on public lands that said in the 1800s after civil war, we passed all sorts of homesteading laws. the last was 1912, 1916. each was failure because the people were living thousands away from people in washington who were trying to make decisions on lanes in the west. if you really want people on the ground making decisions and not fearful of being overturned, put them out there were the land is. bureau of land management land where most of this stuff can take place, carbon sequestration will take place, energy production will take place are faced in the west. allowing them a greater
understanding of where they are and what they are doing will just benefit us. when i deal with land managers in my home state of utah, the ones who live there that are part of the blm, the forced service and part of the community, they make great decisions. it is only when you move up the food chain to come to washington that we end up with problems as far as dogma overtaking what reality should be. is why this administration is wise to do an entire review of what the department should be doing, the bureau of land management should be doing and where those decisions can be most effective and moving them not only to different parts of is a brilliant move to make it more efficient and more effective. be fair, congressman, there are reasonable offices in colorado that regional offices in colorado and across the country but i want to talk about methane on public lands comedy epa to roll methane regulations
on the industry and this was against the wishes of a handful of oil and gas majors, exxon mobil, bp, shell all opposed that decision. where are you on methane regulations on public lands? it is a greenhouse gas that is about 80 times more potent than co2. what should we be doing about it? rep. bishop: i want people to understand the details of what they are talking about and if -- i'm not going to talk about the details of the methane proposal right now although i realize that what we are doing and a lot of the decision-making is in isolation because we are in washington, not where the processes taking place. let me move on to the next topic. you overseeiously, public lands in your capacity and as a ranking member of the house natural resources committee, one thing that happened this week, and last-minute late night was on wednesday, the department
announced it would transfer some of its public land to the army to help with president trump's border while building for a couple of years. what are your thoughts on this move? rep. bishop: you are going to have to do that one way or the other. when you go from our border, southern border from california and the pacific coast of texas, 80% of the border is already owned by the federal government. over half. anyou are going to do long-term security impact you will have to deal with federal land one way or the other. it is kind of a logical application of what has to simply because the federal government has had five decades of buying up more property and along their, they bought up almost all of it. miranda: do you have any thoughts of what this will mean that the army will be control of the land and what the role will be when they get the land back on a potentially with a wall on it? it willhop: hopefully be an issue with when we look at security, we have an organized way of dealing with it.
right now, we have a memo of understanding between homeland security which is a misunderstanding. i want to make sure we have the security there but it has to be recognize that the border patrol is limited by 17 federal laws on what it can do to -- for phil its job -- fulfill its job on the border. to be able to do hot pursuit which goes into one of those wilderness categories, that has to be rethought and reconfigured if we want to have access to a secure border so we can look citizens in the eye and say yeah, as a country, to secure our border. we not only have to have a wall, but we have to make sure the border patrol is allowed to do their job. right now, there are certain federal laws that prohibit them from doing their job. i want those to be a part of the discussion and process. if you do that, we can have a conference of policy. miranda: what would you like to see them allowed to do
specifically? how would you like to role expanded? rep. bishop: right now in the 50%, they are not allowed to do any kind of patrolling except on foot or on horseback on special forces. that's ridiculous -- horses. that's ridiculous. if they are trying to intercept someone who has gone over the barrier, the goal is to do a pincer movement with order patrol behind them and in front and capture them together. the way it is right now with their inability of having access east to west, some of those guys will be to tucson before they have a chance of being behind and in front of them. that is the kind of flexible right now that is prohibited by some laws and needs to be put into place. the memo of understanding tried to deal with that but it is kind of one-sided and puts a border patrol agent in a precarious situation that if at some time on land manager does not like the decision he made it could jeopardize his career. we shouldn't be doing that. it is silly if we are going to have a comprehensive approach. >> this is our "newsmakers"
program with rob bishop joining us as miranda green and ben hulac. ben: let's get into a little bit more esoteric area of jurisdiction for the committee which uses on. jurisdiction of outlying territories in the u.s., there are places in puerto rico as well as barrier islands off florida in the gulf of mexico and in the mid-atlantic region where american citizens are losing their homes, their lifestyles are being offended. a lot of people would call these people climate refugees. do you agree with that and what should be done with them? rep. bishop: your expanding our authority in little bit. we have authority over territories. unnecessarily some of the other areas when it deals with puerto rico, we have pure jurisdiction over there and that is why we
passed a bill before the hurricanes hit to try to make sure there was some kind of political stability and they were instead writte -- weren't debt ridden. it also revealed how terrible the infrastructure was and we have to rebuild that. the new governor of puerto rico is someone i'm excited about, she's met with the board three times now in the first couple of weeks to coordinate their policy so we can reach policies for puerto rico which will make them more resilient, able to withstand hurricanes that maria and the devastation maria did, put a political stabilization so we can attract more businesses so puerto rico can thrive. that is what my committee is dealing with. ben: what are those policies specifically? it seems you are talking about resilience. rep. bishop: and puerto rico?
organize the utility company that happens to be there. they are making steps going forward but you have to have a policy that is not based on simply rewarding special-interest groups and a policy that is not based on incurring more debt to get out of debt. that is where the board needs to work closely with the governor. this new governor is i think willing and able to do that. her first efforts are showing we can do that to put them on a sound financial basis which will attract capital which will also help in the resiliency factor that we need to rebuild the infrastructure of the island. i'm excited about this new governor and the board being able to go forward without arbitrary roadblocks in their way. i think you'll find a bright new day. we have a commissioner who sits in washington that represents those 3 million americans in puerto rico. she's doing a fantastic job.
representative gonzales is organizing and coordinating these efforts. i hope we maintain her expertise in washington. it's of great value to us. off the to piggyback hurricane event's devastating weather patterns we have seen in places like puerto rico and in recently the bahamas. now we are seeing in texas, places are experiencing devastating floods, what are your thoughts on the role of the federal government should play in helping communities impacted by storms? rep. bishop: the united states has made their entire commitment to emergency funding and fema efforts for many decades now. we need to go forward with that and make sure we are partnering with those states that when an emergency hits, you should do that. if you couldice alleviate some of those emergencies in some cases. obviously we can't have a federal policy to mitigate against hurricane but the devastating fires in the west
are creating all sorts of catastrophic experiences, if we were to change policies of how we manage our federal forests and be in line with what the states and tribes are doing on the forest, we can mitigate that catastrophe so it wouldn't be so devastating in the first place and that is an area in which our committee, if we were coming together to talk about real solutions and help grow people, that is an area we can make a big difference. miranda: you are talking of course about forest cutting and getting rid of the brush underneath trees and forest fires. this is something president has talked at length about something he believes california should be doing more. why do you think representatives of that state had pushed back on the thought? that forest management and logging is what is needed to adjust fires in the west versus climate change which they believe is the reason for these fires? rep. bishop: i'm sorry. it is very clear that when you have bad management not only do
you have areas that are thick with fire potential, underbrush, but you also have dead trees that are useless to anybody. if you were to have active management of that and i'm sorry, every time i talk to the --est service -- state fire forest reagents, they tell us if they had greater controls and exclusions to have better management techniques and tools, these fires would not be as catastrophic, and that is really a policy. not only a policy we are doing but also the policy that every time the forest service wants to be proactive and positive, they get sued by a bunch of special-interest groups. forest isigation the dealing with is why we are not having active management. we passed a stewardship approach to give states a greater say in how they are working to manage the forest. it is productive and mitigates the extreme litigation tactics used in the past. ben: congressman, how long have
you represented utah? rep. bishop: i am right now in my knife term. term.th ben: what do you want your legacy to be? climate epitaph, if you will, to read? rep. bishop: i would hope in that moral range of issues you are talking about, that we would be able to really have good management of our federal would have that we good management of our public lands which basically 44% of blm to make sure they are of better use, better value to the people living there, and especially on the other lands, that we can use carbon sequestration and if you use grazing policy properly, that can be one of the -- i don't think people are looking at right now that they could be in the future. ben: with silver liningsben:,
under the radar tools to fight climate change on your mind. rep. bishop: part of it that no one is really talking about is we passed national environmental ct, and thething a idea was to make sure everyone had a say in the process. it has been absorbed and abused to make sure everyone now gets the chance to sue to slow down the process. we need to have nepa reform. states have reformed their laws, we still are piddling around with an agent father needs desperately reformed. policy asuse that designed for real people to have a say in what is going on and not a tool to encourage more litigation, we will have made a major push to try and help this country move forward and that is something i would like to see
going forward. miranda: congressman, you are considering retirement. sounds like something you are committed to be doing? rep. bishop: after this interview, yeah, probably. miranda: is there anything you would like to achieve in the next year and a half that you have in congress? rep. bishop: there is so much we could and should be doing. not only in policy but also in procedure. i would love to talk to you sometime about procedure. i was a history teacher and government teacher and i realize when you talk about procedure, everyone's eyes glaze over because they don't care about it but if you have that procedure, you have that policy. i would like to reform procedures in congress and our committee in the long term so we can come up with better policy decisions. wise was a very congressman who said if i let you make all the policy decisions and you let me due the procedures, i'll screw you over every time. that is something i hope we could work with in the next year
and half make long-term improvements in how we do things, not necessarily just what the things we do our. ben: such as what? procedure changes, like what? peopleshop: no votes, are not on the floors to hear debates, people are not at hearings simply because we have a policy of rowboats. if there is one procedure -- your eyes are glazing already. that is a procedure if we could make a change in that, they would have a huge impact. there was a time when people used to come from the senate. henry clay talked about coming from the senate because it was born to listen to the robust debate on the house floor. fisher range top about going to the house floor and making up his mind when she heard the debate. that doesn't happen because of the procedures that have evolved over the last couple of hundred years. those are the kinds of things i
would like to push back on. bishop, do youve have any thoughts on the recent attacks in saudi arabia on the oil production plant? onlydid it say about not the global supply of oil but the position the u.s. currently is in as far as oil production? rep. bishop: i hope we are prudent and cautious and how we go forward. that gives us another warning that we should have gotten in the 1970's when they tried the arab oil embargo. it also means america must make ise that our energy policy all of the above and it must make sure our energy policy is based on the idea we need to be energy independent and if we are energy independent, can be a source of support to our allies. if we are not doing that -- and unfortunately there are voices now that are saying our only energy policy is to stop doing that. that is a very risky approach. i think this should reemphasize what we should have learned in the 1970's. needs to be very
vibrant and progressive in our energy policy. host: this is representative rob bishop, the ranking member of natural resources and one more question rope it. you were talking about -- real quick. you were talking about retiring. do you have any thoughts on the rash of gop retirements over the last weekend maybe a wyy? rep. bishop: he'll have to ask those. there are individual reasons. the retirement schedule doesn't see many different than past years. inre is a large turnover members of congress with each 11 -- election. one reason to remember when mike simpson from idaho was elected, he could never meet every members of congress and one reason was the turnover happened, 30% he'd already met left and another 30% were new. there was always going to be a turnover. i don't see anything different
in this year's turnover rate than years past. host: representative bishop, thank you for your time on "newsmakers." , you started talking about climate change. you heard his responses, the typical separation, the chasm between republicans and democrats. did you learn anything new? not thereon details about any sort of republican strategy to address climate change. i asked him about folks striking globally, many millions of people doing that right now and he punted on that. for me, he's been on the hill 18 years almost. sorry, congressman for adding time there. this is consistent rob bishop. green, did: miranda you learned eating about the back-and-forth? miranda: climate change, it shows the republicans in house
in league with the president on talking points. energy first, energy independence is an important part of the president's role, grab oning the u.s.'s job creation which is something the president likes to talk about in his energy independent speech at the white house. representative bishop was the same, that the u.s. can't be taken sources off the table and i think saudi arabia oil crisis, gives a little fuel to the fire because the threat of what it would mean for businesses here. with him leaving coming up, it is unlikely his decision will memberbut as a ranking of the committee with democrats in control, there is more of a split on the idea of what can be done about climate change and how we can shift from oil and
gas to renewable energy. that is clearly in the back of his mind but maybe not changing his opinion. het: he became animated when talked about moving the bureau out west rather than washington, d.c.. what are the realities and issues facing them move? miranda: this is the second government agency that has been proposing a move. scientists are moving from d.c. to assign -- office in kansas city, i believe. the fact both of those announcements happened at the same time raised a lot of eyebrows. the interior department has push things like this for a while, the idea we cover land across the country, we should have representatives of the agency who are spread out across the country but when he didn't mention is the bureau of land management has been largely spread throughout the country. only 10% of its employees are based in d.c. so now the plan is
to move almost the remainder of those employees out west, as well so some of the reporting congressionalns liaisons, people tasked with going to congress every day and talking to members of congress andpushing the issues along international specialists placed in colorado, there are concerns about the legitimacy m of the plan and reasons behind it. host: follow-up on the? ben: rand hit it pretty well. -- miranda hit it pretty well. these offices already exist. of interior that represents blm as an agency as an ally of cory gardner, the senator from colorado and gardner was pushing hard to get the grand junction to host the so the headquarters political optics are fairly transparent here.
this is an effort to simply cash in some political chips. miranda: we have to remember the former interior secretary was also pushing this. is belief this is a a plan of his legacy of that started underneath him and that some of these jobs are going to states that seem to be unclear the reasoning behind them just leads to the fact they wanted to move them somewhere and these are places where there are already offices. host: miranda green with the hill, she covers energy and environment for the publication and ben hulac of cq roll call covers congress. thank you for being on the program. >> the house will be in order. years, c-span has been
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