before i terrorize you thinking i might continue on that, let me say i thank the secretary for his gracious introduction. i appreciate being here with my distinguished colleague, who is someone respected on both sides of the aisle and is often the convener of members on both sides of the aisle to get things done for our country. .
>> there were over 2000 deaths per year attributed to mobile communication devices. the first of this conference the dot release numbers that show nearly 6000 people were killed in -- and a half a million injured last year in vehicle crashes connected to driver distraction. you can see the growth, dramatically. as we follow its and as we continuously become a society that seeks to do itsi2 work and communication more and more and a mobile manner. the issue is really the safety of our families. there were a time when the dangers of driving while drunk or our greatest concern for it with the advent of cell phones, we have added to the dangers of dialing were talking while
driving. state laws passed that's a driver's need handsfree devices to use their cell phones while driving we now seek a new and more deadly threat emerging and that is texting while driving i am completely amazed that anyone believes that it is a reasonable idea to take your eyes off the road, looked down, and type a message while driving in traffic. i have seen old versions of it. i have seen this version. i have seen as well people that think they can hold their device above the wheel and keep their eyes ahead. the reality is, any of those versions with a vehicle that has as much horsepower on the road is a deadly weapon that is why driving is a privilege. one can hardly imagine the
dexterity it would take to watch the road, handle a moving vehicle, avoid traffic, stop when a car in front of the stops abruptly, navigate construction sites, keep an eye on the traffic around you, all oil while looking down or across using both thumbs while you are texting and message. it is no surprise that a recent study by the virginia tech transportation institute shows that when drivers texted, the risk of collision was 23 times greater than when not texting. i cannot say i am surprised at the number, knowing full well the concentration it takes me to text message and to get the right keys with facts bombs per -- fat thumbs. texting is its own universe of risk. it is not driving at all. it is doing something and the
couple to driving. it is like driving with your eyes closed. at the present time, 36 states do not ban text while driving, 14 do, including alaska, california, louisiana, and my home state of new jersey. in my view, every state should take new jersey's lead on this issue. made text while driving a primary offense meaning you can be pulled over for driving while texting alone. that is why senator schumer, myself, and others have introduced legislation to ban anyone from texting while operating a moving vehicle. the bill is the alert drivers act and it requires states to ban texting while driving or less losing federal highway funds. in my view, it will save young lives, but lots of new drivers with whom texting anywhere, anytime is part of life, even behind the wheel of a car and the lives of innocent people around them.
driving is a privilege. it comes with responsibility not only to yourself but to others on the road. a community responsibility to obey the rules of safety of yourself and others. it demands seriousness and respect for law. the aaa foundation for traffic safety released pulling out of that shows that 87% of americans consider texting for e mailing while driving to pose a "very serious safety threat." equal to that is the 90% who considered drunk driving to be a threat the time has come to act before it is too late, before all more lives are lost and we look back with regret that we did nothing in the face of imminent danger. i appreciate the secretary and all who are bringing the
administrator to tackle this issue and casting a spotlight on it and convening the best people in the country to think about it and how we best approach it. i think that it is wrong in the past that we have hidden this issue and there were those that were called upon to come forth and to study it and that was denied. i respect the secretary who i work with in the house of representatives before it can to the senate who is a fantastic person and someone who can work across the aisle to make things happen and to make our people in our country say. i want to appreciate companies like verizon in new jersey who for seven years has had an active corporate responsibility of talking about the dangers of distracted driving. that type of corporate leadership is what we need across the landscape of the country for those who produce these devices. i am pleased that companies like verizon and states like new jersey have acted and it is time for congress to act of the federal level so that we not
risk one more life. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, senator. although our senators have hectic schedules today, but graciously agreed to take a few questions. if our panelists have questions, you have microphones. four members of the audience, there are three microphones around the room. there is also microphones for web questions. if i can ask the senators to come up and we will take questions. i know it's early but you have had your coffee so it is time to get going. >> good morning.
i am from pedestrians.org. what is the role of the federal government in this and what do we depend on the states and localities to do? >> there are several different ways the federal government' can have our role in this. one is that we can have a bill like what senator jimemenendez and his associates have used. with seatbelt laws, we have had a provision on both books that it states have what they call primary seat belt laws, they may get more money under the highway fund vs. less if they do not. we can have a role in setting the overall national policy and again, i think this is a
nationwide issue. it is not isolated in one locality or one region. it is a nationwide bank. there is roughly about 90% of the people in this country have a cell phone. many of those will either have tax or email or internet capability to it. i think there is a traditional and natural role for the federal government to apply. -- to play. >> one of our panelists have a question? -- have a question? >> in reference to the alert drivers act, should that pass, with the act continue funding to states predicated on the passage of a primary law or does it not state primary lot? >> it does at this point state primary law. it would give time for the transition to take place.
>> thank you. >> surtax >> good morning, senators. it is an honor to be in your presence and thank you for providing support to this very serious catastrophe or as you call it more like an epidemic. i am saying this because i lost my daughter about one-half years ago to a distracted drivers. she was a sophomore at the university of wisconsin in madison business school. she supported all sorts of courses in the world. however, her life was cut short. entrea's memory, we have created a foundation for distracted driving, 100% dedicated to
distracted driving. we have a memorial foundation and i saw a lot of youth are in the audience. the question i have is related to some discussion we had yesterday. yesterday, there were three components that were discussed, laws and all sorts of punitive -- punitive laws of nature. there are a bit -- there are two other things, education and what kind of things are you and the senate and the whole country's bodies are doing to enable the education part of that? there was a sufficient amount of focus on the technology yesterday. there was not a single panel that talked entirely or focused on education.
that seems to be an important part of this whole problem- solving process that you have undertaken. i would like you to provide your insight on that and what could we do? >> first of all, i am very sorry for the loss of your daughter. it is her lives and lives of others, many others, who moves us, some of us to do the legislation that i discussed. i do not believe it is one single issue at all because you have a lot of people will violated. we are suggesting education is a good one. some of us who drafted this proposal are looking at other alternatives. in terms of how else we get people to understand the dangers of driving while distracted. certainly, whether we look at
the traditional driver ed education at the august levels, in terms of those who are out there trying to get their license, make that an integral part of that effort and even earlier on, as part of our health education, as safety being part of good health, those are considerations under way. there is no formal proposal yet. there are a group of us accumulating information as to what is the best initiatives? >> let me follow-up on that. thank you for being here and sharing your story. in the senate committee, it is a great forum for us to put these good ideas on the table and take ideas that you guys are generating here but also from around the country. i agree with senator menendez when he says that when we approach this problem, all of
the above. is the answer. we need to look at education and that is partly a public relations type of campaign. it is public service announcements, working with school, working with drivers ed class is, working with wireless companies. that is a multifaceted peace there. you mention technology and you talked quite a bit about that yesterday. i do not want to single out the two companies to the exclusion of all others. i'm aware of two companies that have been active on this already. one is of verizon. verizon wireless, i think, was the fourth wireless company to affirmatively endorse some of these state initiatives. i do not know about the other wireless companies. they may be there as well. i think verizon wireless was the first one first 1 p.
we actually have a mobile office in little rock. they have a seat technology. basically, it allows for using boys and using other things in the vehicle to try to use more hands free. the truth is, we need to look at that type of technology because that can be distracting as well. you all know that. i appreciate a lot of the technology that is coming out but we need ways to evaluate that. some of it will be through the us dot and other places but we need to evaluate that and look for solutions that work on this. i think the answer is all the above. >> thank you. >> on behalf of the u.s. dot, we agree that education is a great part of this issue. we will talk about it at our
level o'clock 30 panel today on public awareness and education. we feel that is one of the most important is questions we will have. >> i am from the safe drivers alliance in massachusetts. we are a nonprofit. thank you for being here. i'm not one who knows about the political atmosphere in washington. i know the sessions later on will talk about more local things. can you talk about the legislation -- the texting legislation that is in front of you now and what the political pitfalls are? where is the opposition? do you get a sense as to how much support there is for it? what can we do to try and push the legislation on so it becomes successful? senator pryor, i noticed you did not speak for the legislation. are you in opposition to it? maybe you could speak to that a little bit. >> i did not speak for it
because i have not had a chance to really look at it. we will definitely spend time in our committee on the legislation. we would like to have senator menendez and others involved in that process. whenever you do this type of legislation, there may be some opposition. we just don't know yet until we start to move the bill for the process. i can think of some people who might be opposed to it but i think in the and, my sense is that there will be very little, if any, opposition to this legislation. is a matter of us trying to get it right. >> very briefly -- whenever we impose the possibility of losing
highway funding if you do not do a certain action, there is, of course, in some quarters, a strong reticence to that. i understand that that should not be done as quickly as we turn. the government should not be ordering every single when issues rise, particularly as we travel not just with our state but between states, it continuously raise the number of fatalities in our country which has a cost, not only to families who are left behind but also costs to our society as a whole. the half a million injuries have enormous health consequence and a consequence in terms of the cost of those injuries. this continues to rise. it is only relatively late that the studies have been done. we see a rise in compelling cases. some are concerned about that.
i understand that. there may be ways in which we can incentivize people to move in that direction. there are many ways to incentivize. we are open to them all. our goal at the end of the day is not to allow distracted driving to be something that takes place and that we are willing to accept as a society but we want to do something about it. with that mutual goal, i agree with senator pryor that there will be a lot of consensus. >> thank you. >> i'm the ceo of posit science. one thing that has come up around the distracted driving definition and the epidemic is texting and cell phone usage. i would like to ask how that compares and if you don't have any facts yet, i would like to see the correlation to other distracted driving.
there is an epidemic that is rising from cell phone usage. and also from texting. there are literally millions of other accidents being caused by other forms of distracted drivers. the state of maine has taken a different approach to look at all forms of distracted driving. >> i mentioned in my formal comments that there are some who have looked at this and say that distractive driving by texting is in a class all its own. i think distracted driving as a generic topic is a challenge to our safety. i applaud the secretary and the illustrator for looking at a broadly. mike focus on testing is not to the exclusion of the others but i think it poses a unique challenge. even when you are driving and you're speaking on cell phone, at least you have the potential of looking at the road ahead or, if you use a hands free device. that does not mean you can't be distracted because you get
engaged in your conversation to such a depth that you have lost such dimension of awareness of what the road ahead looks like. when you take a blackberry or a phone and you are texting on it, it simply is not possible to do without looking at it. in that context, you are taking your eyes off the road. in many parts of our country, you all know, the degree of n degreeess and the traffic that is out -- and the degree of urbaness, we have to watch out for the other guy as part of our responsibility. that is all hard to do if your eyes off the road. that is a simple, fundamental principle. texting while driving clearly does that more so than even
other forms of distractions. >> thank you. we have time for one more question. we will turn to our web microphone for that. >> the first question is, will the dot authorization includes infrastructure solutions to the distracted driving problem such as rumble strips, soft barriersstripsetc? >> we don't know that yet. we are in the process of just really starting to put together the conceptual stage, the dot reauthorization highway bill. right now, as everybody knows, we are distracted in the senate by health care. even though i am not on the two health care committees, it is
looming out there and it is hard to get other people to focus on anything else. i think what will happen late this year and early next year is you will see that it will start to gear up. there will be three different committees that will deal with the transportation bill. the commerce committee is one and we have a pretty good piece of it. we will be looking at those type of things to see if they should be included. we will be working very closely with the department of transportation, the state highway departments, and various safety groups and people from around the country to talk about what should be included in this. it is a good suggestion and my sense is that there will be something in the bill for that but at this moment, i don't know exactly what that looks like. thank you very much for having us. we appreciate it. [applause] >> and thank you, senators.
i will turn it over to the next panel. >> we will go right into our next panel. good morning. i served under secretary la hood. i want to the great confession while i give time for my panelists to come to the table. this morning, during my commuting from arlington, i read about 14 e-mails, i texted 6 responses, and engaged in two brief cell phone calls. however, i did that on the 3e bus connecting to the metroliner service. there actually is a risk related to texting and distracted driving as it relates to public transportation. the risk lies around the operator of the vehicles for the only risk that anyone ever talks about as it relates to transit
passengers is the risk of being so distracted the miss their stop and have to turn around and come back. i have done it. the point i am trying to make is that we have studies all across that we gather routinely at the fda that shows -- fta that people ought to to drive instead of taking public transportation. many of those commuters spend their first half hour of the morning at their desk answering e-mail and they certainly have to deal with the last half-hour of the day at their desk also handling e-mail. when you think about it, they may save 10 minutes in their commute but if the gun and a bus or train, -- but the got on a bus or a train, they could leave for work a half an hour later
and get home at half an hour sooner. that is the difference between having breakfast with your kids or not, having dinner with your kids or not. that is where we think the nexus of safety and livability come together. to pick up on something that john english said yesterday, we think a strong message that these to be sent is that if you need to text, if you need to talk or tweet, take transit. many of you are old enough to remember the as where it says " go greyhound, leave the driving to us." we want to say to the textures, take transit and leave the driving to us. it will be a safer nation. we're very focused on the issues of distracted driving as it relates to the operators out of transit vehicles. we have had some success. not all agencies but almost all
agencies have prohibited the use of personal electronic devices while operating a transit vehicle. some agencies have established a system requiring the electronic devices be turned off and strode off the person while operating a transit vehicle or performing a critical safety function. other agencies have prohibited personal cell phones or electronic baez's from being in the operating cabs altogether. in the federal railroad administration, we succeeded in barring, as a matter of regulation, the use of those devices in the cab through federal regulation. however, and the federal transit administration, we are prohibited from imposing minimum safety regulations of that kind. at present, the federal transit administration is prohibited by law from imposing transit safety minimum regulations of that kind. that is something that secretary la hood has vowed to reform.
we have had good success in cajoling the industry for transit systems as large as the new york city subway system, the one in chicago, the one in san francisco to doing the right thing in that regard. that is not necessarily the topic of this morning's panel. when you invite the federal transit administrator to be the moderator, these are the introductory speeches you get. the topic of today's panel is really focused on legislation regulation and the enforcement of distracted driving. is really a discussion of what it takes to get a law passed in the state's and what has colored the different responses in the different states and we face a huge challenge on the enforcement side. how will enforcement strategies differ?
how do we get at the core issue of the lack of value we get from a lot if it is not enforced? we have a great pal of very experienced people on this issue from around the country. the first one i would like to introduce is john damico. he currently serves as chairman of the vehicles and safety committee in the illinois general assembly. he has been a true city later in the illinois legislature. he has a number of laws under his belt including one requiring a minimum of 50 hours rather than 25 hours for practice behind the wheel to get a graduated driver's license. the imposition of graduated driver's license says for new drivers in illinois, he passed legislation that allows parents or guardians of miners to view their teenagers driving records on line. he passed legislation which bans the use of cell phones by
drivers in all schools and construction zones. he has passed legislation that bans texting while driving. as of january, 2010, it will be illegal to compose, sand, or receive text messages while behind the wheel in illinois. i like to bring up a real leader in this area, john damico. [applause] >> thank you very much. i want to thank secretary la hood for inviting me and putting this summit together. text messaging and driving is something that is very dangerous and we need to try and get all our states across the country to pass this law. let me give you some background on what we were able to do in illinois. unfortunately, i got started with some of this legislation because of a tragic accident that happened by my house. it was members of my and your kids were involved in a terrible accident. there were no drinking or drugs.
they were out late at night. they're all 16 years old. two young boys lost their lives. my friends in the area went up asking me if there was anything we could do. could we possibly raise the driving age to 18? i introduced that bill and even though we never got the bill to the house floor, it was probably one of the most effective pieces of legislation that i ever introduced. what wound up happening was that every teacher, parent, every major news media outlet was covering this bill. it got every kid talking to their parents and talking to their teachers about what a privilege it is to drive a car. they were able to realize that we might just take that away if you do not concentrate. we doubled the hours from 25 to 50 that a kid has to put behind a wheel with their parents and 10 of those hours had to be at
night and that was just a start. the parent had to sign up before they got their license. i was amazed before the 16-year- old kid could walk into the secretary of state's office and get his license with or without the parents' knowledge. we put that in place that the parent had to sign off on that. from there, secretary white started the task force for this task force brought everybody together. we have judges, lawyers, and school superintendents, we have law enforcement on this task force. we met across the state for the entire summer to hear what we could do to help our young drivers. that is where we ran up coming up with a graduated driver's license. i am proud to say is one of the strictest in the nation. six months after that bill was signed, a team fatalities dropped 47%. -- teen fatalities dropped 47%. it was mentioned yesterday,
everything starts with our teenagers. over time, when you get in your car now, your kid's turn to you and ask you put your seat belt on. it was not too long ago that that was never brought up. over time, working with their teenagers, before you know, cell phones in the car, texting in the car will be a thing of the past. they will drive the car like they are supposed to. another thing we did was we banned cell phone to from teenagers. again, that is something we have to continue. all of these bills, i think, led up to me being able to get the text messaging bill passed. what i will tell you is that there is opposition to this bill. i had opposition in the house. nobody filed opposition but i had 27 votes against the bill in the house. we had six no votes in the senate and seven present votes
in the senate, as well. many people got up and spoke against the bill on the house floor. this amazed me. when you look at the analysis, not one single person oppose the bill. where is the opposition coming from? i have still not been able to find out. not one person presented a good argument on what we should not pass this bill. some of the arguments work because it is a primary stop and to stop text messaging while driving, it has to have some teeth. being a primary stop, being a moving violation, that may deter people from doing it. in chicago, with a cell phone then. -- ban. it is a primary stop but not moving fast. no one pays attention to it because it is a $50 fine. if we make a moving violation
and you get pulled over for text messaging and driving three times, guess what? you will lose your license. you may have a possibility of going to jail. that was what happened on the house floor. that was the biggest concern. people kept asking me questions like do you really think we need to make it a moving offense? do you think people should lose their license over this? my answer is absolutely yes. if you want to stop text messaging and you want to try and make the roads a little safer, you need to make a bill that has some teeth in it. that is my take on it. the other thing that really helped get this bill passed was secretary white formed a task force for this and we met the same thing across the state all summer long. we had everybody on there -- on this committee that could give us some insight.
when i introduced the resolution on the house floor, it passed the house and the senate unanimously. they wanted to form a task force. we want to find out about distracted driving. what could we do to make our roads safer? when i bought the bill to the floor, there are still people that voted against it. i asked them -- they voted for the resolution to study the effects of distracted driving, now we are here with an answer, and you want to vote against it? that baffled me and baffled many other people. that actually wound up winning some support on our side. we need to also work with the press because the press was very instrumental in helping us get a lot of these bills pass. i want to show you this -- i was at a community meeting and there were some people up there opposed to the text messaging
build. i ask one person that stood up," this article is a picture of a guy text messaging and driving. " i asked him what can you see here? >> he said it is something -- someone text message in driving. i asked him what kind of car was in front of him. he could not answer one question. you are focused on the phone. your eyes are not on the road. he politely sat down and i never heard from him again. that was pretty nice. one of the things we also need to do with our law enforcement -- i know that a suburb in my community that i -- not that represent the north of me, they will be doing an undercover sting come january 1. they will have four or five
suburban driving around with a policeman in they're pulling a mix to people, if they are texting, they will pull them over and give them a ticket. that is great because once the word gets out there pulling people over and getting tickets, just like the seat belt law, it will be affected. people will put the phones down. they will drive the car like they're supposed to. thank you for having me here today. i look forward to our discussion. [applause] >> our next speaker is bruce starr from oregon. he is a native oregonian. he is strongly committed to public service and has been serving in the state senate in oregon since 2002. he was reelected in 2006. before that, he served two terms in the oregon house of
representatives and a four-year term in the hills. city council pretty currently serves as vice chair of the oregon senate business committee and that joint ways and means subcommittee on transportation and economic development. he is chair of the national conference of state legislatures surface transportation act working group and as a member of the national conference of state legislators executive committee. we like to welcome him here. [applause] >> good morning. i am pleased to be here. i appreciate secretary la hood and the department of transportation and perspectives on this very important summit on distracted driving. i think i feel compelled to defend the role of state legislators in our federal system of government. state legislators have and continue to play on poured role in this critical discussion and
policy debate. we have legislative leaders this morning. motor vehicle laws are under the purview of the states. these issues have been and will continue to be debated and contemplated in state capitals across the country. there are 50 independent states with state legislators were elected by their constituents to represent the interests in those states. for one to believe that the state legislators across the country will act in a monolithic fashion, i think that is oblivious to the reality of what happens across the country. each state will address these issues in a forum and fashion that best addresses the differences and challenges that are resident within each state. i want to give a real quick snapshot of what has happened in state legislatures over the years. distracted driving is not a new issue for state legislators. in 2001, there were 140 distracted driving bills that were introduced and debated in
43 different states. in eight states, laws were passed. they're mostly laws requiring studies. over the years, a level of distracted driving legislation has remained fairly consistent. every state, at some point, has debated cell phone restriction legislation. currently, california, connecticut, new jersey, new york, oregon, washington, d.c. have handsfree laws in place for it 17 states plus the district of columbia have passed texting bands. seven states have teen-only texting bands. 17 states plus d.c. prevent school bus drivers from using cell phone drivers while offering a bus. 21 states plus d.c. prohibit drivers from using his cell phone while behind the wheel. just this year, 202 bills were up for consideration in 46 states. that is up from one of the 12 bills in 33 states last year.
so far, this year, 20 bills have passed in 13 states. that includes arkansas, colorado, illinois, maryland, north carolina, and virginia. those states of all past texting bands. arkansas, colorado past bans on teens. we passed a hand held ban. connecticut passed legislation prohibiting armed forces from using cell phones. virginia passed a bill for prohibiting bus drivers from using cell phones. the louisiana house passed a resolution asking the department transportation and the department of public safety to study the use of cell phones. as we heard yesterday, senator diamond from the state of maine created a broad distracted driving law. clearly, there is momentum on the texting loss. it is not surprising that the
best research available is specific to this particular issue. i appreciate and applaud the attention that secretary la hood and key members are paying to support an issue. it is important to remember that the federal government cannot force state actions on these issues. we need to address this issue as partners. i was pleased to hear our senators this point talk about the partnership. we should not have one level of government dictating to another certain policy directives. threatening sanctions such as withholding 25% of federal highway dollars for states that do not enact certain policies is certainly using the stick. that is a big stick. rather than the carrot approach. i would encourage the secretary and the congress to view state legislators as partners and create an incentive path to a nationwide implementation of distracted driving laws. this is the most constructive
direction to take with state legislators. having an experience with colleagues across the country from many states, workers like federal mandate and federal sanction do not play well having the congress demonstrate tough love is not the kind of direction that leads to constructive and productive action. the relationship around safety belts was an incentive-based process. we have examples of processes that have not turned out well. i would point out the fat -- fiasco of the real id. there is a process that can get things done. there is a key important process that each of these levels of government can apply. one of the most important roles that the federal government can have is the conversations surrounding research. as we heard yesterday, there are significant gaps in the research. the federal government can
continue to commission independent non-biased scientific research to inform state lawmakers and federal lawmakers to drive the appropriate policy responses. i would point to the safety belt example as an important one to contemplate as we look at these issues surrounding distracted driving. policy-makers have real numbers on lives that will be said by enacting primary seatbelt laws. these numbers come through -- have come to research funded by federal agencies and state groups. unfortunately, it is difficult to tell legislators how many crashes will be bought -- prevented by passing a cell phone or texting banbury we do not have the hard data. we have studies and they are good studies. they tell us that using the cell phone raises the risk of a crash but beyond that, there is little else. this is a key role that the federal government can play to fill the gaps in research. i think there is an important partnership that can be forged
on the education front. that is a common thing we heard from the u.s. centers this morning. yesterday, we saw an example of partnership where you have the private sector working together with government to educate americans about the dangers of texting while driving. education is a key component of any kind of campaign to change texting behavior's of american drivers. state and federal governments partnering with stakeholder groups can make a significant impact on driver behavior. i would point to the huge benefits and successes we have had with safety belts. it was commented on this morning. technology is next. it is both the villain and the savior in this discussion. technology is causing at least a portion of the distracted driving crashes in america today it is clear that technology will be the solution to many of those crashes in the future.
i believe the congress could provide incentives for the private sector to rapidly deploy new safety technology in the next generation of automobiles. i think that is something that should be done and it is relatively easily accomplished. i am pleased by the willingness of the private sector industry associations and their member companies to work together to implement the next generation of technology while helping to educate americans and american youth about the increased use of inappropriate of technology in vehicles today. a one-size-fits-all mandated by the federal government rarely works as legislators were to craft legislation that that's the vagaries of each of our states. to conclude, i believe that state legislators are willing to work as partners with members of congress, the united states senate, and the department of transportation and the many stakeholders in this room. this will recognize their common
goal of reducing crashes and patel is on our nation's highways. i believe that is critical to our long-term success. i appreciated your time. [applause] >> our next speaker is representative stephen farley. he is a state representative from the arizona state legislator for district 28 in tucson and serves as a policy leader for the house democrats pretty as ranking member of the transportation committee. is a member of the ways and means committee. importantly, he is the founder of the southern arizona transit advocates and was one of the first legislators in the country to introduce legislation in january, 2007, to ban driving while texting. to show that legislators and transit advocates can have multi dimensional lives, it is important to point out that stephen farley is a national recognized artist. is recognized for his large- scale tile murals and
multifaceted public art projects involving individuals, communities, and nonprofit groups across the country. please welcome steve farley. [applause] >> thank you so much. i want to thank the secretary for inviting me today. it is truly an honor and privilege to be among so many well-informed colleagues, all of home no that this is an issue that is vital and knees to be dealt with. that does not necessarily mean it is easy to come up with a ban on something as dangerous as texting while driving, particularly when you're dealing with a libertarian legislature. let me regale you with a little tale i call the nanny-state diaries. in arizona, we do things differently. we tended to things that get is mentioned on the daily show a lot. [laughter] remember the peace that ed hlems
did about a proposed bill to allow guns in bars? he interviewed a state representative who quit the constitution to the rule book of golf. we actually pass that bill this year over the loud objections of most bar owners and most of the drinking public. if you want to bring your gun to a bank for day care center, you are free to do that, too. those laws just went into place yesterday. traffic safety for humans has never been a big legislative priority in arizona. [laughter] in fact, it is illegal to drive with an unrestrained dog in your pick up that but it is legal to drive with an unrestrained child in a pickup bed. there is no primary seat belt law. there is no booster seat for any kids older than 5. there are plenty of us who have tried to pass these laws and in most cases they simply do not get hurt. there are a few reasons for
this. in arizona, ideology often trump's pragmatism. the majority party moderates are too often defeated in their primaries. traffic safety laws have to contend with community chairs who refuse to hear laws from people they disagree with. it is not that arizona legislators are against public safety. in public safety vs. individual rights, the arizona legislative majority tends to come down on the right side most of the time. there are important exceptions. on the driving well texting ben, i worked with a senator -- a senior republican in 2008 and he was defeated later in his republican primary by a much more conservative challenger. that is often what happens when people work across the aisle. things may be changing, however. the public, regardless of ideology or party background, do support traffic safety legislation. they realize we have new
challenges to meet. they want all political patterns changed in order to do what is right for the people of arizona. 87% of arizonans won an outright ban on driving while texting. bills to continue to be squashed and blatantly partisan and ideological ways. here are three stories of attempting to ban driving while texting agreed in january, 2007, i raise the issue and introduced bill 2129. the chairman of the house transportation committee refused to allow it to be heard in any committee. it died but i got a ton of media attention. we had a radical accident later that year. i will talk about that? and later. in 2008, i gained new allies. i introduced bill 2396 and the same chair refused to hear it. i was able to find a germain bill that happen to be on the senate floor that had already
gone through the house and would not have to go through that committee. i managed to get bipartisan support from enough senators to be allowed to put that amendment to amend the texting ban on to the bill onto the floor. there was strong opposition. one of the centers act introduced 105 amendments to try and kill it. some of the amendments were banning everything from talking to your kids to everything else and being able to make that a felony. there was a lot of absurd argument. s. the senate president and the senate leadership was so horrified by the idea that i have the votes because i killed all of his amendment, that they stopped debate in the middle and never restarted it. that is against senate rules. you cannot do anything else until you restarted. they went ahead and did it so it died.
i had support from the cell phone industry for that bill. this past session, i introduced the same bill, same result with my bill, but a conservative republican senator introduced my bill without telling me. later in the session, it got passed through committee. i ask about it. i asked if he wanted help. he said he could do it by himself. it died in the senate floor luckily, that particular member has said he may be willing to work with me next year. i'm looking forward to that. i think he will get it done because in part, this kind of publicity is going over very well in arizona. here is an example of how much we have to deal with in the entrenched ideological opposition. this is a quote . who do think said this last
month? yes, that is the current director of the governor's office of highway safety. i spoke with him last week and says he understands the issue better than when he made that statement. he may change his mind. we will say. hopefully, this group will help. another popular argument against driving while texting is we have got too darn many laws. this is from the chairman of the house transportation committee, the same guy who has refused to hear the traffic safety laws. perhaps some new laws need to be enacted in response to new technology. guess who led the drive to preserve a new law requiring all dui offenders eight 0.8 or above to install interlock devices on their cars even as the first advance. the same chairman of the house transportation committee. he made that statement that we have too many laws but in some cases, he sees the importance and i see opportunity there.
maybe just because i'm a democrat. [laughter] the next slide, please. this first argument here is an argument that we see a lot. it's as we cannot single out texting. every other distraction is said to be equally dangerous. it is important to realize that this virginia tech study puts the mail in the coffin of that argument for it when your 23 hunter% more likely to get an argument while texting, that is a whole mother level of risk. many opponents bring up the argument that you can't enforce the law. regarding this particular quote -- i am not sure how old are you can be to pass in cups if you are absorbent texting. i think that is a difficult thing to be watching while texas. if you are, your driving pretty well, anyway.
our law enforcement panelist will address this. simply having belong on the books and the publicity surrounding law will stop many potential text worse before they started most of us have a little, and our heads that tells what to do and a law strengthens that cop. we have some power for allies. victims' families are some of the most powerful. the people who have suffered the ultimate consequences are dedicated and credible spokespeople for i. one man's fiancee was killed by a driver crossed over the central library he told me want to dedicate his life to obtaining a driving while texting ban in her memory. city councils are important. after my first but was not heard and following the media frenzy, the city council moved to enact a citywide ban on driving while texting on their own.
other errors on the councils have followed suit the media is important also. this is the first headline i got on the bill. it is a backhand compliment, i guess. they started out cynical and then in august, we have that accident, a whole series of accidents in june, july, and august of 2007 across the country created a firestorm of controversy. last month, the arizona republic editorialized in favor of a ban. the were the driving while texting is dangerous penetrate more deeply to a public, potential stopping people from doing it in the first place. aaa and other organizations have been helpful. those who see firsthand the victims of all actions have been speaking out. they are very credible. insurance companies recognize the rest. wireless companies are coming forward. verizon was helpful to me. they brought on board sprint and
at&t to support my band starting in 2008. to wrap it up, i will end with a few lessons i have learned on this long, strange trip it do not give up. no matter the road blocks. look for those who are also committed to the cause, use the media. there is one problem that can be solved through appeals to the public. passing a ban is only one means of ending this goal -- to the goal of ending driving while taxing. do not make assumptions about who will help. reach out to allies and the creative. we're saving lives here. we have to keep up the fight. thank you for everything you're doing to save lives. [applause] >> thank you, steve. our next speaker is major david salmon of the new york state police. he has been with the police for 28 years. in 2000, he was promoted to
captain and assigned to the traffic services section where he was instrumental in implementing sombanning the usef cell phones started in march of 2007, he was promoted to as current position he manages all traffic safety programs for the new york state police including commercial vehicle enforcement programs for it is an active member of the international association of chiefs of police and has had leadership positions in several law enforcement organizations. please welcome a major salmon. [applause] .
i would like to offer the assistance of the highway safety -- how bracy the committee to improve traffic i oversee the agency's traffic safety programs and was involved in the planning and implementation for the enforcement of the nation's first law prohibiting the use of hand-held phones while driving, which was enacted in 2001. since then, we have witnessed a tremendous proliferation against -- across the entire mobile industry, including many computers eberhardt be on the scene when new york enacted its law in 2001. -- that were hardly on the scene when new york enacted its fought in 2001. so, i submit to you from a
traffic safety standpoint we should not limit our discussion of distracted driving to sell funds and texting because doing so will only ensure that any mitigation is derived are soon antiquated or in need of amendment. in fact, in 2001 in response to calls for a statewide ban on cell phone use the new york state police and division of criminal justice services issued a statement to prevent all types of distracted driving. earlier thisç year lawmakers attended to mitigate texting while driving. while these laws are no doubt an improvement to protect safe driving, the statutory means to prevent tragedy on a far greater scale. it does not prohibit using
mobile phones or even dialing them, for that matter. it only prohibits talking with the fall near your ear. police officers in new york state issued more than 81,000 tickets for using the phone while driving. in the six years to follow, enforcement of the mobile phone law increased more than 80%. tickets accounted for about 8% of total tickets issued. that is not an insignificant number of total traffic enforcement. it is -- and is contrary to a somewhat widespread cell phone use. without significant enforcement campaigns or media attention since the first year. the effectiveness of all of that enforcement acting as a deterrent has been difficult to assess because of the continual
growth in cell phone use during the same time. nonetheless, i concede that the effort is not effective enough that cellphone use continues to be widespread on new york highways. i might point out, however, that this is also true of nearly every traffic safety threat, including speeding, impaired driving, and numerous others and does not mean that law enforcement has failed in its mission. new york state recorded record low traffic fatalities last year and not coincidentally, enforcement's that our record high. in recent years it has become clear that holding a phone to your ear and chatting has not been the only threat to safety traveling during in response, our legislature enacted a new portable electronic devices law which beginning november 1, will prohibit the use of electronic devices while operating a vehicle in motion. unfortunately, it includes a secondary provision. it requires another law
violation to be incurred before it can be enforced, which will certainly make a police officer's ability to stop the very behavior's that legislators deemed dangerous enough to warrant a lot in the first place. in my 30 years of experience in law enforcement, it has been my observation that certain elements will be in effect. there are mechanical elements such as clarity and enforceability if the law is not clear or requires police said officers to tally numerous elements, the some of which equals a violation, then bought -- the law will not be enforced well. if the officer personally believes something is dangerous as well as illegal, he or she is very likely to enforce that law. and organizational priority, if enforcement of a particular statute is an organizational priority, meaning police leadership wants it done, whether it is the sergeant, the share, or the chief, officers
will usually respond. i would like to draw from my experiences in law enforcement in general and with new york's current laws to provide recommendations that might serve the purposes of this summit. first, as i said when i began, technology is ever changing and is merely an element of the broader issue of destructive driving. i caution against not dealing with the larger issue of destruction -- driver distraction as it will lead to perpetual revision. as the next technology emerges, and it surely will, legislators will need to amend for improved safety. what is needed is a statutory authority to stop an insight drivers -- and to cite drivers for a wide variety of factors that would affect traffic safety. this would convey drivers that while the vehicle is in motion, driving must be their sole function.
secondly, one needs to look no further than the history of restraint enforcement to learn that secondary laws do not work. they conveyed to the police and the broader public alike that the prohibited behavior is not a dangerous or not that important. study after study has shown that a safety belt use in states with secondary restraint laws lags well behind that of primary enforcement states. this is why some states are now amending their secondary laws to allow primary enforcement. lives are at stake and police officers need the statutory authority to halt the beers that threaten safety. where secondary statutes are concernedç, all officers are required to sit back and wait for another event to happen first. that creates a dangerous risk for others on the road. or worse, the citation is issued after the crash has occurred. leaving the office are helpless to prevent the incident. -- the officer helpless to
prevent the incident. these require 365 date and your emphasis across all law enforcement, and not short-lived campaigns. with the focus is speeding, and drunk driving, seat belt enforcement, or distracted driving, the law enforcement calendar is becoming full of special enforcement time frames to the point that routine road control will be considered a special detail. while major campaigns have been extremely effective, that model must be employed selectively and with the full support of law enforcement. law enforcement has a broad range of responsibilities competing for time and attention, including drugs, gangs, state schools, street violence, homeland security, etc. we cannot lose perspective of that as administrators when we attempt to address each issue on an individual basis. we must invite the trooper
officer on the road who is the one who, of course, makes all the difference. when he or she perceives traffic and what is the fifth -- flavor of the week, we lose their commitment and ultimately their commitment to safety. we can attribute the campaign's success to the willingness of the police department to participate along with the political pressure also comes the financial burden of implementing the programs. if congress or state legislators or the governor's highway safety representatives expect heightened enforcement and awareness, that happens that by getting more cops on the road and maur messaging to the public. and that means funding. i do not want to give you the impression that traffic enforcement is a pay to play activity because it is not. however, when running a police
department, a school or a household, the project has a better chance of influencing organizational priorities than one that is not. as i mentioned previously, if the issue is a priority to the boss, it will likely be embraced by the officer on the road. hopefully i have covered a pretty broad spectrum of issues of enforcement in general, as well as our experiences with the hand-held cell phone law in new york as well as the portable electronics law coming up november 1. i would like to offer my personal assistance to you as well as the assistance of the highway safety committee as we grapple together with the hazards presented by destructive driving. but ultimately, whether or not your state has provisions regarding distracted tree -- distracted driving beaters, law- enforcement deals with the speeders on a daily basis -- driving distracted behavior, law enforcement deals with these behaviors on a daily basis. thank you. [applause]
>> our final catalyst this morning before we go to questions and answers is born in betkey. prior to becoming -- is vernon betkey. prior to its current office he spent 25 years with the state police. he has been active in a great number of highway safety organizations, which is how he now rose to being chairman of the ghsa./ he brings a breadth of experience not only state leadership side, but will share with us some of the observations that have been happening in several states. thanks [applause] >> good morning, everyone. it is a pleasure to be here. like everyone else, thanks,
secretary lahood for putting this summit together. and burn in the national attention to highway safety that it deserves. and yesterday we heard a lot about the epidemic -- and i think someone mentioned it today -- how distracted driving is an epidemic. the deaths and injuries that we're facing on our highways is to the eight -- an epidemic. it is a public safety issue and it is refreshing to see that we're receiving national attention that we deserve for our highway safety initiatives. i know a lot of you are very much involved in those highway safety partnerships and are stakeholders in highway safety. it is a pleasure also to announce that -- if you were listening to the television this morning were reading the paper, you saw the marylandç texting w went into effect. we are very proud to be part of the movement to ban texting in the nation. just to get a bit of background on who the governor's highway
association -- governor's highway safety association is preparing nonprofit organization that focuses on behavioral highway safety issues. we represent the 50 highway safety offices as well as the four territories, district of columbia and puerto rico as well. and with our programs, distracted and driving is one of the ones that comes to the forefront. the next slide, please. we have received a bit of attention lately on our policy in regard to destructive driving. in our meeting in september we met as a unit in savannah and we looked at the distracted driving policy that the organization had and we made some changes. one of the changes was the membership recommended that we
go for a national ban on texting. that is what we did. restrengthen our policy by doing that. but we also have a part of our policy, that no one uses electronic devices while they are operating a motor vehicle. we have not gone and said we want a total ban on those devices, but just that we recommend that people take a personal responsibility and do not use electronic devices while they're driving and take their eyes off the runway. we're also in favor of the novice driver band, schoolbus ban and we also favor employer policies. it is the personal responsibility of the employer to be looking out for its employees enter ticket on as a customer -- and to take it on as a customer policy as well. so they are protecting not only their employees, but the folks
coming into their businesses and organizations and products. if their employees are out there and they're not paying attention to what they're doing, they're a danger to the motoring public. and we have heard today some comments about the different legislative items that have occurred across the state and we know that more than 200 bills in 2009 in the 43 states and that the amount of states that have passed texting laws, you know, the ones that have the hands- free exceptions or the school bus or novice driver bairns, but there are also some existing ones out there with a background in law enforcement. yesterday was the 36th anniversary of myself going to the maryland state police academy. i can remember prior to the safety belt laws and so forth when we were patrolling the
highways, there was still distracted driving. there's still plenty of different things that were going on. but distracted driving laws did not exist. but negligent driving laws existed. feeling to drive within a single law existed -- a single lane existed. stop sign violations, read by violations, they're all there. and for those states that do not have a distracted driving law, a texting ban, the law enforcement can use existing laws to enforce some of those behaviors. the days where people were putting on makeup and eating and not driving within their lane, they may not have been on so funds -- those things still continue today, but but they have been exacerbated by the electronic devices that we have seen come forth in recent years. some of the legislative challenges that we face, it is
very difficult to legislate our way out of an issue. we would need to make sure that whatever laws are passed, that they are enforceable and that we can use our law enforcement to enforce those laws and we will not get the public disobedience of laws that are not enforceable. i think we have seen that in the past. how many people in this room have speeded in their life down the highway? not you, huh? [laughter] we have one true, good soil in the room. -- good soul in the room. [laughter] we do not want the texting bands or the cellphone bans çto take over.
it is quite an accomplishment to get 8%. i applaud the leadership for making a stand and making a priority. destruction is definitely something that is causing crashes -- destructiodestractios definitely something that is causing crashes. one thing that is very clear that has come out of this summit is that we do not have all the answers. there are certainly a lot more that we need to know and research and data in the future can certainly help us do that. we need to continue in that research. we feel that putting together a systematic, comprehensive approach to this highway safety issue is where we need to go. it cannot be piecemeal or stovepipe. it has to be a consequence of --
conference of we're doing this. the research will help us start that, and also, the data. there are 29 states in the territory that have adopted muck, the model minimum crash criteria. there are fields for attention and for distracted. those data elements are used to help with the highway safety program. what the problem is that -- and you might find this hard to believe, but people do not always tell the truth. [laughter] when you go to investigate a crash and music, where you on a cell phone? no, i was not on the cellphone. the windshield was broken and the guy had visible injuries to his head and i said, did you have your seat belt on? and he said, yeah, i did. ok. [laughter]
but we need the model legislation that everyone talked about. the primary has to be there. the laws have to be enforceable. with the enforcement comes the adjudication. if the usual side does not support our law enforcement -- if the judicial side does not support our law enforcement officers, they are apt to be apathetic as well. we found that not only with our impaired driving and other laws, but this could be another place where the apathy of the court rules over into law enforcement. we want to make sure that does not happen and we can carry forward and get things done. with any highway safety program, there has to be a good education program. if we invest in a public education program, we need to have strong enforcement. we know they high-visibility enforcement campaign coupled with a good public education
campaign that is well funded and well-planned works. we have seen it with impaired driving. it will work. we certainly hope that's when the -- we hope that the when the plants are made it will be adequate. we want to be careful that if we are investing in as we are not weakening our other programs. it has been a pleasure to be here and speak with you. i look forward to discussion. thank you all very much. [applause] >> thank you, we have got a good bit of time for some questions. just a reminder, we have microphones at both ends of the room. will also be taking questions
from our watchers on the wet. why don't i start with you, sir? >> my name is bob green and i run a program called survives the drive for high school groups. i will be looking for you officers on the taconic parkway. thank you very much. something i find missing from this program is coming in 1999, i was on an advisory committee on graduated licensing and it is a decade later and we actually have had almost 400,000 fatalities in that length of time. when we are developing new research models, they are dependent upon a certain amount of fatalities and injuries in that time, but the big thing i find missing here is there is no reference to the world health organization and the united nations.
and their advisers from late last four or five years -- advisories from the last four or five years, they have a compendium of information on the worldwide health problem here. they projected that traffic injuries and fatalities will become the leading cause of death on the planet, the third leading cause of death on the planet by 2020. there's a bigger, larger, global situation here. but i would like to see some reference to these world wide incentives in terms of what the u.s. is doing. thank you. >> thanks, i will take your observation, but i'm not sure i heard a question, so i will go to the next. go ahead. >> i'm with the national safety council. i'm struggling in a little bit -- and i guess i will direct this to centre starke. first, thank you for all of the
work that is going on. i heard you mention the hard data issue, and we talked a bit earlier about how difficult it is to accurately collect crash data aren't distracted driving -- on distracted driving. we make decisions on inaccurate data. if we have a tremendous amount of research that distracted driving is very bad, especially as it pertains to sell funds. -- sell phones. we do not have good access data. is that going to be a huge barrier to get state laws passed? it feels like we should not have to hurt and killed a bunch of people to prove that something is bad. we have all of this research out there. one additional question -- i struggle a little bit about this issue of sanctions verses incentives. i'm kind of new to this
business. and i also heard you say that it is not a good way to work with states, the sanctions, but the very next presenter talked about what is happening in arizona. my reaction was, wow, how are we ever going to get anything done? could you talk a bit more about that? >> certainly, i think the data that we have seen in this conference yesterday in particular, i think the texting is clear. that is why you see so much a significant momentum on the texting issue. but the 23 times --number that e heard yesterday i think it's clear. that is why you're going to see significant movement on texting. you have already seen it. if there's a state law that is moving faster than anything else, it is texting. i expect that to continue. the country will enact anti-
texting laws. but i will tell you based on my experience that when the federal government mandates certain things to states, there are certain states -- an arizona might be one of them -- but there are other states that just purely because of a federal mandate get their hackles up and say, those folks in washington d.c. think they know everything about everything and we are elected to represent our folks. that is where you get this tension between the state and federal governments. in this particular case, as it relates to texting, and senate hernandez and schumer and others have supported it if it ultimately moves forward. and that's hernandez talks about it as a phase in the timeframe. temeka it seems so obvious.
rea for a lot of data about the fact that the vast majority of drivers know that using a cell phone while they drive is perhaps not as safe as when they do not what they drive, and yet, the vast majority of drivers continue to do so. there is that tension there because we as legislators are required to represent our constituents. if there was better information about hands-free, i think that would be helpful. it is clear that there is confusion on that data, whether it is that hands-free is safer than hand-held. i think it would be good to have additional data. but ultimately, i think this conversation will move forward. i think legislators will be responsive to their constituents.
we have heard colleagues here on the panel, about creating coalitions, finding alliesç. that can certainly move this discussion forward. having real-life anecdotes of families that have been impacted by this has a powerful impact on state legislators. >> steve, did you want to say something? >> yeah, you might be surprised given what i said about arizona, but i agree whispers about a federal mandate aspect. but for very specific reasons. i mentioned that ruch -- that conservative republican senator who introduced my bill last year without telling me and now says he wants to work with me, actually, the day that schumer came out and said he wants to do a statewide -- a nationwide ban and wants the states to do it, he said he no longer supported a ban on texting. he has since changed his mind.
you say the words federal mandate in arizona and they will reach for their gun. [laughter] i am concerned that this is going to set back some of the efforts that i have tried to put in place already. i have to work with people who have been elected. i do agree we need a nationwide ban on this, because it is so of regis -- it is so egregious, but i think someone like senator shermer who is thought of in arizona as just another liberal, is not going to help me in my state to try to get abn in arizona. -- to try to get it banned in arizona. >> not only was i involved in the legislation when it was bad, but is also true that arizona
has a drinking age of 21 and a 0.08 blood on content law. the issue on the other side of the sanction challenge is that it is the only thing proven to get national compliance as quickly as it gets. i want to move around the room. >> i am a professor of economics at johns hopkins university. my question relates to the technologies that might become available to facilitate and help enforcement bans on other texting or cell phone use in automobiles. when we were confronted by the dangers of seatbelts, there was this aggravating light that blinks in front of me until i put my seat belt on. the very simple technology applied for the purpose of
enforcement. for drunken-driving, we have breathalyzer. that was technology greeted specifically for that purpose. and for speeding, of course, we have radar, which was the technology advanced specifically for that purpose. what potential technology is on the horizon to facilitate bands of texting and cell phone use in automobiles? i address this to the entire panel. thank you. >> we have some experts that are here. >> there really are a variety of technologies that are capable today of detecting destruction of a variety of forms and warning the driver. actually, once you detect it, you can have a variety of choices that vehicle
manufacturers or regulators could impose to make it safer. on the specific issue of cell phone use, there are technologies that are being developed and some even marketed today that when there is a gps in the cell phone, as the vehicle begins to move, there are other rhythms that can block the cellphone use. -- there are algorishythms that can block the cellphone use. ? and we have representatives from companies were developing the technologies here and some of them have displays outside. once we break up this session in about 30 minutes, if you make a left out of these doors, you will see some of those displaced from some manufacturers. i encourage you to take a look. i want to take a question from the web.
>> some people have said that cell phone use is as serious a problem as a drunk driving. q's seavey two problems -- do you see the two problems resulting the sameç level of death and injury in your state? >> i can speak for new york and go back to the fact that it is difficult to get the crash data that was mentioned earlier to address that issue. i can say that we see a lot of serious crashes that are a result of distracted driving, whether cellphone, texting -- and usually it is the horrific ones that grab the attention of media and bring it to the attention of everyone. but to really fine-tune it to the point where you can say, compared to driving under the influence of all alcohol or drugs, because of the crash data, it is difficult to make that comparison at this time. >> but i think there's no question that the type of
impairment you are under in the middle of a text is similar to that of when you are drinking. the only difference is that when you are drinking you cannot look up from your drinking and see the road clearly again. the impairment level while you are doing it is the same. that is why i am hoping there are more studies in talking about that comparison. as you saw in my side, there are some people strongly opposed to a texting ban in arizona to are also in favor of some of the strongest drug driving laws in the nation. making that comparison will be key. >> my name is ross fine. i'm a professor of medicine at the university of alabama at birmingham. and director of the only university transportation center to my knowledge that has actually been based by dot in a school of medicine. just before going on, i want to
look over and acknowledge my longtime friend, chuck hurley, ceo of mothers against drunk driving, whom my wife and i have known for many years because we established the first m.a.d.d. chapter in the state of illinois about 25 years ago. my question is for major salmon and is based on some of our experience in trying to affect anti-drunk driving legislation. you indicated new york state has issued thousands of tickets. aside from the offenders who pleaded guilty and send in their money for their fines, among those who have chosen to fight the ticket, and i suspect there have been a substantial number, and among that subset who may have been successful in fighting the ticket, are you aware of the legal theory that they have used
in their defense? and i see that in in anti-drunk driving context because we were astonished during our lengthy experience with mothers against drunk driving, we were astonished with the number of workshops that suddenly sprung up all over the country teaching defense of drunk driving tickets to defense attorneys. >> i think a very small percentage of even those folks who fight a traffic citation actually go to trial. i do not think -- i personally do not have any information on the theory that would be used to get them off, but what i can comment on is that another major player in the enforcement role is the back end of the system. that is, the prosecutors and the adjudication of the ticket.
if we do not get at some point the local justices and the town justices on board and educate them to the dangers of this, they tend to turn a blind eye to these tickets and a lot of times we see them summarily dismissed or severely reduced, largely because of a lack of understanding and knowledge of just what the dangers of this act is. >> i think, perhaps later in the morning, chuck hurley might choose to speak to their particular issue because i was astonished -- and it's to guzzle a long time to overcome the inertia of the apathy that seemed to be reflected in the judicial system. thank you for what you're doing. >> thank you. >> i'm judy with advocates for highway and auto safety. at the risk of setting a precedent, i think we have the first team question. david and i realize we were born to ask the same question, so i
said, let's go up together. i do want to say thank you for having a legislative presence here at this conference. it has been great having both u.s. congress represented and these wonderful people from the state legislators -- legislatures because my impression is that we need to do both. as farç as the schumer bill is concerned, we support it and yes, we do support sanctions. i'm sure it will not come as a surprise to anyone in this room that we do, because they work. that is the simple fact. they work. if you're ever interesting in highway safety laws passed, that is the most efficient way to do it. sanctions are not in the schumer bill right now, but we did that in 0.08 and it worked. >> my name is david snyder and i represent the american insurance -- insurance association.
we will make texting while driving an effective band -- and effective bans against it in major priority on state and federal levels. we believe firmly that if you look at the history of highway safety -- and by the way, there's a lot of good that has been accomplished. we estimate that without the highway safety efforts of the last 30 years, instead of 36,000 killed last year, it would have been 150,000. and instead of the millions injured, it would have been double or triple. all those engaged in highway safety should take a great deal of pride in that. but key to fund them -- but key to our effective work in the legislation and fighting the epidemic of teen driving issues has been legislation. we have found it to be the absolute anchor by which all
other entities both public and private need to be attached. let me turn it back to judy with respect to our specific question. >> we want to ask -- this is like a little show here. [laughter] >> we are waiting for that team question. >> it is about a model bill. i have talked to a couple of legislators recently who are not here today who have said, please, get a model bill because there have been some provisions that have made it into some of these state laws that maybe should not be there or some that are not there that should be. would it be helpful -- here's the question -- for there to be a model law produced by some very smart group of people here at the federal level and in the state's for your work in the state legislators? -- s. legislatures? >> i guess that would be helpful.
but the reality is that the legislative process works its way across the country in different forms and fashions and ultimately, you're going to have the individual stamp of that particular state capitol on that particular law. if there is a model legislation that is put together by some safety organization or group or the federal government for that matter, that may be helpful as a starting point for legislators, but ultimately it will be crafted in a way that meshes with the existing statutes that each state has. >> i agree with what brewster said. i think the bottom line is that we have got to make sure that we get a law passed and what ever is going to be accepted by that state, we have to make sure that we put together -- you know, as long as we get the law on the books. that is the bottom line. if you come up with model legislation, i just do not know
if everyone would accept it. there was a lot of backlash from my legislation in illinois and i felt like that was a pretty good bill. >> what really helped me in arizona was if you get all of the insurance lobbyists to put this as their first priority and hammer it as they would on tax breaks. >> we will work very hard on that, guaranteed. >> and i did want to mention, regarding the financial sanctions, i know they have worked. and i think they could work. but you have to be very careful that when you throw federal mandates sanctions into an ideologically charged legislature, particularly this year -- i think politics in this country have changed in many ways since the last time we did seatbelt and the drinking age. there are people in leadership positions in arizona who are totally start of easter's --
starved of easter's and have barely concealed glee at our financial difficulty right now because it is an opportunity to cut government down. to size, in their mind. an opportunity -- to cut government down to size, in their mind. an opportunity to reduce the size of government, it is something you are providing an opportunity for people to do rather than incentivizing them to do something. it could backfire in theç case of some states. you saw that some of the stimulus money, some of the governors in states were refusing it because of the so- called strings. but a lot of that was because they wanted to downsize. we have to watch out for that. it is a potential pitfall. >> john seybert, with the department of defense safety office. my questions are primarily for mr. starr and mr. betkey and with your abilities with the
state legislatures and governors associations. what would be your recommendations with moving forward to get the other 30 states to enact legislation that is similar to what is already in place with the 20 states? within the department of defense, we have already prohibited hand-held cell phones and other electronic devices on military installations. however, our members are not being killed on our installations. they're being killed on state highways. i would like your recommendations for what the next step is for those 30 states. >> that is a good question. part of that is one of the reasons that we are here today, to elevate the issue and educate the public. but i think also, education of state legislators as it relates to the risks associated with driving while texting.
you have got 300 or so people in this room representing stakeholders from top to bottom. all it takes is an effort to communicate the message with steep -- with state legislators and you can make things happen. we have heard examples of how you successfully move legislation through the process. it is about coalitions and allies and friends and building the momentum to move the legislation. when i have heard since i've been here that you have to sell phone companies supporting these kinds of moves and insurance companies and industry members that are supporting the moves forward, that provides a significant foundation to move legislation. we have heard aaa mentioned more than once in this conference. they have representatives in every legislature in the country as far as i know. and again, they are consumers.
there's a process that i think you can move forward to get legislation passed. it is going to take effort and some time, but at a summit like this, it elevates the issue to a degree that maybe it has not been to in the past. >> we would like to take a question from the web. >> let me say first that i'm 54 years old. that is the person. [laughter] >> happy birthday. >> i am a lot older than that. [laughter] i'm concerned with the discussions both yesterday and today that seem to overly emphasized problems with teenage drivers and distractions. from my personal experience, almost every case of distracted driving is primarily people talking on the cellphone and driving poorly has been adults. does the speaker acknowledged that the driving distraction problem is not just with teenagers, but the wider
population? >> that is a really important question. i wanted to bring it up also. no one has really defined what texting is. we have just said "texting." i do not think it is just teenagers texting "lol" to each other. i just realized how addictive this practice is because i just got my blackberry and those of us who are tied "a" personalities -- type "a" personalities, we think about those e-mails piling up as we're doing the bowring drive between tucson and phoenix, for example. it is a very powerful thing to make us want to go to do it. i've talked to journalists and they have the same sort of things. it is answering e-mails. i have two e-mails coming in on my device and it is something that is always bothering you. you just think, i could arrive
at the office and i would not have all of this work to do that i have piling up right now. and then the policeman in my head kicked in and said, no, that idea. i think it is the same thing that we saw with aaa yesterday. this is all across age levels. it is not just teenagers. but the issue with teenagers are very bad -- that is very bad is that their inexperience. but we have to look at it across the board. >> i wouldç just trying to poit out a couple of things. yesterday, we were discussing modeling behavior on the part of parents. i will claim some personal guilt over this. my wife and i, we both have very busy jobs, and we try to get out of town a little early on friday to beat the traffic. we are trying to get on the road and we're also trying to stay on top of business as it closes down on a friday. we have caught each other and
slapped our devices out of each other's hands. the whole discussion of modeling yesterday really made me appreciate. i still have a son that his four years away from a driving age, but it is not like he is not watching. one really does have to reflect on that. the other thing i would point out -- there is good intercity bus service between phoenix and tucson. [laughter] you can get all that work done on the bus if you need to. >> can you help me with a real, though? >> we can talk about it. >> i'm a professor at the university of rhode island. just to let steve know, i went to the university of arizona. so, i knew exactly what you're talking about. but here is the issue, we started studies on distracted driving about eight or 10 years ago. we collected figures that are startling. since that -- in fact, some of
them are outside on display that shows the driver's eye movement. 10 years ago we could see these videos and i changed my driving habits. i stopped using my cellphone while driving. the next part of this is if we know that swine flu was identified as a harlem last year and this year we have a solution -- identified as a problem last year and this year we have a solution to it, that is one sennhenn have to look at a remedy that everyone has and we do not know for problems like distracted driving and we do not have an answer for them. the question really is the following appeare. we have talked about problems
that currently exist, but there are so many problems that are an issue and will come out in time, but we have no way of addressing them. for example, you have legal driving at 0.08 and if you're using a cell phone at 0.06, what level are you out with that kind of destruction? we can wait a long time for data to come along and say, yes, this is a problem. do you see any way forward where we can actually start anticipating what these problems are going to be, or do we have to wait for the answers to pile up before we come up with answers? >> i certainly wish there was a wavy we could have a crystal ball and look into the future and see what the next highway issue is going to be. i think the research you are
doing at university, the research will continue with many of our different highway safety issues. it is going to help us in the future. unfortunately, while we try to move for to get legislation, the legislature in my experience has always asked for the data. show us the data. what does the research tell us? they do not take steps to be pro-active in passing laws. they want to know what has happened and what are the implications to the state and why they should passed those laws. and maybe our legislators could comment on that. >> i think the best thing we can do to prevent any type of problem is educating the public. as a legislator, when i hear from people back home in my district that i represent, that makes everyone of us act and try to get something done.
i know we did the text messaging bill and there were a lot of problems. but through the help of the media, we were able to educate the public and that helped to get a lot of support to get the bill passed. >> we have less than nine minutes left and i want to get to as many questions as we can in that time. >> i will be quick. i'm from zero fatalities. you have talked about the need for a well funded education and enforcement program and wanted to compare this with drunk driving. it has been well documented and there is research out there that texting while driving is comparableç to a 0.08 blood alcohol content. yet, there are a lot of federal incentive grants available for states to run a comprehensive dui programs. what is going to take to have similar programs for distracted driving? >> i think that is part of what
this summit is about is to look into those issues to see whether or not we can make plans for future funding to do those kinds of campaigns for distracted driving. we want to make sure -- we look at what we have learned in the past and, that is, the high- visibility enforcement campaign coupled with a media campaign works. if we're going to do a campaign with distracted driving, we have to have all of the elements of a highway safety program. we cannot just put it into one area. >> that would be a great addition to a schumer-menendez bill. we had those kinds of efforts on the "click for tickeit or ti campaign. if the federal bills were able to move forward and able to include those opportunities, it would make a big difference with
the states. >> the average driver is train and tested once in their lifetime at the point at which they first become a licensed driver in their state. could it distracted driving education be part of a renewal process and with that more frequent renewal help? >> it was to set a couple of minutes ago that education is very important. the more we can educate the public on the different driving beaters' that need to be corrected to improve highway safety, the better off we will be as a whole. >> i'm going to ask esque to go to a lightning round of fact questions and fought -- fast answers. >> i'm with the american motorcyclist association. i would like to offer a comment and ask a question. for many years, individuals and groups with the motorcycle community have been working with government, particularly state legislators, to be sure that all vehicle operators are accountable for their actions.
with all the injured -- with all the recent interest in distracted driving, we believe practical laws to protect particularly vulnerable roadway users like motorcyclists and bicyclists and pedestrians are essential. the discussion that took place yesterday to little or no attention -- paid little or no attention to our place. how we make sure that motorcyclists have a seat at the table. -- have a seat at the table? >> i can speak for my state. it is easy. all you have to do is show up. it is a very public process. the motorcycle community in my state is very engaged in the legislative process. you can show up and make your voice heard. >> i can say the same thing in illinois.
it was part of our discussion panel. they showed up at some of the panels and we're always willing to listen. >> and one of the key legislators that has been opposed to texting while driving vans have been the motorcyclists. if you guys show up in force with a lot of these bodies, that could help a lot. [laughter] >> my mother was killed by a driver that was painting her nails while driving. she was branded and killed at 50 miles per hour. statements have been made about enforcement, you know, how do we cut the issue off at the pass? but not much has been said about prosecution of the offenders. legislation has been proposed as
a viable action in fatality cases, in one senator's own words today, what a privilege is to drive. in most situations, only a traffic ticket is issued. and some get a $1,000 fine and a suspended license. those are considered enhanced penalties. in extreme cases of recklessness, prison time is considered. each time the offender has to take a bus, call a cab, asked for a ride, they have to think about what happened. it affects their lives. my mother will never drive again. she will not see me get married. she will never see her grandchildren. sç life be changed along with any six months or year of suspended licensing?
>> i'm sorry about your mother. i was familiar with what happened in illinois. currently, there is a bill out there that we're trying to get past to try to prove negligence. but it is very hard to get the bill passed because it is so hard to prove. we're working on that. representative bill black and myself are the lead sponsors on that bill right now. you do not want to just run a bill that is going to get defeated. we want to make sure that when we try to bring the house -- the bill to the house floor is going to be effective. >> i'm with the national solid waste management association. destructive driving is an occupational safety hazard for workers to work on or near the rose. tow truck drivers, law-
enforcement personnel and others are killed every year by distracted drivers. michigan passed a novel lot for increased penalties for striking a certain service workers. i wonder if any of the legislatures are considering enacting laws like that. >> we have enacted laws to basically move over when you have a police officer ray public safety officer that has got somebody pulled over, or an ambulance on the side of the road. and we added to trucks to that "move over" policy. there are additional things we can do to protect folks working alongside the highway. we have enhanced penalties for speeding and offenses. if there is more that we can do, we should certainly look at it. . .
chicago's south side not far from where the games would open and close. ours was a neighborhood of working families. these were families with modest towns and strong values. sports were what brought our community together. they strengthen our ties to one another. growing up, playing games with the children in my neighborhood, we picked sides based not on who we were but what you could bring to the game. sports taught me self- confidence, teamwork, and how to compete as an equal. sports were a gift i shared with my father. some of my best memories are sitting on my father's lap cheering on olga and nadia, carl lewis, others for their
brilliance and perfection. like so many young people, i was inspired. i found myself dreaming that maybe, just maybe, if i worked hard enough i too could achieve something great. i never dreamed that the olympic flame might one day might light up lies in my neighborhood. today, i can dream and i am dreaming of an olympic games in chicago that would light up lives and never heard all across america and all across the world. this will expose all our neighborhoods to new sports and new role models. this will show every child that regardless of wealth, gender, race, physical ability there's a sport and a place for them, too.
that is why i am here today. i am asking you to choose chicago. i am asking you to choose america. i am not asking just as the first lady of the united states, who is eager to welcome the world to our shores and not just as a chicagoan who is proud and excited to show the world what my city can do, not just as a mother raising two million four young women to embrace athleticism and pursue their full potential. i am also asking as a daughter. my father would have been so proud to witness the games in chicago. i know they would have meant something much more to him, too. you see, in my dad's early '30's's he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. as he got sicker, it became harder for him to walk alone
play his favorite sports. my father was determined that sports continued to be a vital lifeline, not just for the rest of the world. even as we watched my father struggle to hold himself up on crutches, he never stopped playing with us. he refused to let us take our abilities for granted. he believed that his little girl and should be taught no less than his son, so he taught me how to grow a ball and a mean a right hook better than any boy in my neighborhood. more importantly, my father taught us the fundamental rules of the game, rules that continue to guide our lives today, to engage with honor, with dignity, and fair play. my father was my hero. when i think of what these games
could mean to people all over the world, i think about people like my dad, people who face seemingly insurmountable challenges but never let go. they work a little harder, but they never give up. my father did not live to see the day that the paralympics because the force that there are today, but if he had lived to see this day, if he could have seen the paralympic games share a stage with the olympic games, witnessing athletes to compete and excel to prove that nothing is more powerful than the human spirit, and i know it would have restored in him the same sense of unbridled possibility that he instilled in me. chicagos vision for the olympic and paralympic is about so much
more than what we can offer the games. this is about what the games can offer all of us. it is about inspiring this generation and building a lasting legacy for the next. it is about our responsibility as americans, not just to put on great games but to use these games as a vehicle to bring us together, to usher in a new era of international engagement, and to give us hope to change lives all over the world. i brought someone with me today who knows a little something about change. my husband, the president of the united states, barack obama. [applause]
>> president rogue, ladies and gentlemen of the international olympic committee, i come here today as a passionate supporter of the 01 back and paralympic games., -- games, as a strong supporter and a proud chicagoan, and the faithful representative of the american people. we look forward to welcoming the world to the shores of lake michigan and the heartland of our nation in 2016. the visitors from every corner of the globe heads -- has a great honor. america is ready and eager to assume that sacred trust.
we are a nation that has always opened its arms to the citizens of the world including my own father from the african continent. people who have sought something better, who have dreamed of something bigger. i know you face a difficult choice among several great cities and the nation's with impressive bids of their own. i have come here today to urge you to choose chicago for the same reason i chose chicago nearly 20 years ago, the reason i fell in love with the city i still call home. it is not just because it is where i met the woman you just heard from, although i know you will all agree that she is a pretty big selling point for the city. growing up, my family moved around a lot. i was born in hawaii and i never really had roots in any one
place or culture or ethnic group. then i came to chicago. on those chicago street, i worked alongside men and women who were black and white, latino and asian, people of every class, nationality, and religion. i came to discover that chicago is that most american of american cities. it is one where citizens for more than 130 nations have a rich tapestry of distinctive neighborhoods. each one of those neighborhoods from greek to ukrainian to washington park has its own unique character, history, songs, languages, but each is also part of our city. one city. it is a city where i finally found a home.
chicago is a place where we strive to celebrate what makes us different just as we celebrate what we have in common. it is a place where our unity is on colorful display with so many festivals and parades, and especially sporting events. we are perpich -- were a perfect strangers become fast friends because we are wearing the same jersey. it is a city that works. it had the first world's fair more than one century ago, to the world cup we hosted in the 1990's. we knew how to put on big events. scores of visitors and spectators will tell you that we do it well. chicago is a city where the practical and the inspiration of exist in harmony. it is where visionaries to make no small plans rebuild after a great fire that taught the world to reach new heights. it is a mitropoulos with the
warmth of a small town. it is where the world comes together every day to live and work to reach for a dream, a dream that no matter who we are, where we come from, no matter what we look like, or what hand life has dealt us, with hard work, discipline, and dedication we can make it. that is not just the american dream. that is the olympics spirit. that is the essence of the olympic spirit. that is why we see so much of ourselves in these games. that is why we want them in chicago. that is why we want them in america. we stand at a moment in history when the fate of each nation is inextricably linked to the fate
of all nations, a time of common challenges the require common effort, and i ran for president because i believe deeply that in this defining moment, the united states of america has a responsibility to help in that effort. we for new partnerships with nations and peoples of the world. no one expects the games to solve all of our collective challenges, but we do believe, what each and everyone of you believe and what all of this a copper-covered delegation believes -- but what you believe in what we believe is that we witnessed the darker aspects of our humanity. peaceful competition between nations represents what is best about our humanity. it brings us together, if only
for a few weeks. it helps us understand one another just a little bit better. it reminds us that no matter how or where we differ, we all seek our own measure of happiness and fulfillment, pride in what we do. that is a very powerful starting point for progress. nearly one year ago, on a clear november night, people from every corner of the world gathered to the city of chicago, or in front of their televisions to watch the results of the united states presidential election. their interest was not about me as an individual, rather it was rooted in the belief that america's experiment in democracy still speaks to a set of universal aspirations. their interest strong from the
help in this ever shrinking world that our diversity to be a source of strength, a cause for celebration, and that with sustained work and it -- and determination we could learn to live with prosperity together. that work is far from over, but it has begun in earnest. while we do not know what the next few years will bring, there is nothing i would like more than to step just a few blocks from my family's home with michelle and our two daughters to welcome the world back into our neighborhood. at the beginning of this new century, the nation that has been shaped by people from around the world wants a chance to inspire it once more, to
ignite the spirit of possibility at the heart of the olympic int paralympic movement, to offer a stage and dynism offered by countries, to host the games that unitas in noble competition, and to share in celebration of our limitless potential as people. and so, i urge you to choose chicago. i urge you to choose america. if you do, if we walked this path together, i promise you this. the city of chicago and the united states will make the world proud. thank you so much. [applause] >> the international olympic
committee voted this afternoon to the award the 2016 olympics in brazil, the first to take place in south america. the decision came as he was flying home from denmark. his spokesman said the president is disappointed that chicago lost out on the 2016 olympics. talking to reporters aboard air force one as they flew back to washington today, gibbs said that he feels "proud of his wife for the presentation that she made." we will your public comments from the rose garden at around 4:00 p.m. eastern. the nation's highest court begins a new term on monday. today at 6:00 p.m. eastern we will have a live preview on some of the cases they will consider this term and a discussion of the impact of the newest justice and what impact to have on the court. that will take place at the college of william and mary law school at 6:00 p.m. eastern here
on c-span. >> justice o'connor insisted that we have lunch every day when we were sitting. "now clarence, you should come to lunch." she was very sweet but very persistent. that was one of the best things i did. it is hard to be angry or bitter at someone and break bread and look them in the eye. it is a fun ones, very little work is done there. it is just nine people, eight people whoever shows up, having a wonderful lunch together. >> hear from all the justices about the history and tradition of the court. see inside this historic and beautiful building to place is only available to the justices and their staff. watch our featured documentary, "the supreme court come inside the home to america's highest court" which starts sunday at
9:00 p.m. eastern. for a special preview of our conversations, join us sunday at 8:00 p.m. for "q & a." this saturday, a world transformed falling 80 dividend from salt lake city. the mother of mass you shepard will take your calls life. then three hours live with to the author of 12 books including his latest, "gop 5.0 -- renewal under president obama." that is live on "book tv." and now the exxonmobil chairman on u.s. energy policy. he spoke yesterday to the economic club of washington for about one hour.
>> we're going to start with our program now. if everyone could please take their seats. i said earlier we are very proud to have our next guest. rex is a native texan, if this generation texan educated at the university of texas, graduated in 1975, and had two choices in jobs. he took the lower paying job to go into a company called exxon. over 34 years he managed to work his way up to a senior position. he was actually elected the president of exxonmobil in 2004 at the age of 52. at the age of 54, in 2006, he became the chairman and c.e.o.. during that period of time, exxonmobil was having record
profits and capitalization. each of the three years he has been the ceo, they have had record profits. last year, the had profits of $45.2 billion. no country has ever had a bigger profit than that. at one point during his tenure, the capitalization of exxonmobil went to $500 billion, the highest of any company in the history of the world in market capitalization. the market has come down a little bit, but capitalization today of exxonmobil is $330 billion, by far the highest market capitalization of any company in the united states. microsoft is second. the highest market capitalization of any company in the world. it is an incredible feat that he has done. admittedly, the company was not exactly down in the dumps when he took over. he has done a number of things
including increasing profitability, but he has done a number of things to engage exxonmobil in the issues of today to put exxonmobil as a major participants in policy issues that perhaps previously had not been as involved with. in addition to his time as ceo, as i noted earlier he is now regarded as the sixth most influential businessmen in the united states between bill gates and warren buffett. he has been very actively involved in non-profit affairs. he is on the executive council of the boy scouts and he was a boy scout for many, many years. [applause] he will shortly become more involved there. he is involved with the united negro college fund. he is vice chairman of ford's theatre raising $50 million. i can assure you that he was
very persuasive to have people give more money than they thought there were going to. i urge you all to go to ford's theatre because a lot of it is the result of his persuasive skills. he now spends a good deal of time talking to people on capitol hill and others in the administration and has a lot of thoughts about what is going on in the policy debate today. let me introduce the ceo of exxonmobil, rex tillerson. [applause] >> thank you, david. it is my privilege to be here tonight to speak with all of you. i did a little bit of looking back on the history of the economic club of washington, which understand has been around
for about 25 years. in checking around on the history of your club and what its purpose is, i think it is apparent that it does play a valuable role in providing yet another different and unique forum to talk about the various issues in front of the nation today. i think it's founders understood that washington's business community, being a place -- needed a place to discuss policy matters of the day and understood that the decisions made in our nation's capital affect the long-term strength and viability of our economy. i think the economic club has risen to become a premier venue for discussing economic growth, job creation, and america's future. for this reason, i can think of no better place and no better time to speak. the american people are looking
for answers to reenergize our economy. congress and the administration are debating policy options on a range of fronts including approaches to reduce the risk of climate change. america's entrepreneurs and businesses are looking for sound, long-term energy and fiscal policies so they can invest in the future with renewed confidence. today, i want to talk about the role of america's industry in strength -- strengthening our economy, creating jobs, and generating value for the american people. it is a roulette is often overlooked, and in my view, terribly underestimated. during the course of my remarks this evening, i will discuss the importance of the energy industry to our economy from the growing demand for energy around the world, the most effective means to reduce emissions and other environmental impacts for energy use them as well as the
need for putting in place public policies to spur an investment and investment -- investment and innovation. we meet at a time of tremendous economic challenge not just in our nation but around the world. since december 2007 when our current recession began, nearly 7 million americans have lost their jobs, thousands of small businesses have closed their doors, many companies, large and small, have cut back on their investments in the future. some of america's largest corporations have had to contend with bankruptcy and seek government aid. in addition, our state, federal, and local governments and experienced tremendous fiscal pressures at -- as a tax revenues have fallen and deficits continue to soar. recently, financial markets appear to have stabilized. energy prices are down from recent highs and worldwide energy demand has also eased.
the pace of job loss seems to have slowed. yet, despite these positive developments companies, workers, and consumers remain uncertain about the future. to recover from the recession, business and government must work corporately to restore the confidence. we will need investments and innovation from industry and we will need sound and stable government policies to lay the groundwork for sustained growth in all sectors. for more than 150 years, the oil and natural gas industry has played an important role in america's economic growth. it continues to help of the u.s. economy by providing reliable energy, well paying jobs, tax revenues, technological innovation, and shareholder value. according to a recent study by price waterhouse cooper, the oil and natural gas committee can't
-- contributes more than $1 trillion to the u.s. economy. this enormous contribution comes in the form of jobs, labour income, and value added within our industry as well as other industries that provide goods and services to support our activities. to put our contributions another way, we're responsible for 7.5% of the country's total economic output. americans in this project america's energy industry does not to provide financial strength. it is also a major u.s. employer. the oil and natural gas industry supports more than 9 million jobs in the united states, or about 5% of total u.s. employment. the jobs put more than $550 billion of income into the economy in 2007 alone. of course, this contribution to american productivity and employment also strengthens our
state, federal, and local governments. according to the u.s. energy intermission agency, the major producing companies paid or incurred more than to record $42 billion of income tax expense from 2005 to 2007. last year, exxonmobil alone paid more than $14 billion in state, federal taxes. unfortunately, the oil and gas industry's enormous contributions are overlooked. despite the billions of dollars in investments that are created and the millions of jobs that are supported, discussions about the energy industry focus solely on energy prices or quarterly earnings announcements. this misplaced focus often drives public policy in the wrong direction. this earns consumers concuring adverse consequences for the entire economy.
in recent years, this misplaced focus has led to higher taxes. congress has enacted tax laws that are expected to cost the industry about $10 billion in additional taxes from what we would otherwise be expected to already paid. in addition, the current administration has proposed new taxes and fees for the oil and natural gas industry. taxes and fees that could potentially total more than $400 billion over the next 10 years. now, this probably sounds like some businessman engaging in complaining about taxes. my scrip says it is not. -- my script. [laughter] i am not going to read that part of the script, because i am completing a little bit. in fact, by the end of this speech you are going to hear me
proposing a new tax. instead what i am pointing out is that care should be taken in adopting tax policies that arbitrarily punish investors or workers singling out any one industry. such policies are usually counterproductive. they violate the principle of a fair and equal treatment which is one of the great strengths of the rule of law and free market. they place an undue burden on economic growth and they undermine job creation. punitive taxes on the energy industry will ultimately raise costs for consumers. this will put the highest burden on those who are least able to deal with higher energy costs, the poor in the low-income. finally, such punitive taxes will undercut america's future by him during the ability of the united states energy industry to invest in new energy supplies and conduct research and development necessary to develop
new technologies. like few other industries, oil and natural-gas production depends on substantial investment over a very long period of time. it takes years of planning and billions of dollars to complete in modern energy project. projects can last from 75 years or longer. to give you an example, from 1983-2007 exxonmobil made more than $355 billion in investments worldwide. those investments exceeded our total cumulative earnings across the same period. raising taxes and fees does not just in danger the investments but it also makes it hard for them to reinvest.
nearly 55 million households had a mutual fund account. 45 million households have iras or some form of personal retirement accounts. millions of these households depend on the financial strength and performance of america's energy companies to protect their investment. these numbers show that the energy industry is a critical part for its fiscal health. this data does not do justice to the import rule that affordable, reliable energy plays in our economic growth. the fact is, affordable and reliable energy has a vast multiplier effect that helps every company and every consumer in the american economy. to understand the best policy course for harnessing not hindering the strength of the energy industry, it is important to understand the realities of
governing the industry and the energy future we must face together. first and foremost, there is the fundamental fact that global energy demand is set to grow and it is going to grow significantly. the international energy agency along with any other think-tank predicts, the world's total energy demand will be significantly higher about 35% higher over the next 25 years. such energy demand growth is actually good news. cutting edge of medical research, and other modern advances rely on the access to a
roof -- affordable in a libel energy sources. for developing nations, energy offers something more fundamental. it represents hope and opportunity. energy means expanded industry, increased trade, improved transportation, all of which create jobs that help people escape poverty. for rising nations, affordable reliable energy is also vital to building new homes, schools, hospitals, and sanitation systems that can improve and save lives. we wish such progress for all people. this brighter future represents a challenge, however. to meet this demand, we must operate at a size and scale and over a long time horizon it is simply too difficult to grasp. they currently use the equivalent of more than 230
million barrels of oil today to run farms and factories, heat and cool homes, and more. exxonmobil is the world's largest publicly traded energy company and yet we account for a mere 2% of the world's total energy. it is an enormous global energy industry. it demands long term planning horizons. this is not mentioned in normal business cycles and certainly not normal election cycles, but it is measured across generations. the energy we use today is the product of investment decisions, technical work that were made many years ago. in addition, for most nations the energy that powers their economy requires a vast,
complex infrastructure. new supplies of energy can come from hundreds even thousands of miles away often originated thousands of feet below sea level. to conquer such challenges requires long-term planning and effective risk-management, especially as the world's energy resources are increasingly found in the difficult and hard to reach places. it requires an unprecedented level of new investments on the part of the world's energy sector. again, the international energy agency estimates that the energy industry will need to invest more than $25 trillion in the world's energy supply infrastructure by the year 2013 to meet the growing energy demand. these fundamental energy realities are important. for decades they have shaped how our industry manages risk, plans for the future, and invest in new technology.
as demand grows around the world, these realities become increasingly important. we will need to use them as the starting point as we work together to build sound and stable policy. in the decades to come, this will affect our economic growth, the environment, and our energy security. in short, our policy response will shape our future. the fact of enormous and growing demand for energy around the world means that the united states must pursue policies that allow us to develop energy from all available and commercially viable resources. we need to increase the use of alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. we also need nuclear, a geothermal power. in fact, all the sources of help our economy as they become more efficient and more competitive with time. developing of our resources will also require us to find and
produce more oil and natural gas. fossil fuels currently provide the vast majority of the world's energy. due to their availability, there affordability, and their versatility they will continue to do so. oil and natural gas line are projected to supply nearly 60% of the world's energy needs through the year 2013. with this increase energy demand, we also foresee a second party challenge, reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use. globally, we expect globally related emissions to rise by an average of 1% per year through the year 2030. much of this growth will come from rapidly developing nations such as china and india. meeting the challenge of reversing this trend in greenhouse emissions will require every nation, industry, and consumer to help.
our best hope for bringing change to the world's massive energy system is to harness the power of new technologies and free markets. this will allow nations and peoples to work together and invest in integrated solutions. these solutions leverage technology to expand supplies, increase efficiency, and reduce emissions. time and time again, our industry has proven that innovation and cooperation unleashed human ingenuity and bring far-reaching technological of advances that can transform the economy, protect the environment, and increase energy security. let me provide just a couple of examples of how are investing in integrated solutions can help society to achieve our goals starting with recent advances in natural gas. . for years, we have non we have had tight gas or shared gas
which are held in rock formations denser than concrete, but we did not have the technology to extract this tight gas in a cost-effective way until now. after more than one decade of steady investment and research and development, exxonmobil and others have achieved breakthroughs with the invention of multi zone stimulation technology. this is a technology that allows us to stimulate, bust the concrete, and improve recovery from natural gas reservoirs. -- previously thought to be out of reach. here in just one part of colorado, it will allow my company to increase production by 300%. this will provide enough energy from this one area to he 50 million u.s. tons for 10 years. at the same time this technology helps reduce environmental impacts as we can now drive up to nine wells from a single
point allowing us to reduce our footprint so we do not impact the surface acreage as much. by making greater supplies of burning natural gas available to americans, this technology helps reduce greenhouse emissions in a meaningful way. our long term approach has also led us to invest in technologies that have promised to be truly transformative for the economy and the environment even though they may be decades away. in july, you may have seen our announcement that we forged an alliance with the leading biotechnology form, synthetic genomics inc. to produce energy from certain species of algae. this could be converted into the soil, gasoline, and other
products. if this effort is successful, algae could play a role in expanding our transportation fuel supplies and because algy lives by a starving carbon dioxide, this revolutionary technology could also help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions. in addition, on like first- generation biofuels, like those made from corn or sugar cane, algae production does not rely on fresh water or land. this next generation biofuel should have no adverse impact on the food supply. if the research and development milestones are met, we expect to spend more than $600 million on this product. that is just to prove the technology. if the technology is proven, then it will require billions of dollars more to expand. these are just two examples.
over the last five years, we have invested more than $3.7 billion in research and development projects because we now making a steady and disciplined investment in innovation can help us and our customers increase their own efficiency and reduce emissions. in our industry, we understand that requires long-term investments of time and money. this is why our nation needs energy policies that maximize the use of markets, minimize complexity, and give businesses the predictability needed to invest with confidence to develop the new technologies that are our best hope for a brighter future. climate change policy is one example where such an approach is needed. as congress debates legislation, we must remember the fundamental realities governing the energy
system. the need for and pace of technological change and the role of stable policies to encourage innovation, investment, and collaboration. when it comes to managing the risk of climate change, in my view, the most effective policy approaches must be guided by several key principles. first, a successful carbon reduction policy needs to establish a uniform and predictable cost 40 missions, used in all economic decisions. this will ensure the government is not put in a position of our return in picking winners and losers. second, the best way to ensure the carbon costs are minimized is to allow for markets to select the best methods to reduce emissions for new investments and technology. third, we should seek to minimize administrative complexity. our shared goal is to reduce emissions at the lowest cost
society the cost to society. we must keep costs low some market participants can invest in the technologies that actually reduce emissions and not become bogged down in bureaucratic demands or incur% -- bird in some regulations. fourth, we should seek to maximize cost transparency. by providing transparency, companies and consumers can assess for themselves cost within a context of the different policy options as well as then assess that cost against their own needs and available resources. this allows them to make the best decision possible -- possible for them. fifth, our national policy approach should encourage global participation. energy is critical to progress and economic opportunities in both developed and developing companies. thus, for long-term emission
reductions to succeed come every nation must be involved. developing nations cannot be expected to forgo advancement. any car reduction policy must take these realities into account and encourage every nation to participate in the most appropriate way to meet our shared goals for reducing emissions globally. of course, there will need to be periodic reviews and assessments to ensure that we can adapt to any changes in climate science that may emerge or to respond to any adverse impact that these policies might be having on economic reforms. how does the current proposal before congress to reduce emissions measure up against these principles for effective policy? willie cap and trade system accomplish our society's shared goals? unfortunately, experience
indicates that a cap and trade system will result in volatile prices for emissions allowances. this volatility will carry a heavy cost for both the economy and the environment. for businesses and industry comes -- industry, this will create economic inefficiencies and invites manipulation for allowances in the markets. for businesses and entrepreneurs, this lack of a predictable cost for emissions make it difficult to plan especially over the long term. as we discussed earlier, steady and a disciplined investment is needed to develop and deploy new technologies. we're not alone in this assessment. the congressional budget office study cap and trade and concluded, i quote,"molotov prices could have disruptive effects on markets for energy and energy goods and services to
make investment planning difficult." cap and trade schemes free market manipulation yet with the volatility inherent in a cap and trade system will add to consumer concerns about energy prices and the consumer's ability to manage energy related expenditures. these costs and consequences inherent to cap and trade schemes had led many policy experts and economists to prefer another course of action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. the other option is a revenue neutral carbon tax. i know that is hard for a politician to say. we have given them a new name read it they can call it a " refundable greenhouse emissions feet. "-- fee ."
as a businessman, i have to take a deep breath every time i talk about this subject because it is very difficult for me to speak favorably of a new tax. i hope you take this as an indication of how serious we think this issue is. a revenue neutral carbon tax has the advantage of being well focused for achieving our society's shared goals of reducing emissions over the long term. it can be made predictable, transparent, and comparatively simple to understand and implement. carbon taxes can create a clear and uniform cost for emissions and all economic decisions. this encourages every business, every industry, and every consumer to become more efficient and do their part to increase efficiency and reduce emissions from other choices they might make. because the carbon tax is directly applied to greenhouse
gas emissions, there's no need for government to pick winners and losers in the industry. for the allowance and allocation process as we have witnessed on the hill. by eliminating price volatility and a carbon tax provides predictability which allows entrepreneurs and businesses to plan over the long term to research emerging technologies to develop integrated solutions that will have the most positive impact. a carbon tax also voiced the cost and complexity of having to build a new market for emissions allowances or the necessity of adding a new layer of regulators administrators to police this market. a simple carbon tax can be more easily implemented. it can largely be built on the existing tax infrastructure. we pay a lot of taxes, excise taxes, other federal taxes today. just add this to the list.
there is another advantage. a revenue neutral tax can ensure that a governmental policy will specifically focus on reducing emissions, not on becoming a revenue stream for other purposes. in other words, the size of government need not increase due to the imposition of a carbon tax to solve the threat to society. are we turning the tax revenue back to the consumers, the reductions in others taxes, payroll taxes, or a simple dividend, we can reduce the burden on the economy and on our most vulnerable citizens. in this current economic downturn, the american families and businesses can hardly afford to pay a higher cost for energy, a direct and transparent plan is an imperative. finally, there is a potential advantage to the tax approach. a carbon tax may be a more viable framework for engaging
participation from other nations. the tax-free work is easier to implement and it does not have economic growth. in addition, it can be easily adapted to reflect the circumstances of each country. given the global nature of the greenhouse gas challenge and the fact that the economic growth and developing economies will account for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions, policy options must be flexible in order to encourage global engagement. some people have suggested that a revenue carbon tax has no chance of gaining support to become a lot. they say a carbon tax is too politically sensitive and that it is easier and more politically expedient to support a cap and trade approach. there was no they hurt somewhere in their pocketbook. -- they will just know they hurt somewhere. i disagree.
i believe the american people want climate policy to be transparent, honest, and effective. economists agree that achieving a given emissions target costs less under a tax or fee approach than under a cap and trade system. the system set -- is not entering the transaction costs so more of the cost goes directly to lowering emissions. i firmly believe it is not too late for congress to consider a carbon tax as a better policy approach for addressing the risk of climate change. indeed, there has never been a more opportune time for congress to pursue this course of action. during this time of economic challenge, we must remember that our nation's economic growth and success are both on the innovation, energy, and ingenuity of the american people. in the months ahead, our nation will make many important issues and about energy policy. the u.s. oil and gas industry,
and exxonmobil, we are committed to working with government leaders to help reenergize the economy, create new jobs, protecting the environment, and strengthen american's energy security. we're going to continue to do our part to achieve these goals by investing heavily, even in the face of a down cycle, developing energy based solutions to our nation's environmental challenges. i am confident with sound and stable public policies in place that these investments hold the promise for a brighter future for not just all-american before the global community, as well. i think you for your kind attention. --i thank you. [applause] >> if people can forward up some
questions, rex will answer some questions directly for -- from the audience. on the taxi have proposed and advocated, are you involved in any lobbying effort to try to get that occur through congress? do you think is realistic? >> wii has been engaged in discussions with anyone who will listen to wes both on the hill as well as the administration. we have talked about our view of the complexities of a cap and trade system and the heavy burden of regulatory costs that we think comes with that system along with the points i just made. i think, david, what i am sensing is that the congress and the administration has placed a high priority on this because the american people have. i think they are searching for a solution that they have confidence in as workable. we're getting a lot of
interested inquiries about our views on the carbon tax, how we would structured, and a lot of engagements over what we could do to the cap and trade system to help. the cap and trade with some type of link to carbon feed system, a hybrid. we are engaged very heavily, i can tell you, for our own direct discussions and for many of the trade associations of which we are remember. we work with a number of broad based organizations, certainly nam, the chamber, farming associations. as all of you can appreciate, this is an issue that will leave no american life untouched. whenever we do will change the life of every single american in one way or another, and so we do feel strongly that we need to
get this as right as we can. one element that is really critical is to have a system in which you have some degree of flexibility as time goes by so that as you are either in achieving your goals are not achieving them, you can easily turn the knob back and forth to make adjustments. a tax is very rigid fairly simple to do that. you can turn it up a little bit if you are not achieving your goals and you think the economy can stand it. if it is causing too much cost, you can turn it down and still stay on track of improving emissions. . .
>> is all about keeping it simple, transparent. i think people make good choices when they understand the data. taxes are pretty straightforward data. >> when oil prices go up, it seems that it is recognized pretty quickly. when oil prices go down, there seems to be a perception -- [laughter] you do not recognize it as quickly. is that a misperception? [laughter] >> that is the market. all the gasoline prices you see are by and large of function of a competitive environment within that region. these regions could be as small as a few city blocks to being as large as several counties, depending on competition. the flow through of prices from the cost to the barrel of crude directly to the pomp -- it is
just a function of the supply chain. when you talk about the dealer price, when those high-cost beryl's make their way through the system, as the prices come down, it is the same thing. a lot of that has to do with how the dealer deals with those lower dealer tank wagon prices he or she are seeing. i do not think it should be a surprise that when the prices are rising quickly on your retail store at the corner, they simply cannot push the price through fast enough. there is a time when they are making no money on the way up. their margins are gone and they are just taking the cash flow to buy the next, more expensive tank wagon of gasoline. on the way down, i think there is a natural land as they try to recoup losses on the way up. -- i think there is a natural lag as they try to recoup losses
on the way up. some of you respond to the guy posting his sign down the street. or nobody is coming to the store. >> ok. we have had a debate in our country about the need to reduce foreign oil. the great oil shock of 1974 were we were buying 13% of our oil. now we import about 60%. do you think it is a false debate? or should we try to reduce the amount of foreign oil coming in? >> it has always been a perplexing question to me, because my automobile does not know where the barrel of oil came from. it burns a gallon of gasoline from the west coast of africa as well as one from the gulf of mexico. our economy does not really -- the trade balance flows -- that is not seem to be different than any other trade issue. i could ask the same thing.
is it negative for our economy to rely so much on imported sources of foreign capital? >> are you asking me? [laughter] [applause] if i can get 20% interest on it, is ok. [laughter] >> i think the real debate and issue ought to be, how does that manifest itself in energy security? i think that is the question most people are concerned about. is our energy security threatened because people are exposed to high level of imports? my response is how he managed that threat is to make sure you have as large a number and as diverse a number of sources of imported oil as you can make available to yourself. do not cut any sources off. the united states imports oil from about 35 countries. the two single largest suppliers
of formal -- foreign oil are canada and mexico. saudi arabia accounts for a small amount. the whole middle east accounts for usually at most 15%. people are fixated on the part of the world for some reason, which also baffles me because they have been with the most reliable suppliers of energy through wars, turmoils, coups. they have always kept it going. the only time it gets cut off is when they decide to cut it off over a dispute. i think the question is let's keep the supplies diversified. it speaks for maintaining relationships among energy suppliers. they are as dependent on us as a consumer as we on them as a producer. understand there has been a lot need of that. it really does perplex me. i do not understand when you
step back and look at that. we have 35 countries we could choose from. >> i do not know if you had an opportunity to talk to former gov. palin about energy, but do you see in more as being a place where oil will ever be produced for -- do you see anwr as ever being a place where oil will ever be produced for the united states? >> i do not know if there will ever be oil produced if they let us drill tomorrow, because i do not know there is any oil there. i have said for years that this whole conversation may be much ado about nothing. there may be nothing up there. the only way is to drill some exploration wells. then we have something to argue about. if there is oil there and it is substantial and a sizable resources, it is in a very high cost location. it likely would be developed and produced. we really do not know what the
resource endowment of anwr would be. we know it is a fairly limited area. it should be the right kind of ideology. we could have some oil or natural gas there. if and when we get around to that -- that is a political question. as to the alaska natural gas pipeline, i have told many people -- this is the fourth or fifth time i have tried to get an alaska natural gas pipeline. i first worked on this in the early 1980's. this is an extraordinarily challenged products. the cost of the pipeline is of course of $30 billion. it is to bring the supply of gas down to the lower 48, a single market. we may drop some off in canada on the way, but they really do not need it. it is a huge investment. to make huge investments like that, and we were talking about this at dinner -- i said, i
heard you are hanging -- you were spending $28 million. i saw your part of a $40 billion project in alaska. how come you cannot do this in alaska? the simple answer is in both of those countries they have given us 30 years of tax and royalty stability. until alaska provides that, it is not something we can finance. no one knows how much money they can make if the state can change the tax rate at any given time. the state of alaska has teamed our tax rate 22 times. they ratcheted up pretty severely when the price of oil was high in did not bring it down when the price of oil was low. you are going to go out and invest $3 billion in it is going to take you 10 years to build the darn thing -- invest $30
billion, and it is going to take you 10 years to build the done thing. you would like to least know the state does not decide to double the tax rate on new. that has been the real hurdle all along, getting stability in the state of alaska. we have spent a lot of time talking to them about it. we're committed to work with them. we wanted. we wanted as badly as they do. -- we want it as badly as they do. >> let me ask you, for our guests who might have extra money to invest in the stock market or elsewhere, if they wanted to invest in the energy world, other than your stock? where would you city could make a good profit? what areas do you recommend? >> i would say just run an oil company. [laughter] >> go ahead. before you
ceo, the exxon valdez -- before you became ceo, the exxon valdez became a problem. what has your company and other companies done to prevent them from becoming a problem in the future? >> the exxon valdez was a national mistake tragedy, but it was also an extraordinarily emotional event inside exxon. i can tell you that because i lived through it. it motivated us to completely change the way we deal with risk-management. out of that incident was an extraordinary effort to create what is called today our operational integrity management system. at the time, it was called something else, but it has evolved over the last 20 years. it is a very detailed approach as to how we manage all the elements of risk in our business the world over. it is done the same way.
it does not matter where you are. the benefit has been as we move people around the world from face to place, when we go into a new place, we take -- as we move people around the world from place to place, when we go into a new place, we have the same risk management from one part of the world to the next. that system has changed with the way that we manage risk. that is why -- for several years, about 10 years, we have not had a spill of a teaspoon for 1 billion of oil barrels transported. we have not had even a teaspoon spilled since 2006. it has changed dramatically the way we manage the risk. that has been picked up throughout the industry. obviously, technology has helped us. there are systems that have helped us. better materials. the fleet is being changed out
to double hull tankers, which gives a risk mitigation. my view of that is you do not want that to be the only protection. you better have good systems in place. it was a lesson that was hard- earned by the industry as a whole. it was one that we look back on and remind ourselves of all the time. >> another question is -- be foreign corrupt practices act -- when you are competing around world, is the foreign corrupt practices act a real handicap for you, or is it not a handicap any longer? >> let me think about how to answer this question exactly. [laughter] it is irrelevant because it is the law, and we will abide by the law. if you're in a situation -- and we are in these situations all
the time and i have personally been in these situations dealing with foreign governments where as a condition of the deal, they introduce some aspects that they say will get the deal done. now you need to do this and this. we, quite frankly, just say at that point, look, we cannot do those things. we are not willing to do those things. that is the basis of the deal, then exxon mobil and your country cannot do business. and then we walk away. we walk away more often than people realize. the interesting part is that more often than people probably realize, it's a little time goes by, that government calls as back and says why had he not come to see us? and we go, we told you we cannot do the deal under the terms. and we think the conversation up and those questions are never asked of us again. in some governments, there is a bit of testing that goes on. because it is not illegal for companies from certain countries
to engage in certain activities, the government wants to ensure they are getting everything they can get. when the understand we cannot do that, then we get the deal done and we do not have those issues. -- when they understand we cannot do that, then we get the deal done and we do not have those issues. >> there are some microphones floating around. anyone have any questions? anybody? there must be some questions. >> the one in the back? >> sorry. in the back? >> someone is waiting in the back. >> hello, and i am dan whitman with bloomberg news. i wonder if they will let us in here. [laughter] >> did they let you in? [laughter] >> you do not have to worry about it. >> i just want to make sure they
are not going easy on you. >> some senators came out with their bill yesterday. the epa just came out with their rules. i wonder if you can comment on the specific impact that is going to have on you and if you can say what that might do to the price of a gallon of gasoline? >> i will be honest with you. i have not had a chance to read in detail the carry boxer bill. follow what the epa is doing. in terms of the impact of what the climate legislation has on our business, we have for some time included the cost of carbon in all of our investments. we are working on the basis that we think legislation is going to move forward. our investments have to bear the cost of that. i am not going to share with you what that assumption is,
because i do not want to give anybody a price to shoot at. clearly, certain types of projects are made uneconomical, are put at the margin. what that sends us to do is to send engineers back to the drawing board and say, ok. this is the element that is putting it beneath our investment criteria, you have to find a way to improve the situation. you have to get cost atavism or else. you need to find different technology solutions. -- you have to get the cost out of it somewhere else. that is no different than the way that we deal with any other risk element of projects. this is just another risk that we manage. it does not fundamentally change the way we do things. there is no doubt that there will be some things with the marginal no longer be uneconomic, unless our bright
folks find a way to claw that back. they are pretty good at doing that. as far as the price at the pump, it is not entirely a function of where they said the price of carbon. it would be hard to say what that would be unless you know the carbon prices. >> we have not built a refinery in decades. the thing that is possible or is it not worth pursuing any wonder? but i think the real question is do we need any more -- >> i think the real question is do we need any more refineries? the last refinery built was in 1972. we have the second most modern refinery in the u.s. [laughter] we were talking about this said danner. i do not think this is appreciated. there had been no greenfield's bill. there has been an enormous
modernization over the years, which is why we have been able to meet this rising demand for gasoline and product without building new refineries. the last one we build in 1972, it was built to refine at a capacity of 160,000 barrels a day. today that same refinery, same footprint, largely the same vessels processes almost 280,000 barrels a day. that is just through technology improvements in engineering and science and things we learned how to do with the pots and pans to get more out of it. i think the question is -- do we need any more? and the answer is that we think likely not. motor gasoline demand peaked in the united states in 2007. of course, we have this economic correction. before that, we predicted it would peak in the 2000 seventh year and start a long state of decline.
-- would peak in 2007 and starts along state of decline. that is the result of several things happening. the increasing availability of biofuels. ethanol and things out there are taking up some of the demand space. there has been an enormous improvement in energy efficiency in the motor vehicle fleet. it has been improving at about 1.5% per year for the last 25 years, but the average fuel economy line has stayed flat. the reason is because the automobile industry has taken all the energy improvement and put it back into heavier vehicles and more horsepower because that is what consumers want. the suv. they keep the fuel economy flat through energy -- through engine improvements. we think the going for the emphasis on energy efficiency,
ongoing improvements in vehicle mileage standards, as well as the changing mix over time of hybrid and hybrid-like vehicles, the demand for gasoline is going down and will continue to head down. we will probably have plenty of refining capacity is my observation. >> when you are driving along in to stop any gasoline and you stop at an exxon station, do you ever tell them who you are? [laughter] >> i do not want to give them a heart attack. what i have learned is as soon as i walked in, and occasionally from to time, a store manager -- particularly in the ones that we own -- they will recognize me. the interesting thing -- i will see them immediately run to the bathroom to see if it is clean. [laughter] >> one more question. [unintelligible]
>> opec today, as you know, they have had a curtailment in place for about a year and a half. the compliance with the curtailment has been extraordinarily good. at one point, they had about 82% compliance, which is very good for opec. it is running 65% now. with the price of oil above 70, some people cannot help themselves. but opec as an entity continues to play the role they want to play. they have continued to have investing capacity. coming back to this concern over foreign oil, saudi arabia has invested billions and billions of dollars to increase their capacity to a little over 12.5 barrels a day. they did that so that the world
would have a reliable supplies and so they can take advantage of the demand when it is there. they are sitting on about -- almost 4 million barrels. i do not know many people in the business community who can invest the kind of money and share capacity down. they play a useful role in that regard. among all the opec countries, there is some more between 5 million barrels to 6 million barrels a day of spare capacity. inventory levels are at record highs around the world. crude oil supplies, motor gasoline, heating oil -- there is more than 110 million barrels of oil floating on water with no place to go. there is a huge supply overhang out there, and i think from opec's perspective, they have invested a lot of money and they want to sell some of the capacity they have invested in.
in terms of are they relevant today? of course they are. they are still be a swing at suppliers in the world. they are willing to play that role. >> ok. thank you, rex. appreciate it very much. [applause] thank you very much. appreciate it. very good. very good. thank you. we have coffee and cordials in the back, and please join us back there. thank you all, very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> south america against the 2016 summer olympics, despite the president and first lady traveling to copenhagen to pitch
chicago for the humid dix. the international olympics committee voted to award the olympics to rio de janeiro. we will have a statement from the white house at about 4:00 eastern. we will have live coverage. the nation's highest court begins its new term on monday. today at 6:00 eastern we will have a preview of some of the new cases the court will consider. a new discussion also on the impact of the newest justice, sonia sotomayor. we will have coverage at 6:00 eastern. >> supreme court week starts sunday with c-span's original documentary "the supreme court -- home to america's highest court." >> the real question is the relationship between the podium and the court he is arguing to. if you stop to think of it, you
will see that if one of us moved over the bench as far as we could lean, and the lawyer arguing at the podium leaned toward as, you could almost shake hands. that is a very important thing because it means that when the arguments take place, you are physically and psychologically close enough to each other so that there is a possibility for real engagement. >> get an insider's view of the court and hear from all the justices on its role, traditions, and history. "supreme court -- home to america's highest court" premiere sunday. for a behind-the-scenes sneak peek, connect to twitter, facebook, and youtube. >> this week -- "empire of illusion."
arguing we live in two societies. one based in reality and the other base in fantasy. >> the senate finance committee has wrapped up amendments to its health care bill. the committee is when for a cost estimate before voting next week on whether to send it to the full senate. democratic leaders in the house are also working on health care, but in a slightly different form. this will be more like the measure passed by the senate health committee. this morning we talked to one member of the committee for about an hour. we are joined by republican senator johnny isakson. own health-care bill. the senate finance committee finished their work last night. what is your reaction to what they finished up? they have not voted on the final product yet, but let's say, as is, would you support it?
>guest: i would not as is. i am troubled by the $1,900 assessment against people who do not buy insurance automatically. i am most troubled by the coverage levels for medicaid, primarily because of what it does to my state and the other 49 states. it is a $40 billion problem. that is a huge burden to put on states. host: how different is the current bill to what the health committee came up with? guest: the health committee bill was strictly policy. the finance committee bill is the finance mechanism to pay for it. those are going to be merged together in one bill. it will take about a week to write the legislative language from the conceptual bill.
host: how do you see that process playing out and when? guest: i do not see how we start on it any earlier as 10 days. host: our guest is johnny isakson, senator from georgia. we will continue our conversation on public policy issues on "washington journal." i wanted to ask you about afghanistan strategy. there was a story on the front page of "the washington post" that the obama administration has a narrower look at afghanistan and not more troops. guest: i am concerned. i put a lot of stock in what the commanders on the ground tell us they need. i think general petraeus demonstrated in the iraq that if you pay attention to what the
commanders say they need to accomplish the mission, that is what you should fund and that is what you should finance. i think the mission without a change has been to confront al qaeda and the taliban, eradicate al qaeda and their sanctuary and render the taliban neutral any stay as is the type of thing on troops right now, i think stretches that goal. we have not been able to reduce the taliban. they have tripled since march. they have tripled. i think general mike krystle's request is justified -- general machrystle's request is justified. host: did you vote with senator mccain? guest: i did.
i think i realized enough information from the generals on the ground where it was absolutely essential that the senate and house be able to hear the testimony of our commanders before a decision is made. guest: finally, one to get your reaction to the new unemployment number. 9.8% as employers cut to a hundred 60,000 jobs. host: -- guest: state tax levels were at their lowest level in decades. our federal revenues have been low because there is not as much capital. >> we are going to leave this program to go live to the rose garden of the white house for president obama is making remarks. >> brazil for winning the 2016 olympics.
i think this is a truly historic event as these will be the first games to be held in south america. as neighbors of the americas, as friends to the brazilian people, we welcome this extraordinary sign of progress and the fact that the 2016 games will be in the americas. i had a chance to talk to the president and gave him a hearty congratulations and told him that our athletes will see him on the field of competition in 2016. again, i want to thank everybody who worked so hard to put america's bid together. not just mayor daley and those in the committee, but the thousands of chicagoans who have worked for this over the years. i have no doubt that this was the strongest bid possible.
i am proud to make that case in person. i think it was always a worthwhile endeavor to boost and promote the united states of america and invite people to come see what we are all about. we obviously would have been eager to host these gains, but our athletes in our nation are excited to compete in 2016. we, once again, want to say how much we are committed to the olympic spirit, which i think represents some of the best of humanity. i also want to say a few words about the unemployment numbers that came out today. as i said before, my principal focus each and every day, as well as the principal focus of my economic team, is putting our nation back on the path to prosperity. since last winter when we were losing an average of 7000 jobs
per month, we have made progress on this front. today's job report is a sobering reminder that progress, in fits and starts. you're going to need to grind out this recovery step-by-step. from the moment i took office, i made the point that unemployment is often the last thing to come back after recession. that is what history shows us. our task is to do everything we can possibly do to accelerate that process. i want to let every single american know that i will not let up until those who are seeking work can find work and businesses who are seeking credit can get credit and thrive, and so all responsible homeowners can stay in their homes. that is our ultimate goal. it is one that we are working every single day here in the white house to accomplish, whether it involves implementing
the recovery act that has already brought to america from the brink of a much worse situation for lowering the cost of health care for businesses and families. that is why i am working closely with my economic advisers to explore any and all additional options and measures that we might take to promote job creation. whenever i see statistics like the one i saw today, my mind turns to honest, decent americans who want nothing more than to contribute to their country and help build a better future for themselves and their families. building a 21st century economy that offers us this opportunity, and economy where focus -- where folks can receive the education they need to compete for the jobs of the future will not happen overnight. we will build it. of that, at i am confident and determined. on behalf of every american, i
will continue in that effort each and every day for as long as i am in this white house. thank you very much, everybody. >> the president coming to the microphone a little bit early. we were expecting him at 4:00. he showed a few minutes early to talk about the selection process for the 2016 olympic games, the international olympic committee choosing rio de janeiro. going to go back to this morning's "washington journal." the senate is waiting on a cost estimate before deciding on whether to forward their bill to the full senate. the house is working on a slightly different bill. this morning, we spoke to a member of that committee for about 30 minutes.
>> to join me is -- host: joining me is johnny isakson. the senate finance committee finish their work last night. what is your reaction? yet, but let's say, as is, would you support it? >guest: i would not as is. i am troubled by the $1,900 assessment against people who do not buy insurance automatically. i am most troubled by the coverage levels for medicaid, primarily because of what it does to my state and the other 49 states. it is a $40 billion problem. that is a huge burden to put on states. host: how different is the current bill to what the health
committee came up with? guest: the health committee bill was strictly policy. the finance committee bill is the finance mechanism to pay for it. those are going to be merged together in one bill. it will take about a week to write the legislative language from the conceptual bill. host: how do you see that process playing out and when? guest: i do not see how we start on it any earlier as 10 days. host: our guest is johnny isakson, senator from georgia. we will continue our conversation on public policy issues on "washington journal." i wanted to ask you about afghanistan strategy. there was a story on the front page of "the washington post" that the obama administration
has a narrower look at afghanistan and not more troops. guest: i am concerned. i put a lot of stock in what the commanders on the ground tell us they need. i think general petraeus demonstrated in the iraq that if you pay attention to what the commanders say they need to accomplish the mission, that is what you should fund and that is what you should finance. i think the mission without a change has been to confront al qaeda and the taliban, eradicate al qaeda and their sanctuary and render the taliban neutral any stay as is the type of thing on troops right now, i think stretches that goal. we have not been able to reduce the taliban. they have tripled since march. i think general mcchrystal's
request for more troops is a justified requests. it would have to be rejected only on sound facts or a change in the mission. i attended general jones's briefing, which was a secure briefing, the night before. i realize there was enough information i needed from the generals on the ground. i believe it is absolutely essential for the senate and house to hear the testimony of the generals before we make decisions. host: i want to get your reaction to the new unemployment number. guest: our economy is still in trouble. there are a lot of indicators that have shown that state revenues were down to the lowest level since 1960 in one report here recently. our federal revenues have been going down because there is not
as much economic activity, not as much capital rain -- not as much capital gain. i listened to the commerce secretary. i think a lot of things he talked about are justified. we need to empower the private sector. in the end, the engine of america is free enterprise and the private sector. host: what is the unemployment rate in georgia? guest: 10.4%. atlanta has been a huge development area. second, because of the decline in home sales. 85% of all the carpeting in america is made, was completely shut down. we have had a dramatic impact in the construction-related industries host: first call comes from tennessee. caller: i do not have anything
to ask as far as the joblessness, but i am in my 80's. i am not able to get out and work anyway. i wonder why each president, they give us a measly raise on social security. if you live on that for $15,000 a year, how do they expect us to live? guest: i know it is very difficult. on social security, there is no cost of living increase because the cost of living actually dropped by 4%. the good news is that social security is not being lowered, but it is not being raised. i have a 95-year-old mother. i understand the pressure of
those living on a fixed income, which is another reason why we need a vibrant economy to come back. there will be less pressure on government and taxation. host: we have received a tweet. by doing nothing on health care, we are paying a tax through higher insurance premiums and costs. getting everyone insured will benefit all. guest: doing nothing on health care is unacceptable. i have not heard anyone in the congress say do nothing. what is important is doing the right thing. in terms of the uninsured in america, there are some 46 million. we know that a part of those people are people who are eligible for medicare and medicaid. we should see to it that the government is in rolling those people in the programs that they are eligible for.
we have to allow independent contractors to be able to form competitive risk pools across state lines so that they can bark -- by into a competitive market. those moves alone would make between 50% of the people and 60% of the people not covered eligible for coverage. if we start on a step-by-step process, we can close the number of uninsured and reduce the pressure. host: you are on with senator johnny isakson. caller: i was a democrat for the past 24 years. i have been following this senate finance committee. i am appalled that they are more obsessed with penalties and taxes to punish the public for not buying health care.
it will not be operational. they want to put in these penalties when they cannot even keep child molesters in jail. your voice heard my ears. i have four doctors. i should have five. i should have five. they want to take i am a shut-in. you want to take me off of medicaid? i heard of a man today. if a congressman. i voted for a communist. not a democrat. not a republican. guest: senator? host: democracy is the way to go.
i do not believe communism is the way to go. you have pointed out some real concerns. it will be debated on the floor of the united states senate. guest: the title of this article -- "policy moves to center on public health option." speaker pelosi is shifting to the center on a government-run health plan. guest: my response to that is i will wait and see. we have done all lot that is conceptual. it moving to the center on something that -- moving to the center and something that is only conceptual -- i want to see the meat on the bones. i do not know if that is real or rhetoric. next host: call republican from here, pa. -- from pennsylvania.
caller: my question -- do the terms in the current bill include taking my tax dollars in funding of abortion? abortion is the moral killing of an unborn baby. i would rather go to jail than pickaxes. host: you had a second point? caller: rush limbaugh is talking about the house and the senate going together and sneaking this through on another bill. if that is true, i think it will be complete chaos. the majority of americans have spoken. we do not want the public option. we do not want the money that is going to be bored into our grandchildren for this monstrosity. hguest: i do not think you can
sneak anything through. i think he is referring to the senate option, the reconciliation vote, which avoids a cloture vote, and allows debate to become off. that is referred to as the nuclear option. in the end, i cannot believe they will pull that trigger. it i cannot address the senate bill on abortion. i am not in that committee. i do not know what the final language will be. in the health committee, they did adopt an amendment to not allow any tax dollars to go to fund abortions. host: senator boxer is our guest this week on our "newsmakers" program. she spoke about republican support for the kerry/boxer climate change bill. >> i do not know. the last votes, we had 54 people
voting to move forward. we did not get to 60. we had 54 people who sent letters. that was the high water mark, 54 saying that it wanted to go forward. the one before that was 37. the one before that was mccain lieberman. so, we are gaining ground. at this point, i cannot count to 60 like i can on health care either yet. you just do your job and you move forward. i think the big difference is, this time, with this bill, there is a lot more support of the country that is organized. we have an administration that is helping. that makes a big difference.
the last time, we had an administration that was against us. at this point, i cannot report to you republicans. senator kerry and i have been talking to republicans and we are very hopeful. guest: i cannot count to 60 either on kerry/boxer. i have spent a lot of time with senator kerrey. he is talking about doing a mark in foreign relations, policy- wise on climate change. i have not read the bill. in the end, on the cap-and-trade approach to carbon, there are not 60 votes in the united states senate. host: you are on the foreign relations committee also. what is the situation about honduras? guest: senator demint is concerned about our correct
policy with regard to the current president who was ousted. he wanted to take a trip to honduras to investigate. as i understand, senator kerry, who has the authority to authorize trips, rejected his request for that trip today. i believe it is because of two holes that exist in appointments that are pending before the committee. that is basically senate gymnastics. sometimes you have to leverage to get something done. host: next call is from dearborn, michigan. caller: the morning, gentlemen. i have been unemployed for a while. i have always been a democrat. i have already lost my vote now at this point. during the election, before the
election, clinton and obama said their number one priority was jobs all we're doing is losing jobs. my question to you is this. when you go to cast your ballot for the unemployment -- the uninsured benefits, how are you going to vote? guest: i have generally supported extension of unemployment pop -- compensation can always look at them objectively when they come up. it is important to try to do that. the best thing you can do for the unemployed is to provide more jobs. the most important thing on unemployment is to make sure that employment is more robust so you do not have to collected. on the question of unemployment
insurance, as long as our needs are out there, it is important to take care of the uninsured. host: 9.8% is the national unemployment rate right now. since the start of the recession, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 7.6 million to 15.1 million. caller: i appreciate being on with the center. i have been watching the debates going on. i am a practicing physician. many of my friends are willing to come to the table to help provide solutions. we are not permitted to come to the table. most of the debate is led by the people who run the insurance companies. we see a growing administrative costs in health care. those of us who are in primary
care are not allowed to bring efficiency to the health care delivery system. eventually, there was a statistic that the cost of health care for people that used drugs is in the area of $200 million. if this country moves to get people to get off these agents, we would move into preventive health care, weight reduction, stopping smoking. if we did not use drugs in the western world, there would be no market. eventually, it would be able to move the society for. guest: your comments are right on target. thank you for your service to humanity. second of all, you should be at table. one of the things that has been a problem that we have had on the republican side is really
being at table to be a part of the debate. on your important point of wellness and disease management, i cannot tell the public out there how important they are. safeway and ibm have flattened their growth in health-care costs to zero because they have put in positive programs for management and positive incentives for people to get of cigarettes or get off alcohol. those kinds of things are the great contributor to the rapid rise of costs in medicare. you are exactly right. host: next call comes from georgia. caller: good morning. your statement that the cost of living has gone down for social security recipients, i would like to give you some information about my grocery bill that has gone up 20% my
medical premium insurance has gone up to -- 10%. my property taxes have increased by 30%. that has happened in the last six months. what part of all that has cost of living gone down? guest: the consumer price index is that which it is -- [unintelligible] that] there are components of the cost of all of us have that have gone up. the measure for social security increases in terms of cost of living adjustment is the consumer price index. host: johnny isakson has had a long career in politics. he was in the georgia house for 13 years. he served as republican leader for about eight of those years. he went on to the house of representatives for three terms. he is up for reelection in 2010.
host: from new jersey, darrel on the line for democrats. caller: the only poll that i have seen where a majority of americans do not want the public option was a fox news opinion dynamic pull. that is probably why bill o'reilly has gotten on the bandwagon. most americans want the public option. i agree with a caller who said that health and wellness should be -- are important in bending the cost curve down. i do not understand we cannot do these things concurrently. as anybody in the house or senate on the republican or democratic side actually proposed a bill that would introduce tort reform and
allowing people to buy insurance across state lines? what was the cbo scoring in terms of bringing the costs down? guest: there have been proposals on tort reform. there have been -- there was a vote three years ago on the senate floor on tort reform by capping on economic pain and suffering damages, except for cases of gross negligence. those killed by a very narrow margin. there was an amendment put forward on tort reform, which failed. the second question has escaped me.
old age has taken over. i apologize. host: here is say tweet -- guest: i remember. it was the score. it has not been scored. they finished debate on it last night. it will not be scored for probably another two weeks. host: what is your opinion of medicare part de that passed a few years ago? guest: i voted for it because it was a private sector solution to a significant problem. it energized insurance companies to provide competitive in providing insurance for pharmaceuticals on medicare. it has resulted in seniors on medicare -- having pharmaceutical drug coverage, which is one of the main things that you can do on wellness. one of the biggest problems we have in medicare is hypertension and diabetes, both of which are
pharmaceutical-dependent to manage their health. host: last call, you have about 30 seconds. caller: i voted for republicans democrat, but i am moving over to the independence side. to the independence side. my big point here i have voted for you a number of times, senator. our government has wasted so much time and money and cannot get anything done. this is the reason there are so many other things that need to be happening -- for example, i am i disabled american veterans. i appeal to the veterans administration and it has been going on for 18 years now. it is still not being handled.
we are passing this over to the v.a., and they never answered my questions. host: we got the point collar. -- and got the point, caller. guest: thank you for contacting our office. i am on the veterans committee. secretary shinseki the upgrade job which will hopefully bring on a quicker response. 18 years is unacceptable. i will have to check the case to be sure. we will get on top of it. >> if the senate finance committee -- the senate finance committee and its health care bill is waiting on a cost analysis. for more negotiations," -- for
more negotiations of the washington journal" spoke to alaska's's senator. . . spend the time to read it and understand what is in there. i want to see the details. there is a lot of work that has been done. a couple hundred amendments have processed through. we will take time and review it. host: as a freshman senator, host: as a freshman senator, you're not on any of the committees that deal with health care legislation. as a freshman senator, give us your thoughts on how the senate operates when it comes to developing a large piece of legislation. guest: it is complex and as you
saw on the senate side, the public saw the health education and labor pension committee working its process. oh, that is it. it's a health issue. as you know, it goes to the finance committee. my constituency calls and says they do not know what is going on. it is a complex process. you have to recognize -- like climate change. in some ways, it's frustrating. as a local government guy that was a mayor, you put the item on the table and everyone in gauges. then you make a decision. even when you thought you made a decision, there is another decision still to come and to come and to come. it is complex.
you have to understand that everything is moving. members and many of the freshmen do not sit on those committees. we are engaged. i just had two large town hall meetings. the public is interested for a variety of reasons. you force yourself to be engaged because the issue is so big. it is a complex system. whatever you do on the senate, you still have the house. then you have the conference committee. i have tried to understand the process and understand these pieces of legislation. i want to take the time to review the material. it is very difficult. whenever they say, here is the date, usually begins make a
couple more weeks. it usually doesn't happen. that is the reality. host: it looks that you're getting a little beat up about the public option issue. guest: my position has been -- you are right. it goes both ways. people did not want the public option and others did want the public option. the important thing is to insure that whatever mechanism we put in play, and there are exchanges and so forth, that we make sure insurance companies are held accountable. we want to make sure we have affordable health care. health care reform should not live or die by the decision of whether there is a public option or not. we are for getting a lot of the of the stuff that people are
interested -- are interested in. making sure you have limited out of pocket expenses. my position is, as it moves through -- a reporter asked if it matters if it is in the bill or on the floor. it the way, it will be debated on the floor. we have to make sure it holds accountable the insurance companies. host: you're also a member of the armed services committee. is it time to send more troops? guest: i was back there in early spring. when i was back in spring, i felt confident that things were moving in the right direction. the conditions have changed on the ground. the report that mcchrystal has put out is a good read. i am glad the president has had
aggressive debates. my position will be that i am anxious to hear the response from the president, but also the military leaders. when i was looking from the outside in, it turned into more politics than what is the right decision? in afghanistan, it is in the best interest of this country to let the president have his discussions with military leadership and prepare a proposal to congress. then the military to make sure we're on the correct path. i did not know if the correct answer is more troops. there is no question in my mind that we have to bring more people on the ground to assist in the effort of insuring there is a strong military and a strong police force.
we cannot help them -- if we cannot help them to govern themselves, we will have a big problem. host: senator marchk begich is our guest. caller: thank you for your work for the american public. i have one remark and i will end with a question. the american public is watching this with tremendous scrutiny. i'm a big c-span havana. i am not the only person. everybody is watching this -- i am a big c-span fan. we were given assurances by both parties that they needed this break and would come back in the true sense of bipartisanship, non partisanship and to work
with the health care reform with open minds. what i am finding as i watch, at least through the senate finance committee and the recent baucus bill that was put through, i watched daily what is going on. i watched across the board how the voting is in suing on the little amendments, with republicans are holding back -- think you very much. a look the way to phrase excepting the idea of a public option by whatever mechanism it is called, that we do need something. i understand that at last count, there has been over 160 put forth an amendment to baucus. democrats have voted and have allowed into the bill by and large by any of the democratic amendments better put forth.
the committee is more stocked with democratic votes. the republicans are trying to thwart them. i would also like to say the biggest problem i say, -- host: we need to wrap this up. caller: why are they allowing that the baucus bill before it leaves the finance committee, saying it would have to be put forth in full legislative language. guest: i understand. that is a great question. that is the complexity -- you asked about the process. the health committee puts it in the form to debate. they always put it in a kind of a discussion document, very detailed. you understand what you're
talking about in each section of the code. i think there was an effort to put it in a form and then put it on the website. as much as we can put on the website, absolutely. that bill will go to the finance folks to score it. they would give us a financial cost to it. then we will get it in a legal form. it will be thick. there is a push for a delay tactic versus the way it has been working for decades. there is a misperception on the public that the democrats did not want to tell you what the bill is. that is not true. get it done so they can put in the details. comeback, but it scored, and then put it on the floor.
i'm sure they will be excited to read it. the narrative will tell the a lot about the bill. host: sam in kentucky. caller: good morning. i am glad to be speaking with you. i have some criticism about the process. i am a registered republican. my criticism is for democrats and republicans. i think why there's so much fear is not so much about misinformation so much but the lack of trust. our elected officials, especially those in congress, because we do not feel like you take this seriously in these things. i would give you an example. president obama gave his speech to the joint house of congress
and he said that some things will not be in the bill. congressman wilson showed about, you lie. i think it was wrong for him to do that. we find out these past few weeks that these things that president obama said would not be part of the health-care plan are trying to be included by members of congress, about illegal immigrants receiving this health-care thing. there are 20 some odd congress been pushing for that. guest: i will be frank with you. from how it has been put out there, i'm not sure congress has done a good job communicating the elements of it. the president put his marker down. if you ask the president if he could control all members, he
would be excited about that. you are always going to have people with certain ideas from very far left to very far right. 20 congressman are suggesting this idea. there is no legislation that is pending in either committee that allow illegal immigrants to get health care. you are always going to hear that. c-span keys you more time to talk about issues. then you have 20-second clips and before you know, everyone thinks congress is doing it. because of the way it works, everyone can put their ideas on the table. the most extreme ideas of the one you hear about first. sam nunn makes a good point. he thinks the fear and trust -- sam makes a good point.
we have not done a good job in communicating the elements of the bill. people will have the extreme ideas on both ends. it does not necessarily represent the final outcome. the public felt like the health bill was bid. we were just parting. and helping people see ideas will pop up. some will be crazy and some will be very solid ideas, but that is the greatness of our system. no one is denied the right to put an idea on the table. on the senate side, there is no language that is allowing illegal immigrants to receive health care. host: what is unique about alaska when it comes to health care? guest: we are on the tip of the iceberg on medicare.
what i mean by that is doctors who no locker take medicare patients. -- they no longer take medicare patients. it is because of the lack of primary care doctors, but that is a huge challenge and the remoteness. if you live in western alaska and the primary care doctor may be 200 miles away, it becomes a big cost factor. medicare patients are finding it harder to get access to a doctor, even if they have coverage. we have a higher cost of medicare in alaska. that is a huge challenge. the other challenge we have is we have just under 80,000 veterans. the largest per capita in the nation. we have no veterans hospital, but we are working with the military to develop a cooperative effort between the clinic and our air force base hospital.
in order to provide service -- we have very similar problems like everywhere else. how do you get a primary-care doctor who has a $350,000 loan to say we will get a $150,000, and don't worry about those loan payments. it will all work out. we have the same challenge. we have a nurse shortage. we have several items on the shopping list. medicare patients -- i think we're on the tip of the eyes bird. host: what percentage of the population lives around or in anchorage. guest: anchorage is about 43% of the state's population. it is about 60%. it is a fairly significant size
in a concentrated area. i was born and raised in alaska. if you wanted to major in medical, you go to seattle. now we have a hard to institute. before, you would be flown out. -- now we have a heart institute. we have a top nursing school. we have our premiums. we probably have the highest cost of non insured -- when you pay your premium, 1900 dollars is for the uninsured. we're probably one of the highest, 1900 dollars. the military hospital has been rated twice in a row as the best hospital in the whole world. our native hospital has one multiple awards because they
have done a unique approach to health care. they have reduced their emergency room entrance. they are looking at holistic medicine. host: next call comes from alexandria, virginia. caller: hello. i want to make a couple of comments on health care. you had some suggestions on health behavior of people. i did not think it does anything to avenge health care reform. we need to cover everyone. what is being promoted is complicated. if we cannot have a single-payer program, then the public option has to be contained in the reform. we need to use the word "t
axes." everyone thinks it is free. we need to pay taxes. guest: thank you. i was a former mayor. we had health-care costs going up for our 3000 employees averaging 10%, up 11%, 12% each year. we put in a bonus program. we pay people to go do certain tests. we had incentive programs. when i left that office, it was down to less than 1%. if you manage it well, you could have a good outcome. i disagree with the caller's comment. if you give incentives for people to live a healthier life smstyle -- don't smoke.
there are preventable diseases. we do not have incentives for people to move in that arena. we did that in our city. it was aging work force. we had a positive outcome. i just met with large business leaders that had the same response. we are rearranging the deck so people can live a healthy lifestyle. everything else is related. the net result is a have seen lower cost. they gave the example of about a dozen people and they calculated what the cost would be. they are on a wilma's program. these people did not end up in
a hospital or an emergency board. you could have economic incentives. the gentleman said that he told the doctor what to do. he needs to live a healthy lifestyle. you pay him $600, and he is then living a healthy lifestyle. we have to move people to better lifestyles. we pay that cost. it is in our best interest to tamp that down. host: miami, republican. hello. all right, you know the rules. we will put you on hold. a little bit of a aa. you could hear that on the phone. charlotte, north carolina, independent on. -- independent line. caller: how do be go from one to
the other and demanding that people who do not have insurance and there are no rules. if we did not get insurance, we will be fined and maybe going to jail. my second question is republicans are talking about economics in job loss. how was it that only president is the one that they have to give companies all these hundreds of millions and billions and moving jobs over to china. and yet, no democrat ever talks about that when republicans bring up job losses in america. guest: one question on health care on the mandatory issue.
there is the argument that if everyone is in, it creates an equalizing force in terms of costs. i'm cautious on this. you have to be careful about mandating certain things. i understand economics of the argument. he mentioned going to jail. it is one of those moments that someone might have said that on the floor. it is not in any bill i have seen. is there a cost if you do not get insurance? that is being debated. that is one thing in the fast- speed media. his question on the jobs -- this is a new debate that is about to happen. the big argument about climate change and energy is it is the new economy. it is an opportunity to expand
the economy. i think it was three years ago and the requirement was we would change our light bulbs. great idea. fuel costs. no one talked about who would make those. who is making them today? china. so it exported a bunch of future jobs overseas. one of the deficits -- you asked me as a freshman earlier -- is that to do -- they do not look three, four, five steps down the line. as the mayor, you always have to look down the line. it is the right way to do it. we have this great idea. it will lower fuel consumption. we never thought about who would make them. wal-mart sells them. we should have been thinking about that.
despot the new bill talks about -- that is what the new bill talks about. host: go ahead. caller: i just want to say a few things. they tried to sign the bill in the middle of the night. i find it hard to trust. i was watching rush limbaugh. i get my source from c-span and other news. i am not a flunky. when you try -- you have to have tort reform. malpractice went way up. insurance when from -- you have to pay a lot for. host: sort reform. guest: -- tort reform.
the president is moving forward. it is a good idea. we hear great variations on what it does and doesn't do. we did tort reform in alaska. the average cost when you went to a doctor did not change. insurance rates went from $6,000 to $12,000. the president is moving in a good direction. a lot of talk out there about what the value is. i did not seek my insurance rates go down. if i wanted to pay cash for it. does it work or does it not? i think it's a hot button. it will probably be left out. with the president is doing is giving us more information.
host: had spoken with former governor palin? guest: not for a while. i have known her for a long time. when i was mayor, she was governor. from a city perspective, we had a good working relationship. there were a lot of issues with the state. we had a lot of work with the state. it is amazing the transformation in a lot of ways. she was very popular in alaska. now would be a different story. it will be interesting to see how what plays out in the future. host: have you spoken with former senator stevens? guest: i havave not.
>> the house and senate are planning to debate health care legislation later this month. the senate finance committee version is awaiting cost estimates before the committee votes on it. the house is also looking for cost estimates on its bill. on the floor next week, the house and senate continue debate on federal spending. the budget year began yesterday but congress has yet to pass the bills. federal agencies are operating under temporary spending authority. the senate is the first to gavel in. the nation's highest court begins a new term on monday. we'll be live at the preview of some of the cases the supreme court will consider, along with the impact of sonia sotomayor.
as the discussion takes place in the college of william and mary law school. >> supreme court week starts sunday with the original documentary "the supreme court." >> the intimacy comes in the relationship between the lawyer arguing at the podium and the court he is arguing to. if you stop to think of it when you go in there, you will see that it one of us lead over the bench as far as we could lane and the lawyer arguing leaned towards us, we could almost shake hands. that is a very important thing, because it means that when the arguments take place you are physically and psychologically close enough to each other so that there is a possibility for real engagement. >> get an insider's view of the court and hear from all the justices about its role.
the supreme court, home to america's highest court premiere sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern. and connect to c-span through twitter and facebook. "empire of illusion" the author argues that we now live in two societies, one based in reality and the other in fantasy. >> the nation's unemployment rate rose to 9.8% in september as the players cut more jobs than expected. the labor department says the economy lost 263,000 jobs. the joint economic committee met today to go through those numbers. this is about one hour 20 minutes.
>> the committee will come to order. good morning. i am pleased to welcome back commissioner hall this morning. i wish my presiding over this hearing had come under different circumstances. as many of you know, chair maloney could not be here due to her husband's tragic passing over the weekend. i am sure committee members will join me and my staff in expressing our thoughts and prayers for the congresswoman and her family during these difficult days. i ask unanimous consent to keep the hearing record open so that chairman maloney may include remarks for the record when she returns.
without objection, so ordered. despite the 7.2 million jobs lost in the recession and 9.8% unemployment, job losses have moderated since january. as today's numbers show, it will be a long road to recovery, but we are finally seeing signs of recovery. after the first quarter of 2009 wendy real gdp -- when the gdp fell by 4.6% , second quarter numbers reveal that gdp fell by 0.7%. the institute for a supply at management's monthly index shows an expansion in the manufacturing sector but the second consecutive month, after contracting from the very 2008 to july 2009.
-- from february 2008 to july 2009. i participated in a hearing yesterday looking at the progress in getting our projects funded with the pro-american recovery and reinvestment act. secretary hood presented evidence of the benefits created by the stimulus, but in terms of improved infrastructure and economic recovery. the transportation portion created 122,000 jobs already. i want to highlight a few things as well as congratulate the secretary and president obama and transportation agencies that have made the progress possible. secretary lahood spoke of $20 billion in stimulus funds for the federal highway
administration. he briefed us on the third phase of the interstate 215 widening project in san bernadino. he also noted atlanta's and ministration received money also. creating energy savings come out better working conditions and many new jobs. -- energy savings, but working conditions. the agency falls under our jurisdiction at the coast guard subcommittee upon which i sit and chair. as part of the stimulus program come the administration has issued grants for $98 million.
-- the stimulus program, the administration has issued grants. finally, though not part of the stimulus, the cash for clunkers estimated to have saved between $40,000 and 120,000 jobs and the second half of 2009. not just the auto dealership jobs, but the whole economy was given a boost by 700,000 cars being sold at 21,000 dealerships. as we await testimony on the september employment statistics, i would like to close with it despite the progress we have made, we know how far we have to go.
we took immediate action to provide for those most at risk. however, now we must build off of that success and work towards a long-term recovery. with that, i yield to my colleague. >> thank you. on behalf of the staff of the committee, we would like to express our sympathy to our chairman and her family for the loss of her husband. we will keep her and her family in our thoughts. i am pleased to welcome commissioner hall. the loss of to address the 2000 jobs -- the loss of the tool hundred 63,000 jobs -- the loss of 263,000 jobs.
a jobless recovery is no recovery for american workers and their families. last january top economics predicted that if the stimulus bill was passed the unemployment rate would not exceed 8%. the stimulus plan did not perform as we had predicted. we are all looking for encouraging signs that the economy is decelerating the contraction. stock prices are up and job losses are slowing, but personal consumption remains anemic and residential investment continues to fall. these contribute to a weak labor market. i am hopeful the current recession may have run its course.
the appearance of their facts, we will " -- it should boost real economic growth during second half of this year. however, liquidity injections cannot turn recovery into a strong expansion. as the investment officer of pimco, temporary government interventions are sustainable -- they are unsustainable. the private sector must become the driver of economic growth. however the balance sheets remain damaged from the collapse of housing prices and excessive debt accumulated the growth of personal consumption is likely to remain tappet as families increase their savings rate.
although housing prices may stabilize, a large inventory of foreclosed homes is likely to restrain housing for some time. a sustained expansion will depend upon a major turnaround in both business investment and net exports. the economic policy of the obama administration and the priorities of democrats are troubling. business people make investment decisions based on expectations of risks government policies that that these decisions. unfortunately, democrats had decreased the expected return and increased risk associated with new business investments. as a result, many firms are delaying investment decisions.
the business investment created -- these delays add to unemployment and they delay the recovery. higher income tax rates will begin in 2011. congress has not yet moved, and though it is the end of the year, to extend the tax credit in the home owner's tax credit, as well as increase the operating loss. these tax policies slashed returns, causing firms to forgo job training investments. one major corporation that spends close to $10 billion per year pursued cutting its technology may lay off some researchers if congress does not act. confusion about kath and tax adds to uncertainty, further
depressing business investment. business people fear the additional energy costs associated with the cap and tax bill that passed the house are unsure of what the senate may do the multiple healthcare bills the democrats leave business people confused about what additional taxes, officials, especially small businesses may pay or what regulatory burdens they may now bear. the prospect for a sustained boost from net exports are also dim. the doha round of trade liberalization negotiations at the wto remain stalled. three pending free trade agreements with colombia, panama and south korea have not been acted on although recent studies show they could cumulatively create 500,000 new jobs within the country, our country. moreover, the president has proposed a number of counterproductive tax increases on u.s. multinational corporations that create american jobs through foreign sales of our american-made goods and services.
in one corporation, for example, american sales generate only 25% of their revenues but nearly one-half of its jobs are located in the united states. the president's international tax proposals are in my view naive. they would reduce u.s. exports and jobs in export-related industries. the u.s. economy must move from the sugar high of unsustainable government intervention to sound private sector-led growth. given the ongoing weakness and personal consumption and the housing sector, business investment in net exports must lead the way if the unemployment rate is to fall substantially. ironically many of the policies in washington today are undermining these two private sector drivers of job creation perhaps condemning american workers and their families to a very weak jobless recovery. i yield back. >> thank you very much. the chair recognizes ms. klobuchar. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. and on behalf of the senate i would like to offer my deepest
condolences to chairwoman maloney and her family to lose her husband that suddenly in a far-away place i can only imagine how difficult it is for her and our thoughts and prayers are with her family. as i was listening to congressman brady, i was thinking back to january when we were losing 700,000 jobs a month. and i was thinking back to the policies that got us there. we had eight years where basically -- there's plenty of blame to go around but deals no one understood. wall street did things that everyone agrees now was wrong. and we got to the point in this country where what was it someone said? wall street sneezed and main street got the pneumonia. when i look at what got us there, again, i think both sides of the aisle -- i wasn't here but should have done much more on subprimes and regulating those mortgage rates.
but i'm much more interested in looking forward and what i hear, we've seen it in countries all over the world of stimulating the economy is part of the solution. but also getting the credit markets going again and then fiscal responsibility on behalf of this country. and having middle class families facing doubling of their insurance premiums for healthcare cannot be the answer here and that's why we're tackling this difficult problem. what i want to look at here today is just where this rate is going. we have seen again some tapering off of the unemployment in this country. we know there are certain sectors. i know larry in minnesota, in northern minnesota, mining and home construction logging has particularly suffered and i will be asking more about the trends across this country. we also are struggling in congress right now -- commissioner hall with the extension of unemployment benefits. the house passed a bill that limited the extension to states that have 8.5% unemployment.
coming from an area where we have some regions that are significantly below that and some areas of our state which are significantly above that, i don't believe that that is the answer. so in the senate we're looking at how /en@@@ i have applied to over 500 jobs since last july and walked into over 60 companies with resume in hand. companies don't get back to me. we are discouraged and we are isolated. we have to remember that while we are starting to see recovery and there have been signs of hope, which are good for our upcoming and the stock market is doing better, that there are still many people out of work. i am looking forward to hearing about the recent data, so we can
look at the fact and not just political rhetoric. thank you very much. dr. keith hall is the commissioner of labor and statistics for the united states department of labor. the department of labor and statistics is an independent statistical agency that collects and processes, analyzes and disseminates essential data on the american public. the united states congress and other federal agencies, state and local governments, business and labor. dr. hall, served as chief economist for the white house council of economic advisors under president bush. he was chief economist for the united states department of commerce. dr. hall has spent 10 years at the u.s. international trade commission. he received his b.a. degree from the university of virginia. and his m.s. and ph.d. degrees
in economics from purdue university. it's good to be with you again, dr. hall. we will hear from you now. >> thank you. let them start by saying on behalf of all of us at the bureau of labor and statistics, i join with the members of the committee in offering our condolences to congresswoman maloney and her family. they have our deepest sympathy and our thoughts and prayers are with them. mr. chairman, and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the employment and nonemployment data we released this morning. job losses continued in september and the unemployment rate continued to trend up reaching 9.8%. payroll employment fell by 263,000 over the month and losses have now averaged 307,000 per month since may. payroll employment has fallen for 21 consecutive months with declines totals 7.2 million. in september, notable job losses
occurred in construction, manufacturing, government and retail trade. construction employment decreased by 64,000 in september. job losses averaged 66,000 per month from may through september compared with an average of 117,000 lost per month from november 2008 through april. employment in manufacturing declined by 51,000 in september. job losses in factories averaged 53,000 per month over the past three months. about one-third the average monthly decline from october through june. in september, retail trade employment fell by 39,000. the industry has lost an average of 29,000 jobs per month since april down from an average of 68,000 for the prior six month period. employment in government decreased by 53,000 in september. much of the decline was in local government. employment continued to increase in healthcare. the average monthly job gained
so far in 2009 is 22,000 per month compared with an average gain of 30,000 during 2008. turning now to some measures from our household survey. the unemployment rate continued to trend up in september. the jobless rate has doubled since the start of the recession to 9.8%. a total of 15.1 million persons were unemployed in september. twice the number at the start of the recession. the number of long-term unemployed rose to 5.4 million in september. this group has grown more than fourfold since the start of the recession. in september, the employment to population ratio continued to decline. at 58.8% the ratio was falling by 3.9 percentage points since the recession began. it is at its lowest levels since january of 1984. among the employed, there were 9.2 million persons working part-time in september. who would have preferred full-time work. while the number of such workers has been little changed since
march it has nearly doubled since the start of the recession. in keeping with standard practice, we are announcing the preliminary estimate for the next benchmark revision to payroll employment. the benchmark process annually revises the payroll surveys sample based employment estimates to incorporate a universe employment count derived primarily from unemployment insurance tax reports. preliminary tabulations indicate that the estimate of total nonforeign payroll employment for march of this year will require a downward revision of approximately 824,000 jobs. or six tenth of one percent. the historical average for the benchmark revision over the prior 10 years has been plus or minus two-tenths of one percent. most of the additional job loss occurred in the first quarter of 2009. when payroll employment was declining most steeply. it appears to be due in part to an increase in the number of business closings. the final benchmark revision will be incorporated into the
payroll survey with a publication of january data on february 5th, 2010. historical series data series will be revised at that time. in summary the labor market remained weak in september. payroll employment fell and the unemployment rate continued to trend up. my colleagues and i would now be glad to answer your questions. >> dr. hall, thank you very much. the falling of wages, what is the significance of that? dr. hall? >> the falling of wages, certainly the falling of certainly of real wages would be an indication of a weak labor market and that has implications because of consumers buying power doesn't grow so quickly that way so that can have further implications. typically in recessions nominal wages continue to rise and they have continued to rise with the rising of wages has slowed a bit. it's 2.5% right now. >> now, the national
unemployment rate is 9.8%; is that correct? >> yes. >> and for white people it's 9%; is that correct? >> yes. >> and for african-americans, it's 15.4%? is that correct? >> that's correct. >> and hispanic it's 12.7%; is that correct? >> yes. for men it's 10.3%? >> for men total it's 11%. >> 11%. and how about for women? >> 8.4%. >> 8.4. >> last month the council of economic advisors released their first report on the effects of the recovery act. turning to government stimulus created between 300,000 and 500,000 jobs. and the second quarter of this year and just as manyize in the first two months of the third quarter. in the opening statement, i was in a hearing with secretary of transportation lahood yesterday
who said that many transportation projects it started because of the stimulus and these projects were creating jobs. and if i heard you correctly, you said that there was a decline in construction jobs; is that right? >> yes, that's correct. >> do you see any evidence of increasing employment in construction and other sectors affected by the transportation in september's numbers? >> yeah. it's hard for us to tease that out because we're still based on getting the current level and our surveys really aren't designed to capture the impact of particular policies. we're actually mostly surveys establishments and just asking what their payroll levels are. we don't at any time try to ask establishments what their levels would have been. >> so they said the stimulus created employment in retail trade and manufacturing. is there any evidence of this in the september numbers or would that fall into the same category you just said? >> it does fall in the same category but i will say temporary help service the job
loss there has moderated a fair amount. >> and what is the significance of that? >> well, one of the significance of that is -- that's a leading indicator. and often in changes -- whether the job losses increasing or decreases like it has been lately, that's generally a sign of improvement. or possible future improvement. >> recently, the bureau of economic analysis reported its advantage improvement of g.d.p. that it declined by 0.7% in the second quarter of 2009 in addition to this glimmer of hope, they reported personal consumption expenditures rose from may to august. are any sectors experiencing more job creations and job losses apparently or are there any signs that any sector will start expanding in the near future essentially what is the good news if any to take from this report? >> sure.
the job loss this month was actually fairly reasonably concentrated in four sectors. construction, manufacturing, retail trade and government. and outside those four sectors the other major sectors either have very small job loss or approximately zero job loss. so that actually is a good sign that the job loss was not so broad as it was say six months ago. >> those four categories that you stated just now. what did you say about those? >> that's where most of the job loss this month was concentrated. almost 80% of the job loss was if either construction or manufacturing or retail trade or government. >> and what's the significance of the losses in government? >> well, for government, the notable thing about government was the job loss was focused in local government. in fact, the job loss is kind of accelerating for government in recent months and it has been in local government.
of the 53,000 jobs lost in government, 37,000 were in local government. >> so that means our local folk, cities and local towns are suffering; is that right? >> yes. >> what about state government? >> state governments, they're losing jobs as well. but not quite at the pace of local governments. we lost about 10,000 jobs in state government this month. >> i see. my time is up. i now yield to mr. brady. >> thank you, mr. chairman. if i may, i'd like to say one thing at the outset. a long time public servant of this committee has recently decided to retire and deserves to be recognized. the house republican staff director chris friends. chris has been a tremendous asset to both my office and this congressional body. he joined the joint economic committee staff in 1981. has served under 12 different jec chairmen in his 28-plus years in service.
he actually first began staffing the employment situation hearings in 1982 beginning with bls commissioner janet norwood appointed by president carter and today marks his final employment hearing. chris represents the very best in public service and needless to say his expertise, vast institutional knowledge and constant professionalism will be sorely missed. i and others wish him the very best. thank you, chris. >> if i could have that chart. we were told again and urged to pass the federal stimulus and told -- assured that it would control unemployment in america. this chart shows -- the blue line shows what was projected by the white house and the economic advisors if only we passed the stimulus. the red line shows what's actually happened in real life. we've seen a tremendous increase in unemployment. job losses continue. and ironically christine roemer,
chairman of the economic advisors sat where you sat and testified that job gains would be highest in manufacturing and construction. and in your testimony, as it has been for several months, actually the greater job losses have occurred in manufacturing and construction, the very two areas the stimulus was proclaimed would have a jolt to america's economy. what i think is happening in real life is that you have one stimulus that is so small compared to the rest of the economy. if the u.s. economy is the size of the football field, the stimulus spending is about that of the 1 yard line and it's hard to claim that's stimulating the economy and the second problem we've got is that i meet each monday with a number of our businesses in the houston region to try to determine what they're experiencing and what they're forecasting. and week in and week out, even though there are different groups, they come to the same
conclusion, which is their customers and clients are delaying business investment decisions, waiting to see what washington will do. they're afraid of making key investments in areas where they might later see increased energy taxes. increased utility taxes, increased taxes on capital gains and a lot of our companies thankfully sell american products around the world. the white house and congress proposed to make them uncompetitive with tax increases that would devastate their jobs. in my houston region, we have 340 companies that employ 150,000 people that depend upon some type of level playing field to sell our u.s. products around this world. they will not make investments if they are punished for selling