[House Hearing, 111 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED
AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS FOR 2011
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES
JAMES P. MORAN, Virginia, Chairman
NORMAN D. DICKS, Washington
ALAN B. MOLLOHAN, West Virginia
BEN CHANDLER, Kentucky
MAURICE D. HINCHEY, New York
BETTY McCOLLUM, Minnesota
JOHN W. OLVER, Massachusetts
ED PASTOR, Arizona MICHAEL K. SIMPSON, Idaho
KEN CALVERT, California
STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio
TOM COLE, Oklahoma
NOTE: Under Committee Rules, Mr. Obey, as Chairman of the Full
Committee, and Mr. Lewis, as Ranking Minority Member of the Full
Committee, are authorized to sit as Members of all Subcommittees.
Delia Scott, Christopher Topik, Julie Falkner,
Jason Gray, and Brendan Lilly
Environmental Protection Agency.................................. 1
U.S. Forest Service.............................................. 223
U.S. Geological Survey........................................... 349
Minerals and Management Service.................................. 431
National Endowment for the Humanities............................ 441
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.......................... 488
National Endowment for the Arts.................................. 519
Arts Advocacy Day................................................ 543
Office of Surface Mining......................................... 603
Eisenhower Memorial Commission................................... 633
Printed for the use of the Committee on Appropriations
INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS FOR 2011
INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED
AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS FOR 2011
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES
JAMES P. MORAN, Virginia, Chairman
NORMAN D. DICKS, Washington
ALAN B. MOLLOHAN, West Virginia
BEN CHANDLER, Kentucky
MAURICE D. HINCHEY, New York
BETTY McCOLLUM, Minnesota
JOHN W. OLVER, Massachusetts
ED PASTOR, Arizona MICHAEL K. SIMPSON, Idaho
KEN CALVERT, California
STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio
TOM COLE, Oklahoma
NOTE: Under Committee Rules, Mr. Obey, as Chairman of the Full
Committee, and Mr. Lewis, as Ranking Minority Member of the Full
Committee, are authorized to sit as Members of all Subcommittees.
Delia Scott, Christopher Topik, Julie Falkner,
Jason Gray, and Brendan Lilly
Environmental Protection Agency.................................. 1
U.S. Forest Service.............................................. 223
U.S. Geological Survey........................................... 349
Minerals and Management Service.................................. 431
National Endowment for the Humanities............................ 441
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.......................... 488
National Endowment for the Arts.................................. 519
Arts Advocacy Day................................................ 543
Office of Surface Mining......................................... 603
Eisenhower Memorial Commission................................... 633
Printed for the use of the Committee on Appropriations
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
56-647 WASHINGTON : 2010
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
DAVID R. OBEY, Wisconsin, Chairman
NORMAN D. DICKS, Washington JERRY LEWIS, California
ALAN B. MOLLOHAN, West Virginia C. W. BILL YOUNG, Florida
MARCY KAPTUR, Ohio HAROLD ROGERS, Kentucky
PETER J. VISCLOSKY, Indiana FRANK R. WOLF, Virginia
NITA M. LOWEY, New York JACK KINGSTON, Georgia
JOSE E. SERRANO, New York RODNEY P. FRELINGHUYSEN, New
ROSA L. DeLAURO, Connecticut Jersey
JAMES P. MORAN, Virginia TODD TIAHRT, Kansas
JOHN W. OLVER, Massachusetts ZACH WAMP, Tennessee
ED PASTOR, Arizona TOM LATHAM, Iowa
DAVID E. PRICE, North Carolina ROBERT B. ADERHOLT, Alabama
CHET EDWARDS, Texas JO ANN EMERSON, Missouri
PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island KAY GRANGER, Texas
MAURICE D. HINCHEY, New York MICHAEL K. SIMPSON, Idaho
LUCILLE ROYBAL-ALLARD, California JOHN ABNEY CULBERSON, Texas
SAM FARR, California MARK STEVEN KIRK, Illinois
JESSE L. JACKSON, Jr., Illinois ANDER CRENSHAW, Florida
CAROLYN C. KILPATRICK, Michigan DENNIS R. REHBERG, Montana
ALLEN BOYD, Florida JOHN R. CARTER, Texas
CHAKA FATTAH, Pennsylvania RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
STEVEN R. ROTHMAN, New Jersey KEN CALVERT, California
SANFORD D. BISHOP, Jr., Georgia JO BONNER, Alabama
MARION BERRY, Arkansas STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio
BARBARA LEE, California TOM COLE, Oklahoma
ADAM SCHIFF, California
MICHAEL HONDA, California
BETTY McCOLLUM, Minnesota
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
TIM RYAN, Ohio
C.A. ``DUTCH'' RUPPERSBERGER,
BEN CHANDLER, Kentucky
DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Florida
CIRO RODRIGUEZ, Texas
LINCOLN DAVIS, Tennessee
JOHN T. SALAZAR, Colorado
PATRICK J. MURPHY, Pennsylvania
Beverly Pheto, Clerk and Staff Director
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES
APPROPRIATIONS FOR 2011
Wednesday, February 24, 2010.
FISCAL YEAR 2011 BUDGET REQUEST FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
LISA P. JACKSON, ADMINISTRATOR, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
BOB PERCIASEPE, DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
BARBARA BENNETT, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
PETER SILVA, ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR, OFFICE OF WATER
CYNTHIA GILES, ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR, OFFICE OF ENFORCEMENT AND
STEVE OWENS, ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR, OFFICE OF PREVENTION, PESTICIDES,
AND TOXIC SUBSTANCES
MATHY STANISLAUS, ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR, OFFICE OF SOLID WASTE AND
Opening Statement of Chairman Dicks
Mr. Dicks. Good afternoon. I want to welcome everyone to
this subcommittee's first budget hearing this year. Today we
will discuss the Environmental Protection Agency's budget
request for fiscal year 2011.
It is only fitting that we start the year reviewing how we
can better protect our citizens and our environment.
Administrator Jackson, thank you for being here today to
outline your priorities for 2011. The past year was a busy one
for you. One year and 1 week ago this committee nearly doubled
your budget with the inclusion of $7.22 billion for water
infrastructure, land cleanup, and diesel emission reduction
projects in the recovery effort.
To date, as many as 6,700 jobs have been saved or created
with this funding. Not to mention all of the equipment and
construction funded as well. We are interested in hearing what
else you accomplished with those funds and what more we can
expect. There is still much more that needs to be done to
accelerate the pace of these projects and to assist in recovery
of our economy.
In addition to putting Americans back to work in calendar
year 2009, EPA carefully reviewed the science and determined
that greenhouse gases are harmful to human health and the
environment, finalized the mandatory greenhouse gas reporting
rule directed by this subcommittee, strengthened their water
quality standards, redoubled efforts in the Chesapeake Bay and
Puget Sound to address non-point source pollution and nutrient
loadings, and increased the review and oversight of mountaintop
mining permits to ensure protection of water quality.
In fiscal year 2010, this committee provided you with the
largest budget in EPA history. There were some on this
committee that thought the number was too high. I could not
disagree more. There is a general consensus that the current
state of our Nation's infrastructure is inadequate. It is
important to note that of the $2.7 billion increase in fiscal
year 2010, $2 billion of it was targeted to drinking water and
waste water infrastructure improvements.
This is just a fraction of the 20-year, $662 billion
funding gap, which one of your predecessors, identified. And
every penny of that $2 billion increase has passed through EPA
and given to states and communities. It funded approximately
670 projects. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative also
received a substantial and very necessary increase.
However, the recent identification of the Asian carp DNA
beyond the fish barrier near Chicago is yet another example of
ongoing threats to our ecosystem, economy, and environment that
require immediate investment.
On top of increased funding in 2010, the committee
authorized additional subsidies to assist small communities
that often struggle to pay for the necessary water and waste
water treatment upgrades needed to provide safe and clean water
for their citizens. These subsidies include grants, loan
forgiveness, and negative interest loans and additional
financing for green infrastructures. I am pleased to see that
your budget continues these creative funding vehicles.
Now to your budget request. You have requested $10.02
billion, making this the second highest request ever for the
agency. Equally, as noted, is the $43 million in new funding to
begin to take real measured steps to reduce greenhouse gases
and address climate change. As you know, we in the House passed
our version of the climate bill last June. We recognize the
need for action, and I am glad to see the Administration does,
More than half your budget funds grants to states and
tribes. Within this amount you provide $1.3 billion, a $160
million increase for the direct implementation of state
environmental programs through categorical grants. This
increase includes $30 million in new funding for tribes to
begin to implement their own environmental programs after years
of building capacity to do so.
You also have a healthy $41.5 million increase for brown
field cleanup and redevelopment. I am pleased to see this
progress from this partnership.
As you know, the subcommittee has had a special interest in
protecting the Nation's great water bodies, including the Great
Lakes and environmentally sensitive estuaries. I see you have
requested an additional $13 million for the country's largest
estuary while reducing the budget by 60 percent to the Nation's
second largest estuary. I will work with the subcommittee to
carefully review that decision.
You have also requested $16 million in new funding for the
Upper Mississippi River Basin, our largest watershed, which
also faces many non-point source and nutrient pollution issues.
The subcommittee will continue to be good stewards of taxpayer
dollars and insist you use resources wisely. The Nation has
real needs that demand every dollar be effectively utilized. To
ensure resources are used as effectively and efficiently as
possible, we are committed to analyzing the budget to seek out
any areas of waste.
We also need to ensure proper accountability and oversight
of resources already provided to the EPA. We need strong
enforcement so that the general taxpayer is not asked to foot
the bill for the negligence of others. EPA needs to ensure that
these dollars and all sources of funding are used quickly and
produce real environmental improvements as the sense of urgency
has never been more real.
Mr. Dicks. Before Administrator Jackson begins her
statement, I am going to yield to Mr. Simpson, who would like
to make an opening statement.
Opening Statement of Mr. Simpson
Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Administrator
Jackson, you have been on the job now for 13 months, and I have
appreciated the conversations we have had over that time
regarding important issues to Idaho and to the Nation. I am
hopeful that you will take me up on my offer to come out and
visit our great state, and while I do not agree with you on
every single issue, I continue to respect your courage in what
is no doubt a very difficult job. Thank you for joining us
today and welcome back to the subcommittee.
When President Obama campaigned on the promise to change,
he must have had this agency in mind. Under your leadership the
EPA has probably been more active than at any time in its
nearly 40-year history. You are overseeing by far the largest
budget in EPA's history, and your rule-making staffs are
sprinting like thoroughbreds out of the starting gate.
Some people will say that these actions are long overdue,
but I cannot help feeling weary about the way in which EPA is
implementing broad regulatory changes and the impact these
changes are having on our struggling economy.
First and foremost, I am concerned about what appears to be
the unilateral pursuit of the most intrusive and sweeping
environmental regulations in the history of this country.
Contrary to popular understanding, the Supreme Court did not
force the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases. Yet the agency has
pursued a far-reaching regulatory agenda anyway despite
admitting that new legislation is a more responsible approach.
And by announcing the endangerment finding just prior to
Copenhagen, this Administration sends their message that it is
prepared to force new climate policies upon the American
people, even if the people are not ready and willing to act due
to their elective legislature. The people are even less ready
and willing now than in the recent past. I have heard from
thousands of constituents who are deeply concerned about the
direction we are going on this issue and numerous surveys by
Gallop Research Center and others show that their concerns are
widespread throughout the country.
The impact on Congress, therefore, should be no surprise.
It appears to be on life support in the Senate, and I do not
believe it could pass the House again today if it were brought
up for a vote. No less than 16 separate court petitions were
filed last week by three states, 13 House lawmakers, and
various advocacy groups and think tanks challenging EPA's
EPA's public response to both the petitions and the so-
called climate game issue are also disturbing. Elected
officials, business owners, and other concerned citizens are
raising legitimate concerns and counter arguments that they are
being similarly dismissed and labeled by this Administration.
Despite President Obama's commitments to restore science to its
rightful place and to have a more transparent and open
government, last week the EPA declared that the science is
The problem is that many Americans do not believe the
matter is settled. They have yet to see convincing scientific
evidence behind the claims that mankind is driving climate
change or that over-the-top responses are warranted. That is
why Mr. Lewis and I wrote to the President just before
Christmas a letter that as of today we note is not answered.
It is simply not good enough to say thousands of scientists
cannot be wrong, and if you do not believe us, go and read
their reports. It is simply not good enough to return from
Copenhagen without explaining to the people what the world
committed to and whether those commitments are going to have
any effect on our changing climate. One thing I have learned in
this job, Madam Administrator, is that until you have done a
better job of reaching out to the people, the people's trust in
your agenda will continue to erode.
As for the fiscal year 2011 budget, I will simply say this.
This budget is still a 31 percent increase over the fiscal year
2009 and only 3 percent below the largest budget in the history
of the agency, which was fiscal year 2010. When you consider
the additional $7.2 billion in stimulus spending, it is easy to
conclude that the EPA is attempting to manage the largest
relative budget increases in the Federal Government right now.
Anytime the budget grows that rapidly, conditions are ripe for
waste, fraud and abuse.
EPA's fiscal year 2011 climate change budget is nearly $230
million, continuing a streak of average increases of 21 percent
in each of the past three budgets. These climate change
increases are not unique to EPA. This bill alone contains
nearly $437 million for climate change in the President's
fiscal year 2011 budget, if the President's fiscal year 2011
budget is funded.
As with last year, I continue to question what exactly we
expect to achieve with all of this spending and just how
strategic and well coordinated is the effort across the Federal
I agree with you, Administrator Jackson, that using the
Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases is not the best way
to address climate change. That is why I questioned whether the
nearly $50 million in EPA's fiscal year 2011 budget for
greenhouse gas regulation is prudent and, considering that the
endangerment finding will likely enter proactive litigation,
what exactly the funding would be spent on.
Elsewhere, the fiscal year 2011 budget is filled with
funding increases to support a seemingly endless stream of new
regulations on air and water quality. In addition, the budget
proposes to raise taxes on business owners, large and small,
who may never have violated pollution laws.
Meanwhile, every business owner in America is forced to
operate with an elevated level of uncertainty as to how all of
these new regulations and taxes are going to impact the bottom
line. And states are concerned as to how they will have the
budgets needed to implement and enforce the regulations. The
net result is that the states are being further squeezed, the
business owners simply cannot afford to hire. The impact that
all of these new regulations and taxes will have on long-term,
sustainable jobs is perhaps the greatest irony of all. The
President is desperately trying to create jobs, and the EPA is
not making it any easier.
Despite our disagreements, I believe that we can work
together in good faith toward solutions, just as the public
expects us to. I am committed to doing what I think you are
also. I look forward to working with you and my colleagues on
this subcommittee as we consider the fiscal year 2011
Before I end, I want to take a moment to thank one of your
staff; Ed Walsh, for his dedicated service to both the EPA and
the Appropriations staff. Despite our 24/7 bombardment with
questions and requests, Ed has been masterful at keeping staff
informed and bringing honesty, integrity, and good humor to the
job. He is the quintessential civil servant.
I look forward to your testimony today and remain willing
to work with you on these issues. Thank you for being here.
Mr. Dicks. Administrator.
Testimony of Administrator Jackson
Ms. Jackson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thanks for having
me here. Thank you, Ranking Member Simpson, and I look forward
to our conversations and answering some of your questions
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about our proposed
budget for 2011. The budget full reflects President Obama's and
my commitment to environmental protection and to ensure that
all families across the country have access to clean air,
water, and land. Much, much work has gone into this budget over
the last year, and I am very proud that it supports key roles
for the agency going forward.
Specifically, the budget is a framework to address climate
change, to improve air quality, to assure the safety of
chemicals, to clean up our communities, protect America's
waters, expand the conservation on environmentalism and work
for environmental justice, and continue to build strong state
and tribal partnerships.
Let me touch on some of the highlights of this budget that
will protect human health and the environment and lay a new
foundation for our prosperity.
The science behind climate change is settled in human
activity is responsible for global warming. Not only has
America's top scientific institutions come to that conclusion
but so have numerous other industrialized countries. That
conclusion is not a partisan one. Bipartisan basis of evolution
finding that greenhouse gas accumulation from human activity
poses a substantial risk of increased frequency and severity of
This budget reflects science and positions EPA to address
this issue in a way that will not cause an adverse impact to
the economy. The budget includes a requested increase of more
than $33 million for efforts aimed at taking action on climate
change. The bulk of this funding, $25 million, is for safe
grants; grants focused on developing technical capacity to
address greenhouse gas emissions other than clean air.
It also includes $13.5 million in funding for implementing
new emission standards that will reduce greenhouse gas emission
from mobile sources such as passenger cars, light-duty trucks,
and medium-duty vehicles, a role that I am pleased to say was
supported by the states, by the auto industry, and many
This budget also requests an additional $3.1 million to
promote work on future and current carbon capture and
Now, while addressing global warming, this budget also
takes steps to ensure that the local air quality is good for
all, including those with respiratory problems. To improve air
quality, EPA will continue our support of enhanced monitoring
and enforcement efforts. This budget requests $60 million for
state grants to address new and expanded national air quality
standards as well as air monitoring requirements.
Also, this budget provides $6 million to improve air toxics
monitoring capabilities and address compliance and enforcement
issues in local communities.
Toxins are found not only in our air emissions but in many
of the common chemicals that we use everyday, and we have an
obligation to the American people to ensure these chemicals are
safe. At the end of 2009, EPA released the first ever chemical
action plans performed in some substances, and more plans are
in the pipeline for 2010.
In this budget EPA proposes $56 million for chemical
assessment and risk review, including continued development of
chemical management plans to ensure that no unreasonable risks
are posed by new or existing chemicals. This budget also
promotes new innovative strategies for cleaning up communities
to protect sensitive populations such as children, the elderly,
and individuals with chronic diseases.
The budget proposes $215 million for Brownfields, an
increase of $42 million, to support planning, cleanup, job
training, and redevelopment of Brownfields properties,
especially in underserved and disadvantaged communities. In
addition, this budget proposes $1.3 billion for Superfund
cleanup efforts across the country. Cleanup of contaminated
properties provides economic opportunities and jobs.
Protecting America's waters is a top priority for EPA due
to the tremendous impact water quality has on human health and
environmental health and also in economic health. For fiscal
year 2011, this budget reflects EPA's commitment to upgrading
drinking water and wastewater infrastructure with a substantial
investment of $2 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving
Fund, $1.3 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
This will initiate approximately 800 clean water, 500 drinking
water projects across America.
Also, the fiscal year 2011 budget requests and supports
numerous national ecosystem restoration efforts; $300 million
for the Great Lakes, $63 million for the Chesapeake Bay
Program, continued strong funding for the national estuaries,
including the Puget Sound. These programs will address critical
environmental issues such as contaminated sediments and toxins,
non-point source pollution, habitat degradation, invasive
species, including the Asian carp.
We have also begun a new era of outreach and protection for
communities historically underrepresented in environmental
decision making. We are working to build strong relationships,
stronger than ever, with our tribes, with communities of color,
with economically-distressed cities and towns, young people,
and others, but this is just a start. We must also bolster our
relationships with our state and tribal partners. These are
areas that call for innovation and bold thinking, and I am
challenging all of our employees to bring vision and creativity
to our programs.
Thank you so much for allowing me to briefly go through the
highlights of the fiscal year 2011 budget. I certainly now
could answer any questions.
[The statement of Lisa P. Jackson follows:]
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Mr. Dicks. Okay. Before we enter into a prolonged debate
about climate change and its source, our ability to regulate
it, the cost of these regulations, and the economic impact of
those regulations, please review for the committee how we got
to this. I know the Administration would prefer to have an
authorization that addresses the issue in a comprehensive and
integrative way rather than through the limited Clean Air Act,
yet, until the Senate acts, the Supreme Court has left you no
choice but to address the issue through the Clean Air Act.
Please tell us how we arrived at the point of using the
Clean Air Act.
Ms. Jackson. Certainly. The United States Supreme Court, as
noted here, held 3 years ago that greenhouse gases are air
pollution. The decision says they are air pollution and EPA's
determination as to whether or not they endanger human health,
public health and welfare, would trigger additional regulatory
It is my position sitting here that my responsibility is to
address the mandate from the court to determine whether or not
greenhouse gas pollution endangers public health and welfare.
That is the essence of the endangerment finding that EPA made
and is based on the soundest science that EPA could muster and
did muster. It is peer-reviewed science. It is science that has
multiple reads by multiple experts, and I have said over and
over again that I believe that it is EPA's responsibility to
constantly look at emerging science but also be able to move
forward on the issue.
I have heard people say that we could have ignored the
Supreme Court ruling and simply chosen not to make any finding
or make a negative finding and say greenhouse gases do not
endanger human health, public health and welfare. It is not my
finding as Administrator that the science would support a
negative conclusion, and it is not my belief that I should
ignore the Supreme Court mandate to make a determination.
Mr. Dicks. Tell us what actions you took to ensure a
scientifically-sound endangerment finding.
Ms. Jackson. The action that my staff took, the staff
relied on international science, science that includes the U.S.
Global Change Research Program. It is a long-sounding name, but
it really includes, or draws on, places like the National
Academies of Science, NOAA, NASA, our national experts, as well
as international experts as reflected in the International
Panel on Climate Change. I do not believe that even with the
revelation of e-mails that call into question the behavior and
action of some of the scientists involved with IPTC there is
any basis to throw out the multiple strands of research and
mountain of evidence that shows that the climate is not only
changing but that man-made causes, the release of greenhouse
gases are a major contributing factor.
Mr. Dicks. And you have to take into account that the
oceans are absorbing these CO2 emissions as well, and we
already have very serious indications of increases in
acidification which undermines coral and shells and goes right
to the basic vital plankton that is fundamental to the salmon.
You know, it is not just the air pollution. It is also what
is happening to the oceans. So I think there is a lot of
seriousness to this.
What do the findings now mean for cars and trucks? What are
we doing with cars and trucks?
Ms. Jackson. Well, the endangerment finding does not
trigger regulation, I mean, is not a regulation. It is not a
requirement to control; however, it is the predicate to control
greenhouse gases from light-duty vehicles. So when we talk
about rules that control the greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide
emissions for cars, they are based on a finding of endangerment
under the Clean Air Act. They are based on authority that we
have now under the Clean Air Act.
When greenhouse gases become subject to regulation for
cars, the Clean Air Act says that permitting programs for what
we call stationary sources also begin to apply to those
emissions. There has been some news made and an exchange of
letters with several members of the Senate who asked for my
assurances about a timeline for regulation of what we call
stationary sources, knowing that we are poised to regulate cars
quite soon. What I said is that there would be no permit
requirements, no regulations that any stationary source would
need a permit for greenhouse gases this calendar year. I said
that, based on numerous comments we have received, we would
phase in regulation of stationary sources beginning next year,
and we would begin with only those sources that already need
what is called a PSD permit, several hundred sources that
already need PSD permits for other than greenhouse gases.
Mr. Dicks. Mr. Simpson.
AGENCY IMPLEMENTATION PLANS
Mr. Simpson. I've got a book of questions. Let me just ask
a couple first. I do not want to get into greenhouse gases with
you right now. Just a couple of simple questions that hopefully
will have relatively simple answers.
I understand that under President Obama's Executive Order
13514 on the sustainability of federal agencies, detailed
agency implementation plans are due in June 2010. How are those
plans coming along, and could you give us some insight as to
where you are headed?
Ms. Jackson. Certainly. That is the order of sustainability
and on reduction of energy and greenhouse gases and----
Mr. Simpson. Right.
Ms. Jackson. So EPA has already submitted to the White
House, the Council on Environmental Quality, our initial plans.
We are looking at greenhouse gas reduction for our agency on
the order of 28 to 30 percent. We feel quite proud of our
number. We are not the very highest, but EPA has for quite some
time led the Federal Government on reducing energy use, and
investing in green buildings.
The next phase that you mentioned in June, our
implementation plans, that are broader than just outlining our
goals, and I believe we are moving along. I will be happy to
update you, but the numbers that we selected are based on ideas
that we have for things we will be able to do realistically
within the timeframe of the plan.
Mr. Simpson. Okay. The EPA recently cited the herbicide
atrazine for an additional scientific advisory panel review.
This review is occurring after EPA only recently finished a 15-
year review of nearly 6,000 studies on atrazine chemistry and
subsequently granted re-registration.
What are the estimated costs associated with the additional
Ms. Jackson. I do not know whether I can give you the cost
as we sit here, but I will get you that information.
[The information follows:]
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Mr. Simpson. Okay.
Ms. Jackson. I would be happy to get that.
Mr. Simpson. Okay. I appreciate it.
You mentioned during your testimony that you were
undertaking the goal to reach out to communities and tribes and
so forth to involve them in the decisions that you are making.
Ms. Jackson. Yes.
ARSENIC LEVELS IN DRINKING WATER
Mr. Simpson. I can tell you that I sat down with mayors all
over southeast Idaho in my district last week, several
meetings, just to talk about what was going on, what was on
their mind, issues that were affecting them, let them ask
questions about what was going on in Congress and stuff. Every
one of the meetings turned into a ``what the hell is EPA
doing'' meeting. And I can tell you having served at the local
level I understand those concerns from the past.
These meetings were different. These people are ready to
hand you the keys to their cities and say the heck with it. We
are done. It is frustrating. They sit out here, you take a
community of 2,000 people, so we have got $20 million in what
EPA has determined they are going to have to do to get their
arsenic levels down. Their water rates are already $150 a
month. Twenty percent of their community makes $15,000 or less
a year. Twenty percent of their income goes to their water
rates. In fact, a lot of these mayors are new mayors because
the last mayors got beat in the last election because they had
to raise water rates at the behest of EPA.
And the new mayors are literally, I have never seen it
before in my life, they said, we are ready to just say, you
guys run the city. We are done, because we cannot do what you
are asking us to do. And the amazing thing is, it is not like
they are trying to get their arsenic level down from 55 parts
per billion to ten. Or 20 parts per billion to ten. They are
trying to get them down from twelve to ten.
What is the EPA doing to address that? Is there any
flexibility that you have where you work with these small
communities, because I can tell you you are not only going to
be the EPA Administrator, you are going to be the mayor of
about 40 communities in southeast Idaho if something is not
done, and that is true across this country, to help them.
And the people are saying, why are we spending this ungodly
amount of money to reduce our arsenic levels from twelve to ten
and sometimes eleven to ten. Parts per billion. You can tell I
Ms. Jackson. A couple of things. First off, it is the EPA's
job to promulgate regulations, and the level of arsenic that
are detrimental to human health are no different depending on
which community you are in. The problem for rural and small
communities is that they do not have a rate base to spread
these costs out over. None of them are complete. We heard the
Chairman speak about over a half a trillion dollars worth
invested in water and water waste infrastructure. That is an
EPA number that is a recognition of the fact that small
communities have needs. Like trying to decide whether or not
they can have water that meets the federal arsenic standard or
not but they cannot afford it.
Mr. Simpson. Exactly.
ARRA LOAN FORGIVENESS
Ms. Jackson. Now, the American Recovery Act, the Stimulus
Act added money. It is forgivable money, it is essentially
grants, that could be used in small communities to help make it
so you do not have to choose between clean water and rates that
you cannot pay.
Mr. Simpson. But most of those are matching. Most of them
require matching funds.
Ms. Jackson. The Recovery Act, as well as the money that
was put into last year's budget, has provisions that match on
the drinking water side especially. There is always room for
meeting this criteria for smaller communities, because there is
a recognition that smaller communities face a higher burden.
So there are grants available.
Mr. Simpson. But you do not get them----
Mr. Dicks. Will you yield just for a second?
Mr. Simpson. Sure.
Mr. Dicks. This was one of our initiatives----
Mr. Simpson. I know.
Mr. Dicks [continuing]. Out of our committee.
Mr. Simpson. I know.
Mr. Dicks. We changed the law so that we took the same kind
of forgiveness procedures that we have under the safe drinking
water act and applied them to clean water. Our numbers on the
forgiveness show 68 percent of the grants had some forgiveness.
So we have now given them the authority where they can
forgive some of these loans or make them grants or have better
interest rates, so it was a recognition of exactly what you are
talking about that we took that action. That had never been
Mr. Simpson. I know that.
Mr. Dicks [continuing]. On the Clean Water SRF. So now we
have a program, a very dynamic program, but I have already
heard people out there saying that everybody wants to get in
the loan forgiveness line, and for a lot of rural areas. They
cannot afford to pay the rates, and this is, I think, a very
major change that will be very helpful as we go forward, and it
is in the President's budget.
Mr. Simpson. And thanks for that answer, Mr. Chairman. I
The problem is I could understand it to some degree if we
were sitting here trying to say we are going to reduce the
arsenic rates from levels from 50 parts per billion a certain
amount, but the amount of money we are spending to reduce it
from 11 and 12, when you have got a community of 50 people, 50
people that have a community drinking water system, their
average is 11 parts per billion. About half the time it is nine
when they measure it, and then it bumps up to 12 sometimes,
never above 12. Averages about 11. And we expect them to spend
millions of dollars to remove one part per billion.
At some point in time we have got to say, ``have we lost
our minds?'' Is there not a better use for that money that we
can do something else with? That is what these communities are
facing. They want clean water just like everybody else does,
but I can tell you the frustration out there is enormous, and
it is that the EPA has got this huge stick, and they are going
to beat us over the head with it. Nobody wants to work with us
to try to solve any of these problems.
Even our largest communities, Boise and Meridian or
Caldwell and Nampa, when it comes to phosphorus, they have ways
they believe that they can reduce the phosphorus level. EPA
kind of says, no, we are going to regulate your point source
because we can do that. We know how to do that. They have some
innovative ways they think they could do exactly what the EPA
wants, but there is no flexibility there. It is, ``We got the
stick, and we are going to fine you.''
And the other thing about that is one federal agency fining
another government agency and the taxpayers are sitting back
going, well, wait a minute. I am paying for both of you guys.
This makes no sense.
Ms. Jackson. The enforcement under the Safe Drinking Water
Act is primarily action oriented, not fine oriented. That is
the way the law is written.
Mr. Simpson. Then will you return those fines to those
Ms. Jackson. I do not know which people we are talking
Mr. Simpson. Communities, not people.
Ms. Jackson. I am happy to offer my staff, local or
headquarters, to sit down and work with specific communities.
You are talking hypothetically about cases, and I am happy to
do that, but I think we would make progress if we would sit
down with them there. Happy to do it, happy to visit and talk
about it. Let me just say, the Safe Drinking Water Act is not a
particularly punitive statute in terms of its enforcement, and
it is primarily enforced through state and local health
departments. That is the law.
Those are faced with a population that oftentimes we as
America, we want everything. We want clean water, but we do not
want to necessarily have it cost too much, and that is
understandable in these economic times.
Mr. Simpson. Twenty percent becomes a pretty good level for
that, but I have a whole bunch of questions that we will ask
Mr. Dicks. We will have another round in here.
Mr. Simpson. We will have another round, but I just want to
say before you go there that announcing that greenhouse gases
and the human cause of it is settled science tells me a lot
about where we are headed in this Administration because I do
not think a lot of people think it is settled science.
Mr. Dicks. Everyone has a right to their opinion.
Mr. Moran. Moving along here, EPA received over $7 billion
in the Economic Recovery Act, a.k.a., the Stimulus Bill. As of
now, mid February, what percent of those funds have been
Ms. Jackson. I think the total percentage is somewhere well
above 98 percent or 99 percent, and as far as the Clean Water
Funds, 100 percent of those funds have not just been obligated,
but they are under contract at the state level, which
represents an enormous amount of work at the state level.
Mr. Moran. So all that money is out there.
Ms. Jackson. Seven billion dollars is out on the street and
only in a few funds, the underground storage tanks is 89
ARRA JOB CREATION
Mr. Moran. Ninety-nine percent is pretty good. How many
jobs have been created?
Ms. Jackson. The actual reporting comes in from the state.
Obviously a lot of them are not working right this second
because it is not the construction season, but we estimate well
above 6,500, maybe as high as 7,500 jobs, and right now we are
reporting estimates of 6,800 jobs.
Mr. Moran. Good for you.
PERKINS OKLAHOMA PROJECT
We have gotten some feedback critical of some of these
projects. One in particular, it was a waste water treatment
plant in a place called Perkins, Oklahoma. Have you heard of
Ms. Jackson. Yes, sir. Well, I knew it was highlighted
recently in a minority report.
Mr. Moran. Well, first of all, how much did the people of
Perkins, Oklahoma, have to pay back for this waste water
Ms. Jackson. Well, Perkins received $2 million in the Arrow
Principle Forgiveness, so what happened is that they received
essentially a $2 million grant, and they had already received
$5.2 million in a program loan, but the $2 million from the
Recovery Act when to pay back the loan so that they would not
have to raise rates.
Mr. Moran. So the money they are complaining about was a
grant with no requirement to pay back the principle or
interest. One of the things that I have been told is that the
cost for the Davis-Bacon and Buy America Provisions that we
added in the committee, the claim is that that substantially
increased the cost of the bids.
Do you have some sense of the actual percentage of increase
of the cost of the bids caused by the two provisions together?
Ms. Jackson. Sure. Something is not adding up in the
reports we are hearing about the city of Perkins. There were
three other projects bid in the State of Oklahoma. They were
bid twice actually; first before the Recovery Act and once
after, so with and without Davis-Bacon, and the average
difference between those two is 5 to 6 percent. And yet now
reportedly we have this huge raised rate of 40 percent in
Perkins. Some people are trying to say it is this big, and that
does not make sense since other projects did not see a similar
increase in project cost.
Mr. Moran. They say utility costs went up. Did they raise
utility costs after that project was put in?
Ms. Jackson. No, sir. The utility cost did go up. There
were rate increases. They went in a year before the Recovery
THREATENED WATER BODIES--FUNDING
Mr. Moran. A year before the money was made available.
Well, that is useful to know. Thank you for clarifying that.
There are a number of questions that I think we all want to
ask, but one that I was particularly concerned about, I
represent part of the Chesapeake Bay area, the Potomac River
and the Chesapeake Bay, and I have some concerns about what may
be red flags, or if you want to use the analogy, the canary in
the coal mine. We have got almost 100 percent of the small
mouth bass which is the principal species, which has got to be
an aberration that should cause concern, although we do not
know, you know, what the concern should be, but we know it is
But along with the Chesapeake Bay is another comparable bay
that I actually, I will be quite honest, I watched a TV show
that focused on the Chesapeake and Puget Sound, and both of
them were very similar situations, but the Puget Sound request
this year dropped from $50 to $20 million. Why would you have
Ms. Jackson. The money for the Puget Sound is reflective of
funding an estuary program and not at all reflective, I have to
say here for the record, of the excellent job that is
happening. It is not just managing money but a real project to
improve the estuary itself.
There has been a focus on the Chesapeake Bay. The President
issued, as you know, an Executive Order on the Bay. There is
certainly a focus on the Great Lakes, 20, 25 percent of our
freshwater in the world is in the Great Lakes system, and as I
explained to Chairman Dicks, I know that we need to continue
our discussions to ensure the Puget Sound program is adequately
funded, but I have to say that that program is a marked state.
Mr. Moran. Okay. That is nice to hear, although it does not
seem to be reflected in your budget priorities, which is always
where the rubber hits the road.
I mentioned the Potomac River and the concerns about fish.
Do you share that concern? Is EPA going to do anything about
that kind of situation? There has got to be cause for concern.
Ms. Jackson. Yes. You know, the nagging problem for many
Americans is that we still have some of the same sort of
conventional issues with drinking water, but we are learning.
Our science does evolve, and we are learning that there are new
threats to our treasury of water bodies; the Potomac, the
Anacostia, estuaries around our country are still in trouble.
We are looking at endocrine disrupters, emerging chemicals,
big chemicals, mostly synthetic, organic chemicals, some from
drug excretions and others. What is really needed now, in my
opinion, is not regulatory actually. We do not know enough.
There is more research needed, as well as some--I am an
engineer by training, so I keep saying we also need a real
focus on practical solutions that we can offer to folks in the
meantime because trying to keep up with all the chemicals in
our modern life is a difficult thing to do when you are chasing
the wagon. But I think EPA also has some engineers and
scientists who might be able to offer some technical assistance
and advice to communities.
Mr. Moran. Is that what it is you want?
Ms. Jackson. Well, right now this year's budget I think for
EPA has $7 million additional for star grants, all is for
endocrine disruptors. We have $1.8 million additional in
computational toxicology for the program, and so, you know, we
can always use even more money, but I think the key----
RESEARCH THREATENED WATER BODIES
Mr. Dicks. Is there no one doing anything on this? That is
good for the EPA.
Ms. Jackson. I would have to double check. I do not want to
say no or yes at this point. They have a large increase, as you
know, in their research budget, but I am not sure of any of the
Mr. Moran. Okay. We got to keep moving.
GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTIONS FUNDING
Mr. Calvert. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Without getting into whether climate change is caused by
humans or natural phenomenon, I just wanted to ask you a few
questions regarding that.
How much funding is EPA requesting in fiscal year 2011 to
develop and implement greenhouse gas reduction?
Ms. Jackson. The total is somewhere north of $230 million I
Mr. Calvert. Are future requests in these activities
expected to decrease, remain level, or increase from that
Ms. Jackson. This is an increase over enacted of
approximately $42 million, and just to be clear, this is all
related to climate change.
Mr. Calvert. Right. Right. So you believe in future years
that you will be expecting to spend more money, the same, or
Ms. Jackson. I would expect that needs will continue to
grow as we move into a world with, hopefully new legislation,
but possibly also with regulation of increasing activity on
Mr. Calvert. Just recently you stated, and I am getting
this from your testimony, that at least in the short term you
expect the threshold for permitting will be substantially
higher than the 25,000 ton limit that EPA originally proposed.
Isn't it true that regardless of whatever threshold EPA
proposes, once you go down that path, any federal judge will be
able to overrule you and establish whatever threshold the law
Ms. Jackson. I really cannot speculate on law because I am
not an attorney.
Mr. Calvert. But is it possible?
Ms. Jackson. It is certainly possible that there will be
challenges to EPA's regulations.
GREENHOUSE GAS REGULATORY PATH
Mr. Calvert. As you know in California we are in the
process of implementing a bill called AB-32, which is a state-
based attempt to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The state
is in the midst of probably the worst economy I have ever seen
and has many well-known budget challenges. State and local
agencies are literally going bankrupt. We are being forced to
use a substantial amount of resources to comply with AB-32.
More alarming, I just went back to my district over the
break, alarmed at the number of businesses that came to me and
said they are moving out of the State of California, moving to
places like Texas and other areas where the regulatory
environment is less obscene in their minds.
Based upon that reality and looking at what is happening in
California, is that a preview of what is going to happen to the
country if the EPA continues down this regulatory path?
Ms. Jackson. California's growth from the clean energy
sector is usually cited nationally and----
Mr. Calvert. We have 12 percent unemployment in the state.
Ms. Jackson. I understand that, sir, and the country is
trying to find a way out of a serious recession as well, but,
you know, I worked for a governor. I would hesitate to impinge
on a governor's priorities and prerogatives in running a state.
All I would say is that the California work on climate change
and on energy efficiency has been some of the leading work in
Mr. Calvert. My good friend and colleague from the other
side of the aisle, Colin Peterson, was recently quoted in the
Wall Street Journal saying, ``I have no confidence the EPA can
regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act without
severe harm to all taxpayers.'' Another good friend, my
colleague, Ike Skelton, was quoted in the same piece saying,
``Simply put, we cannot tolerate turning over regulation of
greenhouse gas emissions to unelected bureaucrats at the EPA.''
Chairman Peterson, Skelton, and others are advocating for a
simple two-page bill that would amend the Clean Air Act and
strip the CO2 and other greenhouse gases from
statutory language. If such a bill was passed by Congress,
would you advise the President to sign it or veto it?
Ms. Jackson. The Murkowski bill that I think you are
referring to, sir, would actually invalidate the endangerment
finding. It would invalidate the science of the endangerment
finding and would put this country's views towards greenhouse
gas emissions in line with those of Saudi Arabia and China who
were quoted as saying that this is an issue that the world
I would not think it advisable to move back from a clean
energy perspective or to move away from the opportunity that we
would have if we would move toward----
Mr. Calvert. So your answer is that you would ask the
President to veto the bill?
Ms. Jackson. I would certainly use my voice to weigh in on
the side of not losing the California car deal and not amending
the Clean Air Act.
COPENHAGEN CLIMATE SUMMIT COST
Mr. Calvert. With regards to the last line of questioning
on the Copenhagen Climate Summit, CBS news just conducted an
investigation into the Climate Summit, and their findings was
that the delegation spent a little over $1 million, about $1.1
How much money did the EPA spend on the Copenhagen Climate
Ms. Jackson. I do not know that I have that number in front
of me, sir. I will be happy to get it for you.
[The information follows:]
Question: How much money did the EPA spend on the Copenhagen
EPA Travel Costs--Copenhagen Climate Summit: EPA spent $55,598.00
on attending the Copenhagen Climate Summit.
Mr. Calvert. What office within the EPA did the travel
expenses come out of? What line?
Ms. Jackson. My assumption is that they came out of various
offices we had there. From my office I went as well as other
Mr. Calvert. As you know the Congressional delegation to
travel to Copenhagen was required to publicly disclose their
expenses like all Congressional delegation trips do. Nowadays
we are required to disclose and put up on our websites any
requests to appropriate funding for projects in our own
districts we support, and I think disclosures are a good thing.
To that end do you plan on disclosing your expenses for
trips like Copenhagen and other climate summits you may attend
in the future?
Ms. Jackson. I do not know that we have been requested to
release the information, but I do not also know that we
withheld it when we have been asked for it.
Mr. Calvert. So you would be in favor of posting that on
Ms. Jackson. I believe it is already public but----
Mr. Calvert. As far as I know it is not. If it is, that is
Ms. Jackson. Then we will get it to you.
Mr. Calvert. You will get it to us. Thank you. Thank you,
Mr. Dicks. We will have votes coming up here, so I am going
to try to move this along.
CLIMATE CHANGE REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS
Mr. Chandler. Administrator Jackson, I want to delve into
another aspect of this climate change issue, but I am not going
to question the science. As you know, we made an effort in the
House, in fact, we passed a bill in the House to try to address
the problem of climate change. It has not been followed up and
now we have this specter of EPA moving forward and regulating
My concern and the concern I think of a lot of people in
different parts of the country is the geographic inequities
that could result. Those I think were attempted to be addressed
in the bill, but when the EPA goes about its business of
regulating emissions, is there any thought being put into what
happens to certain jurisdictions that are in coal, for
instance, that will be hit hard? It very well may, in fact, I
would suggest to you will result--if we do not take some
account of it--in a transfer of wealth from some parts of the
country to other parts of the country.
And while there are many of us who live in some of these
areas who think that climate change has to be addressed, we are
also concerned that it be done in such a way that some regions
of the country are not disadvantaged unfairly.
And I am wondering if you could speak to that a little bit
and if the EPA has any ideas about how to address it.
Ms. Jackson. Yes. It is something that is of concern to me
personally and, of course, to EPA through out regulations. When
we put out any regulations, of course, they have to go through
an impact analysis, and I would expect that those areas that
are most greenhouse gas intensive, or rely either for energy or
economy on greenhouse gas-intensive industries, are going to be
twice as sensitive about regulatory structure.
It is the essence of why, and one of the strong reasons why
I believe so strongly that legislation is needed, that what
happened in the House needs to be repeated in the Senate.
Because through legislation there are many more opportunities
to address geographic difference, industrial differences,
international differences, as well as provide market incentives
to price and allow the free market to do the real heavy lifting
on this issue of clean energy and a transition of time, some of
which we can regulate.
Mr. Chandler. Are there tools available to you to deal with
this issue and mitigate some of the effects that this may have
on some of these regions of the country?
You know, some of these areas, burn certain fuels for a
number of different reasons. Historic reasons, reasons of
availability of a particular fuel or a lack of availability of
certain green fuels. So it is a concern, and we are going to
see jobs leave certain areas. A whole lot of people I am
afraid, may be dislocated if we do not deal with this.
Ms. Jackson. There are certainly tools under the Clean Air
Act, powerful and effective tools for addressing air pollution,
and it has a proven history over many years.
One of the things I pride myself on is that I consider
myself a person who has, for good or bad, worked a long time in
the regulatory field and with staff that the President
appointed and who are here with the same mindset. We just try
to do all we can to make a pragmatic path forward so that
business gets regulatory certainty.
One thing is for sure. Right now with federal actions but
also with state and local actions in each and every direction,
the one thing it does not have is certainty. The one thing I
believe strongly is that the quickest path to get there is for
Congress to act, for us to have the law to settle the question.
But in the interim, in the time between now and then, because I
am still hopeful that legislation will happen eventually,
sooner rather than later, my pledge is that EPA will act in a
manner consistent with long-term regulation in a commonsense
manner, not in a manner meant to destroy any economy. In fact,
history shows that EPA has not done that. Every single time
business or the hindrance of business or the status quo say EPA
regulations have destroyed the economy, they have, in fact,
unleashed real economic growth with all of it and industries
built around rising to environmental challenges.
Mr. Dicks. Mr. LaTourette.
GREAT LAKES RESTORATION INITIATIVE
Mr. LaTourette. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and welcome, Madam
Administrator. Sorry I was not here for your opening remarks,
to have the opportunity to digest them. I previously remarked
in this subcommittee that for the Stimulus Bill and going from
fiscal year 2009, through the closing for fiscal year 2011, the
EPA's budget has increased 31 percent. And so we were really
buoyed by the President's announcement and you came before us
last year and talked about the $475 million for the Great Lakes
Restoration Initiative. But this year in your budget submission
it is $300 million.
Do you have anything to say about that other than tough
choices had to be made? Because that is a big number.
Ms. Jackson. Yes, sir. This one is one of management and
pragmatic ability to put the money on the street. As you well
know, by the time the money was authorized so that we could
start to solicit grant proposals for the $475 million, we were
almost near the end of calendar year 2009.
And so I asked my staff just the other day how much of that
$475 million do we now have and is authorized, that has been
obligated, and it is still at zero. There are plans to move
that money out. As you know, we have $53 million of it going to
Asian carp, but the $300 million is simply just a reflection
for this year only that we have quite a chunk still to spend.
Mr. LaTourette. I read the document that you produced on
Sunday, and it is a very well-written document, and there are
asterisks in there that indicate, that assumes or presumes $475
million and every year after this. I would just say to that, I
mean, you understand what concerns those of us in the Great
Lakes. I mean, it looks like $175 million for something that
was really needed is taking a walk, but I know you have eight
million things to do. When you came before the subcommittee I
expressed my concern that the way this program was structured
it was not going to get this zero amount obligated, it was not
going to get to the people that are actually going to clear up
the areas of concern, who are going to deal with the invasive
species, that are going to take care of the problems that
exist. And you said that was not true, and I will tell you in
living there you have more money in your proposal going to EPA,
$30 million, for outreach and education, than goes to any other
agency; official wildlife people, coalmines, park service, and
I am lucky in my part of the world to have an area that has
recovered, and I've got to tell you that took 35 years. It took
four Congressmen, and it took north of $60 million.
But will a $300 million pie, EPA is keeping, for your
discretion, $170 million, and that is 56.34 percent. The last
time I checked, I mean, you are a regulatory and enforcement
agency. You do not clean stuff up. Right?
Ms. Jackson. We have a whole clean-up program called the
Mr. LaTourette. Well, yeah, you do, but, who implements the
Superfund Program in terms of putting the shovel in the ground
and restoring habitat and all the things this program is
supposed to deal with?
My concern and my only observation is, I think that under
this proposal you are going to accept RFPs. You are going to
have a lot of different announcements with big checks and the
mayor of this town, and that town is going to show up and say,
``hey, we have got $500,000 for this, $500,000 for that.'' This
funding is a big deal to these areas of concern that really
have choked the commerce and the commercial fishing in the
I think you have stovepipes, and so you are going to get
all these proposals. Everybody is going to get a little bit,
but because you have not put the money in the hands of the
locals and because you put negligible money in the program,
people in our Lakes where the fish are permitted, they cannot
put fish back that have not been there for 30 years. They get
just a tad bit more money than you have kept, not you
personally, but the EPA, has kept for education.
Now, I have to tell you the excitement in the Great Lakes
was not only $475 million, it was that we had real money, we
were going to be treated like the Everglades, and we were going
to clean up the areas of concern. We were going to get the PCBs
out, we were going to bring back our fish stocks. This proposal
with all due respect, undid that, and I would hope that you
would reconsider the direction of this RFP proposal. You are
going to have a million announcements would be my observation.
Mr. Dicks. One thing I just wanted to say, I raise
questions about this program, and what we are doing with the
Puget Sound Recovery Program in Washington state is we looked
at the Great Lakes, and we looked at the Chesapeake Bay. I
brought the GAO in, and I asked them why have they not
succeeded, and they said, bottom line, no accountability. No
plan, no accountability.
And so I think what you have to do with the Great Lakes,
you have to break this up a bit into action areas. But you do
not have a plan, and what I worried about last year, the reason
I was concerned about this is you have to have what we call an
action agenda, and then you have to fund the items that are in
the agenda. There is a lady out in our state who has done a lot
of work on Puget Sound, and she always used to say, the way we
are approaching this is random acts of kindness.
And so, I think the last thing we want to do is throw more
money--if we cannot spend the money we have already got. Then I
think we have to be reasonable about this and say how long is
it going to take. I was unhappy the time it took EPA to get
Puget Sound out and yet it is now starting to get out, and we
are doing projects that are part of the actual agenda.
So all I am saying is I think we have to be a little bit
reasonable. The Administration is totally committed to this,
and if they do not think they can spend the money, then the
effort will get undermined.
Mr. LaTourette. Mr. Chairman, if you will permit me, and
then I know the Administrator wants me back, I do not quibble
with anything you said, but here 56 percent of the money is
staying in-house at the EPA subject to the entire fees that are
going to go out, and we need a plan. I am all for plans. We
have got to treat all five Great Lakes as one big ecosystem
that takes 200 years for water to come from the top of the
Great Lakes down to the bottom. But some of these things we
know what is going on. I mean, I do not know how to take the
Chairman swimming with the sea lamprey and see what he is doing
to our sports fishery industry. We know what has to be done
with the sea lamprey. We have been doing it for years.
Mr. Dicks. Well, let us do it.
Mr. LaTourette. Well, that is my observation to the
Mr. Dicks. Bring in the Fish and Wildlife Service, we will
talk to them, and let us go do it.
Mr. LaTourette. Mr. Chairman, I look forward to your
helping me readjust the EPA's budget submission, because that
is exactly what I am talking about. Less money should be used
for the education piece. $30 million EPA has for outreach, K
through 12, which is great stuff, but it is not killing one sea
lamprey. It is not killing one round goby. It is not going to
keep one Asian carp from coming up the river and eating young
Mr. Dicks. We are trying to make sure we have one round
before the votes.
You have an action plan?
Ms. Jackson. We do, and not only that, but we have a
strategic plan which you know the states and the tribes and
working with the Canadian government because, of course, the
Great Lakes involves national partners as well.
Let me just say what I would love to do is have my staff
come out and sit as we did with you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Dicks. Right.
Ms. Jackson. And walk you through how we came to this plan.
I would ask for, you know, time to explain ourselves. The vast
majority of the EPA money is in toxics cleanups. We are
committing to clean up four or five areas of concern. You know
them well. They have been sitting around--I am sorry. Toxic hot
spots, forever just re-contaminating major parts of the lake.
That costs money. I used to work on clean up. They are never
cheap or non-complex. That is why there is a lot of money
there. As far as education, it is there because that is one of
the things the President's initiative invited, and we will be
doing that, not by doing it ourselves at EPA, but by offering
RFPs to communities to do that work, because that is how change
Lastly, since you mentioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Services it reminds me to just take a second to say that we
absolutely treasure their resources, their assistance. They
were critical and remain critical on the Asian carp and the
loss of Sam Hamilton is, you know, just a tragedy, not only for
his family, which I am sure it must, must be, but for us when
so many things are all working.
Mr. Dicks. We agree with that. All right. Thank you.
Mr. Hinchey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Administrator
Jackson, I want to just thank you for all the things that you
have done and all the progress that you are making, especially
the renewed focus on the original mission of the agency to
protect human health and the natural environment. All of those
things I congratulate you for doing. I also want to express my
appreciation for this committee and the leadership of Norm
Dicks for providing the funding that we need and that you are
using so effectively.
There are a number of issues that are being dealt with.
Some of that money has been used on waste water and water
treatment facilities, billions of dollars gone out to local
communities. All of that is having a positive effect upon them,
on the national environment and also on the quality of the
environment and probably the economy as well, strengthening the
economy and creating jobs.
So you are doing a lot of very good things. I want to
express my appreciation to you for all of that.
Hydraulic fracturing is one issue that I would like to
focus on for just a few minutes, because I think it is
something that is very important for a lot of people around the
country. There have been controls on the way in which hydraulic
fracturing was used up until recently, 2005. There was one bill
here, which a number of us opposed but nevertheless it was
successful, that eliminated a Clean Water Act requirement. And
the fact of the matter is that there are a number of issues
that are resulting from that legislation. Those issues are not
very positive. They are very negative, and they are very
Also, your agency noted in a statement that came out last
week, a quote that I would like to mention here, and it says,
``There are compelling reasons to believe that hydraulic
fracturing may impact ground water and surface water quality in
ways that threaten human health and the environment which
demands further study.'' And, of course, we believe that too. I
want to thank you for including funds in your budget to
initiate a study of hydraulic fracturing and the waste
resources. That follows report language that we put out last
year, which moved this issue in that right direction.
So what do you think? What is the likelihood that EPA could
begin this study some time within the next few months or the
next few weeks?
Ms. Jackson. The start of the study will depend on us being
able to adjust our operating budget for the current fiscal
year. So nothing is budgeted that we are here to present today,
but the current fiscal year operating plan, to move some excess
funds into funding for that study and we really look forward to
working with this committee, with the larger Appropriations
Committee here but also in the Senate to be able to get
approval of the plans to move that money.
What we have done is tried to fund the whole thing out of
our budget this year, next year, but we would love to start it
Mr. Hinchey. Well, I hope you are successful. I hope that
is successful, and I hope it moves forward very positively.
I mean, the idea of drilling for natural gas is very
important. It is very wise and sensible. Natural gas is a very
good, high quality product that we should produce in effective
ways, but it has got to be done in a way that is safe and sound
and secure, that is not going to damage a lot of other people
who may live somewhere in the vicinity where this drilling
And the way in which this drilling has been engaged, we
know, of course, is not just simple drilling. It is the
injection of huge amounts of liquid materials. Not just water
but sand and a whole host of things, including toxic chemicals,
huge amounts of toxic chemicals. There is no honesty now that
is required in the context of having to reveal what they are
putting into the ground, including the toxic chemicals. All of
that is critically important, and it is important primarily for
Mr. Dicks. Would the gentleman yield?
Mr. Hinchey. Yes.
Mr. Dicks. Why is that? Why do they not have to----
Ms. Jackson. They are not regulated federally under the
Safe Drinking Water Act except for essentially diesel,
hydrocarbon issues, which EPA regulates, and Mr. Hinchey is
referring to several recent revelations. Most of the EPA
studies to date, in fact, all of it has really been
inconclusive in terms of a causal effect or contamination. It
raises many questions. That is why the full study is needed,
but recently there have been some facts that have come to life
that show that there may well have been some--it is not just
transparency but some inaccuracy. A company is not reporting
what is going down the well or saying that there is not diesel
and other chemicals going down the well when, in fact, they may
be. I believe it is Chairman Waxman and Mr. Markey, who are now
looking for information from these companies to get a much
better sense of what is going on.
Mr. Hinchey. And we are doing something, and it is very
good, and it is something that needs to be done, and of course,
this was regulated to some extent. Actually, it was regulated
to the extent that you had to be honest about what you were
putting in the ground up until 2005. When that bill passed here
in 2005, it was based upon the false assertion that was made by
your agency under previous Administrators, that there was no
need to have this information out there.
And, of course, then this 2005 bill was passed, and the
2005 bill said if they inject chemicals into the ground in that
fracturing, they do not have to tell anybody about it. They can
keep that to themselves, and that is the situation that we are
Ms. Jackson. Mr. Hinchey is referring to a study that was
done. It was a very limited study that really did no sampling
or analysis. It was simply a literature review of fracturing
techniques. Mostly it was with information submitted by the
industry itself, which has widely, I think, been misquoted and
misinterpreted, could be a much broader indication of the
safety of fracturing than the data warrants. That is why a new
study is needed.
Mr. Dicks. Thank you.
Mr. Hinchey. Thank you.
Mr. Dicks. Mr. Cole.
Mr. Cole. I had not meant to go down that road, but I want
you to finish a little bit. What evidence do you have that
hydraulic fracturing does cause problems?
Ms. Jackson. We have no data that shows--the limited
studies we have done, for example, we have done some limited
look at the request of citizens that drinking water wells
concerns have been encountered, and we cannot make that
connection at all. What I believe is we need to ultimately take
a step back, recognize first and foremost, and I should have
said this, states right now can certainly regulate hydraulic
fracturing. It is not an unregulated activity. It is not
regulated by EPA.
CLIMATE CHANGE REGULATION--ENERGY SOURCE PROMOTION
Mr. Cole. Okay. That was actually the next question I was
going to go to. Again, I do not want to give the impression
this was unregulated activity. It is not, and frankly, it is a
technology that has been used for a lot of years and a lot of
places and certainly my home state and a lot of others.
We have a lot of data, and I think the study is prudent. I
have no problem with that, but the weight of evidence at this
point does not suggest that. The charges here I would suggest
are overstated on the basis of what we know.
Let me ask you this. Back to the question you raised or an
issue, concern you stressed about in some sort of climate
change legislation, that you would obviously much prefer to go
that route, and I think probably all of us would much prefer to
go that route, too. But I think it is very unlikely that is
going to happen in the next 8 months. That is just my judgment,
and I think it is probably less likely after that. So I think
whether you want to or not you are probably headed down the
road to having to discuss broadly what you envision as an
appropriate regulatory framework to deal with climate change
without legislation for it.
Given that, I suspect you are thinking about that and
planning that right now. What sort of regime do you envision
would exist, what sort of regulatory powers would you need and
what sort of energy sources would you try to push the country
Ms. Jackson. It is too soon for me to speculate on the
technical details of the determination, like which control
technologies or which technologies in general should be used to
try to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, but let me just break
it into two sources.
I do think that we have a lot of clarity, and we think we
can go for cars, for fuel efficiency combined with some very
high-tech and targeted ways of dealing with non-fuel issues
that would limit greenhouse gas emission. Central air
conditioning systems come to mind, usually quite a bit because
refrigerants can be so intense in terms of greenhouse gas
I think for cars, potentially for other mobile sources you
can see the future where you start to use existing technology
to make them much more efficient first and then to go after
more emissions as technology continues to evolve. We are
certainly getting there.
This is the history of the Clean Air Act. So although I
cannot speculate on stationary sources, my belief is that
oftentimes with regulations, the history has been that when
people are given time to know what regulation is coming and
understand it, they believe in the certainty of it. It is not
here today, gone tomorrow. It is not like so it is going to be
an issue. Technology will find solutions that will make our
society as a whole more efficient, and that is a very good
thing. As well, business has already started down that track
and then move towards control.
FUTURE ENERGY SOURCES AND INCENTIVES
Mr. Cole. The President in the State of the Union address
mentioned specifically nuclear power and natural gas in
connection. I am just curious of what your thoughts are as to
what the appropriate mix would be and whether or not those are
appropriate avenues to move towards. How would you incentivize
Ms. Jackson. I certainly take my lead from the Department
of Energy in terms of working towards our country's energy
future. As you know, we work very closely together, and the
Secretary has been quite outspoken especially very recently, on
his belief in the need for nuclear power to be part of our
country's energy future.
As to natural gas, my understanding is that the good news
is that we have more of it than we realize, and obviously we
need to make sure it is developed economically, excuse me,
Mr. Cole. I like that economically.
Ms. Jackson. Well, economically would be good but since I
sit here as EPA, I would say that----
Mr. Cole. I have got other questions, but I yield back.
Mr. Dicks. Thank you for helping here.
Mr. Olver. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Ms. Jackson, I
truly would like to commend you on developing somewhat
different words and for your forthrightness in defense of what
you are doing on the issue of climate change with some very
good basis for doing it.
I wanted to ask you about the endangerment finding. I have
seen you characterize that endangerment finding as really
applied only to six gases?
Ms. Jackson. Yes, the endangerment finding looks at
greenhouse gases, six gases, in terms of their greenhouse gas
potential. It does not mean that those are the only greenhouse
gases that are out there, but those are the six the findings
Mr. Olver. I see. What are they? What are those six?
Ms. Jackson. Of course, there is CO2 and
methane. It is SF6, sulfur hexafluorides. It is two
different refrigerants. Right? As a class. I am missing one.
Mr. Olver. Nitrous oxide.
Ms. Jackson. Look at you. Thank you.
Mr. Olver. But it is only those six?
Ms. Jackson. Those six.
Mr. Olver. And the fluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons,
those are refrigerants.
Ms. Jackson. Refrigerants.
Mr. Olver. The others are all--nitrous oxide is largely
Ms. Jackson. But also from soils. For example, a result of
Mr. Olver. Used as fertilizers.
Ms. Jackson. Yes.
Mr. Olver. My recollection is that 20 years ago the big
battle was over the ozone layer, the destruction of the ozone
layer, and I thought we had been pretty successful at limiting
the refrigerants, which I thought were either the same
compounds that were very related compounds, to the
hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons that are now again the
subject of the endangerment finding. Are we back to using
those, and have I missed some sequence here? It is fairly
successful even though in Australia and some parts of the
southern hemisphere there is a great deal of concern. If they
have any tendency towards light skin, an Irish skin or an
orange skin or something like that, that they really lather up
when they go to beaches because of the sun regeneration of the
ozone layer. But that is certainly back to where it was.
Ms. Jackson. But although I think you are absolutely right,
sir, about the Montreal Protocol: the protocol that was put
into place internationally to phase out the use of CFCs that is
widely considered to be a success story. And in fact, the
discussion of how to deal with the two classes of refrigerants
that are considered to be greenhouse gases, which in some cases
replaced the ozone. So now we move from one thing to the next
and the next now needs to be dealt with.
We are using the Montreal Protocol as the framework to
guide the reduction of these gases because there was some
success in reducing others.
Mr. Olver. Okay. What are we finding now as the
concentrations of these refrigerants, hydrofluorocarbons and
perfluorocarbon refrigerants, in the atmosphere?
Ms. Jackson. I do not know if I can give the atmospheric
concentration, but I think your general statement that it is
considered to have been a success in terms of phasing out the
use of fluorocarbons generally and reducing the need for their
uses has meant that we believe we have dealt with our
stratospheric ozone, which is what CFCs were impacting. We can
get you information. It is considered to be successful, but I
do not know the concentrations.
[The information follows:]
Question: What are we finding now as the concentrations of these
[HFCs and PFCs] in the atmosphere?
CURRENT ATMOSPHERIC CONCENTRATIONS OF HYDROFLUOROCARBONS (HFC) AND
HFCs and PFCs presently have relatively low atmospheric
concentrations measured in parts per trillion. However, concentrations
of many of these gases increased by large factors (between 1.3 and 4.3)
between 1998 and 2005. In 2005, these gases and sulfur hexafluoride
(SF6) had a total radiative forcing of +0.017
(0.002) W/m\2\ but this is increasing by roughly 10% per
year (Forster et al., 2007).
Source: Technical Support Document for Endangerment and Cause or
Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the
Clean Air Act (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/downloads/
Mr. Olver. Then is it possible for you to get us something
that redistributes, that shows what the concentration was,
about these endangerment gases that are in the atmosphere, and
how has this changed over a period of time? In some cases, we
have not been measuring them for very long, but we do have
clear ideas of what the measurements have been, going somewhat
farther back, at least for methane and nitrous oxide and
And also if you would give us, in the same place, what is
the relevant power as a heat-trapping gas, as an energy-
trapping gas, what the various ones are?
Ms. Jackson. I am happy to do----
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Mr. Olver. I think the perforo items are by far the most
powerful, but they are also probably the very smallest
Ms. Jackson. That is right, and the other factor that we
will include in there is half-life because the thing about
CO2 as compared to the other five of them is that it
has the longest half-life. For example, methane has over 20
times more carbon than CO2, but it does not live in
the atmosphere quite as long, but that is why methane is sort
of next on the hit list. Nitrous oxide as well. You need all of
Mr. Olver. When you say next on the hit list, what do you
mean by that?
Ms. Jackson. In many ways when we look at opportunities I
mentioned the mobile source for methane opportunities around
landfills, for example, which present real opportunities to see
changes, whether they are considered as offsets so that they
are not regulated or whether you happen to get advantages.
Mr. Olver. We seem to be moving towards trying to capture
methane that would otherwise be released from old landfills. A
lot of places----
Ms. Jackson. That depends on the advantage of also being--
Mr. Olver [continuing]. Are doing that nowadays. You see
them all the time, so it is possible to use that methane, to
capture it, and make sure it does not go into the atmosphere.
What are the key places where we get methane into the
Ms. Jackson. Well, certainly agriculture operations with
large livestock operations.
Mr. Olver. Right.
Ms. Jackson. There USDA certainly has opportunities, and I
am sure, I mean, that by far is the largest, I think.
Mr. Olver. What about the situation in the arctic where it
is melting, and there is----
Ms. Jackson. Permafrost----
Mr. Olver. Tell us about that.
Ms. Jackson. You know, the other place that we hear a lot
about methane is when people talk about no-till farming. Part
of the reason is that being stored in soil pores are gases like
nitrous oxide and methanes that can be released. When you talk
about the permafrost, what happens is at some point if you
continue to see arctic melt, you lose the permafrost, which is
a sort of seal, if you will, that will then allow a lot of
methane to be released. Just keep in mind that, you know,
everything you need to know you learn from Disney. So these are
full of life. When something dies, this methane is just a
natural part of decay, and so in the arctic all that decay
potential is sitting there. That is what makes natural gas
deposits, and that is what makes oil deposits.
Mr. Olver. I think it might be very helpful if you named
three major sources, one of them being landfills, which are a
manmade issue in the first place. Second is the livestock,
which I think all I could ask for is what we are doing in the
United States in terms of how much methane we are producing
from livestock, because that is basically going into the
atmosphere in large measure until we figure out ways to really
control that, even from livestock operations. Not quite sure
what kind of diaper you were going to use on our livestock to
deal with that, but then on the methane, we have billions upon
billions, billions squared, tons of methane containing hydrates
in the permafrost, and we have them in the ocean, and as the
oceans warm, the permafrost melts. That is going to be
released, and that is horrendously more dangerous as you
Ms. Jackson. It is a bit of a tipping----
Mr. Olver. I thought it was 25 times more, but 25 and 40
are the subdividers in 1,000, you know, so I may have just
Ms. Jackson. I think methane is 39 times more.
Mr. Olver. But if you could summarize that in some sort of
a chart or some sort of a graph or something that would show us
that graphically, it would be something that might help educate
some of the people who you need to educate of this process.
Ms. Jackson. Yes, I am happy to. Let me just point out that
because of talking about points for technology, just changing
feed has an enormous impact on agriculture. It is why my
colleague, Secretary Vilsack, says that there is enormous
opportunity in agriculture in dealing with climate change,
especially since the piece of legislation passed by this House
did not regulate agriculture. It did not in any way say what
you must do. There are opportunities for additional increases
by adjusting feed or changing how you manage your own ends. We
will get that information.
Mr. Olver. I would very much appreciate that summary. Thank
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Mr. Dicks. All right. Let me ask you one quick question
then we are going to go to the Floor to vote. What about carbon
sequestration? What are we doing there?
Ms. Jackson. There are two things. First, the President
recently asked me to co-chair a task force with Secretary Chu
to move carbon capture and sequestration on ten projects
commercially in the near future.
Mr. Dicks. Is USGS involved in that?
Ms. Jackson. Yes. We work closely with the USGS. EPA has
besides a scientific role, a regulatory role----
Mr. Dicks. Right.
Ms. Jackson [continuing]. Under the safe Drinking Water Act
for the injection of carbon dioxide and sequestering it
geologically. It is going to be a regulated activity then, so
EPA has money in the budget. I think it is a $2 million
increase in this budget, but that is not a total amount to
develop a framework for that carbon capture and sequestration
so that the regulations are not a stopper when we finally get
the technology deployed.
Mr. Dicks. Dr. Mark Meyers, who was the head of USGS in the
previous Administration, had some very important testimony
where he said we have not done these sorts of pilot projects.
We have done a lot of these in oil and gas fields, but we have
not done it out in other areas. We are going to put this stuff
in the ground to see, but there has not been much science here
to base decisions on. So I am glad to hear you are going to do
some projects and pilots on this to see how this really works.
Ms. Jackson. Right. DOE will pay for most of the large
pilots, and they have already announced one, at least one I am
aware of, in West Virginia. You are absolutely right. It is
done as part of the oil industry to enhance recovery of oil
from the ground. The difference here is, of course, when you
put the CO2 in, you want to make sure it stays where
you put it, does not impact someone else's land, does not cause
Mr. Dicks. And that is the point he was making. There is a
lot of science there.
Mr. Moran. I have a quick comment.
Mr. Dicks. Yes. Go ahead. I yield.
Mr. Moran. First of all, the exciting thing as a company is
concerned is that if we could find a way to capture--that would
be a real solution and maybe the only alternative. But the only
other comment is I really was surprised that EPA does not list
BPA in the six chemicals. All of a sudden it was dropped, and I
will discuss that with you further. I want to ask you a
question about it. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Ms. Jackson. Thank you.
Mr. Dicks. All right. I hate to hold you here, but I think
several members want to come back. We will come back. We are
going to go have three votes, and we will come right back and
try to wrap this up.
Mr. Dicks. Last year EPA and the Department of Justice
brought criminal charges against at least three individuals in
a conspiracy of the federal Superfund site and the diamond
alkaline site in New Jersey. On October 28, 2009, a New Jersey
contractor pled guilty to defrauding the government. He
admitted to kickbacks to former employees in exchange for the
award of a subcontract and inflating prices on the subcontract
so as to finance the kickback. This is unacceptable. This was
just the latest in the string of events that have led to three
companies and eight individuals pleading guilty.
The Superfund Program manages clean-up contracts worth
billions of dollars. In light of the recent findings, what
measures are you taking to ensure that this type of fraud is
stopped dead in its tracks?
Ms. Jackson. I absolutely agree that kind of fraud is
unacceptable. The Inspector General at EPA is proud of the fact
that they helped to uncover the cases that you mentioned. A
strong Inspector General is absolutely critical when you have
programs like the Superfund Program. Just to add, Mr. Chairman,
I think we spoke about this, a lot of times in the Recovery Act
you see bids coming in less than they have ever come in before.
So that means when in this economic climate we should start to
see if not costs deescalate, certainly not costs escalating.
And we have worked since the beginning of the Recovery Act to
look at making our contracting mechanisms more efficient, even
more transparent so that we can get the absolute most money for
our federal dollars when it comes to this program.
Mr. Dicks. Tell me about your initiative on the Brownfields
grants. You are trying to help some poorer communities on
Ms. Jackson. Well, the issue with Brownfields is that some
communities are lucky enough not to have a major Superfund site
near them, but they find themselves with old abandoned sites.
And oftentimes they are in poor, underserved areas but not
entirely. They can be in parts of rural America that are
relatively small sites. One of the things that I did last year
was go to the National Brownfields Conference. It happened to
be my hometown of New Orleans, and that was one of the happy
days, where mayors, came up to me over and over and said, we
love the Brownfields Program, and it was, you know, mayors from
all over the country.
And so one of the things I take away from that was the need
to advocate for this and they certainly agree on more money for
the Brownfields Program, and I believe that indicates $41.5
million, for Brownfields.
MEXICO BORDER PROGRAM
Mr. Dicks. Good. For a number of years the request of the
U.S., Mexico border program has decreased. At one time it was
as large as $100 million. Your fiscal year 2011 request is $10
million, a $7 million decrease from the fiscal year 2010 level.
We have repeatedly expressed concerns about the high,
unliquidated balances in this program. I am pleased to see that
you have heard us, and the Office of Water has implemented new
policies which seem to have had some success in bringing down
the balances. In 1 year you have brought down a balance by 46
Please explain for the committee the changes you have made
to the program to achieve this reduction. If you want to bring
up one of your other people to do this----
Ms. Jackson. Well, Pete, do you want to----
Mr. Silva. Yes.
Mr. Dicks. We have a lot of interest in this program.
Ms. Jackson. Sir, Mr. Chairman, you know Pete Silva, Office
Mr. Dicks. Yes.
Mr. Silva. Yes, Mr. Chairman. As a matter of fact, I was
around the back for awhile in El Paso.
Mr. Dicks. Good.
Mr. Silva. I am very familiar with the program, and there
was a concern it was about $300 million about 3 years ago. The
number of efforts primarily trying to put more money, design,
and take care of the description side of it, we were able to
bring that amount down to about $125 million.
So we are below, I think, the target that we set for the
program at about $140 million. We made a lot of progress in the
last 3 years.
Mr. Dicks. What are some of the things you are working on?
This is waste water treatment facilities?
Mr. Silva. Yes, sir. It is waste water. The bulk of the
money goes into waste water and water treatment plants
improvements and actually a lot of new plants both in Mexico
and the U.S.
Mr. Dicks. So do we work with the Mexican government on
Mr. Silva. Yes, sir. As a matter of fact, the National
Water Commission for Mexico provides an equal match, at least
an equal match to the money that is put in by EPA and the U.S.
government, so we actually leverage at least two to one for
Mr. Dicks. So why are we decreasing the funding?
Mr. Silva. Well, sir, we went to see it. We cannot go out
further. Again, I think it was partly because of the concern
for the--but again, that has been changed in the last few
Mr. Dicks. Okay. Mr. Simpson.
Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Surprisingly, I not
going to go back into greenhouse gases except to say there is a
change in the weather. I understand all the new things, and we
do not talk about global warming anymore. We talk about climate
change, and you know, we got to find things more acceptable to
But it concerns me when the agency says it is settled
science because what is, I think, probably settled is that most
people agree that climate change is occurring. What is not
settled is what impact man is having on it and what impact we
can have in changing things, and I am not a climate change
denier or anything like that----
Ms. Jackson. Yes.
Mr. Simpson [continuing]. But I think some of the time, in
fact, not some of the time, almost all the time government
reaction is almost an overreaction to things, and I am
concerned about that, and I am concerned that because the
impacts on our economy are tremendous. And so I get concerned
when we say, well, it is settled science, and let us move on
and do whatever, and that is the only place I am coming from is
I do not believe that it is settled. Certainly man has an
impact. The extent of that impact is what the debate is all
A year ago we met in my office, and I talked to you about
my concerns about different enforcement of EPA rules by
different regions. Still there are companies that have
facilities, organizations that have facilities and different
parts regulated or under different EPA regions and different
interpretations of rules and different working of rules.
What are you doing to address that and try to get some
standardization across the country, and do court decisions in
different regions have an impact on that?
Ms. Jackson. Yes. The answer to the second question is
certainly they do. You will have a circuit court decision in
one area that may be different. We try to take any decision in
the circuit court and look at its national implications and try
to make national policy and sort of keep a level playing field.
I committed to you a year ago, sir, that there absolutely has
to be a level playing field in this country. It is not fair to
any business that they can look across to some other
jurisdiction and see somebody doing something and making more
money simply because environmental regulations are not
We have made great progress. We are not done. The first
parts of the progress were in getting together a management
team, that includes my head of enforcement, Cynthia Giles, who
is here, but it also includes getting regional heads. We have
ten regional heads, and you know that Douglas McClarion just
began this week actually in our Seattle regional office, and we
still have three positions to fill. So we are not quite done,
but I think we have made great progress.
In addition, one of the things that Cynthia has done is
come up with enforcement rules for the country. One of them
stresses the need to make sure that there is accountability and
partnership with the state. The vast majority of the
enforcement is actually done by the state, and EPA's role is
one of a partner that I like to call the partnership with
Mr. Simpson. One other issue, I think I heard that at this
proposed budget you have proposed extending the little Davis-
Bacon provisions that existed that was authored by my good
friend from Ohio. I am kind of agnostic about it. The fact is,
though, there are 17 states that for whatever reason those
states have chosen not to extend the little Davis-Bacon law. So
there are 33 states, including my good friend's state of Ohio,
that this does not impact whatsoever. It only affects those 13
states that do not have little Davis-Bacon laws. So we decided
to impose that on all those 17 states, for whatever reasons,
that which state legislators have chosen not to do it. Some of
them have had little Davis-Bacon laws and repealed them, and
that was a decision at the local level.
The question comes, first of all, for the Administration to
include that in their budget seems rather strange to me in that
it is really a policy decision that Congress ought to be
making. Secondly, the interpretation that the EPA has put on
that whether it is a calendar year or funds that were
appropriated during a calendar year. Not calendar year but
fiscal year. Because I hear from my DEQ people, Division of
Environmental Quality, in Idaho that administer these grants,
that there are grants that have been out for bid, the
construction has not started on yet, but all of a sudden now
Davis-Bacon is going to apply to those, the cost goes up, they
have to re-bid them under Davis-Bacon requirements and so
forth. I think the intent was that it applied to the funds that
were appropriated in our 2010, appropriation bill, because
there are funds that were appropriated the year before that
just have not gone out yet in the 2010 time frame.
Have you heard from any other states? Because I have heard
from a couple others and a couple other legislators that
actually voted, in fact, I think we all did. But said when they
heard from their states, ``I would have never voted for this if
I would have known that it was going to kind of effectively be
Ms. Jackson. Right. Because of the language in the
appropriations law last year, we had lots of attorneys look at
this and tried to come up with as reasonable a path forward as
frankly the law allowed. I think the intent was to really deal
with money that was going to be spent, but just because of the
way the process works, some people were trying to do a lead
time on contracting before they actually signed the contract.
Mr. Simpson. Right.
Ms. Jackson. Requesting time for bids and potentially even
challenging for bids, and some places there were local
referendums they have to approve the bids and we did have a
small, it is not a large number. You said a few, and I would
agree with that. A few states there were some projects that got
caught in that in-between.
I do think it is fair to say that EPA's staff worked really
hard on a retail level, project by project, with those states
to try to resolve issues as we became aware of them, and I
think by and large we have been quite successful.
There are places we need to discuss, and those are the ones
we would welcome knowing about. To be honest, the language this
year is really in part a nod to two things. One, that it was
very few states that had the problem, that in general we do not
have any stories where a project cost went way up because of
the Davis-Bacon requirements, and last but not least, some
sensitivity to changing the rules back and forth is what causes
Mr. Simpson. Right.
Ms. Jackson. So I think if people just know what the rules
are, they will go with that, and I suspect that there will be
policy decisions that will happen.
Mr. Simpson. Well, if this even goes forward and it goes
forward in future years, then it will not be an issue because
eventually all those projects will be done. So it is only a
time when the policy is changing and the question is does it
attach to dollars that are appropriated for a certain period of
time, or does it attach to the fiscal year that the project
starts, regardless of where the dollars come from.
Ms. Jackson. Thank you.
Mr. Simpson. And that is the real debate, and I understand
that there are a few projects that, well, I am not willing to
argue that Davis-Bacon adds, you know, 40 percent to the cost
or whatever. The fact that they have had to go out and re-bid
some of those because of the new requirement of Davis-Bacon
that was not a requirement before when they did them is a cost
in and of itself. So if there are projects there that are doing
that, I would encourage you to see if we can resolve some of
those because I think the intent of Congress is I know you are
trying to carry it out, and it may be the language, the
wordsmith to my right was not all that clear in his drafting.
Ms. Jackson. Just one point----
Mr. Simpson. The road to hell is paved with good
intentions. I understand.
Ms. Jackson. By and large the impact has been remarkably
small. You are right. It is the transitions that get you, and I
think it is probably fair, I guess, to say that we were through
the worst of it because the year of the change is when we saw
people raising their hands and saying, hey.
Mr. Simpson. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Mollohan [presiding]. Madam, everyone has welcomed you,
and I would like to as well. I am from West Virginia, the first
Congressional district in West Virginia. You have been very
active in my state recently. Your agency has been very active
in West Virginia, particularly in the southern area. I would
like to just explore some of that activity.
First of all, let me start out by thanking you for this
process of your review. It is an important operation, so that
proves that you can move forward and reach resolution in some
of those extremely difficult issues.
The first thing I would like to ask you about is the status
of Spruce One. That is a situation where the EPA had previously
under the previous Administration reviewed and came to terms
and granted looking at it after an initial issuance. Can you
give us any indication of where you are on Spruce and what kind
of claim you might be working in that particular one?
Ms. Jackson. Yes. I would be happy to. The Spruce One mine,
when we announced that, I spoke with the chair, in trying to
come to some accommodation, and those negotiations continue. It
would probably not be proper for me in a public forum to
divulge how they are going, and that is where things stand. We
are rapidly, I think, at a point where we will be able to talk
more publicly about it. And the only thing I will say about
this one, that particular permit is that it is doing quite
well, and EPA had concerns about the potential impacts of that
permit, and so that is why we took the unusual step.
Mr. Mollohan. This manifests itself subsequent to the
original issuance of the permit?
Ms. Jackson. EPA's comments pre-dates the initial permit.
What happened in the past was that EPA issued concern and
comment letters but then the permits were often issued without
much change or the regard for the concerns the EPA was making.
And what has also happened subsequent, this one has been tied
up in litigation for a long, long period of time, so the reason
this came to light, if you will, is that finally that
litigation was moved, and the permit was about the move
Mr. Mollohan. I hope it is fair to take your comments
I understand there are 108 pending permits and you
announced 108 pending permits will require completion. I just
share this with you not because it has not been shared with
you, but I am going to share with you again in this forum
concerns from the industry side, from the community side, and
the miner's side, and from a citizen of the state. You know, it
is one thing to be opposed to something and another thing to be
for something, but West Virginia finds itself really scared of
this process. When you are dealing with coal in West Virginia,
you are dealing fundamentally with an economic issue, but you
are really dealing with cultural issues, too. And so when you
are looking at this process on such a wide-spread basis, it
really starts vibrating every thread in the cultural fabric,
and that is what is happening.
So whatever the balance is and whether it is, in balance
one way or not, understanding what the process is and what the
rules of engagement are, who we are supposed to be talking to,
who we are not supposed to be talking to, and while I am
directly involved in the process, obviously, I am not going to
operate any agency, there are expressions of those concerns.
So to the extent that the Administrator can look at that
process and say, to the extent possibly in certainty to how we
are going to do this, who is going to speak for it, and then
some reasonable timeframe to come to resolution. None of that
is in a resource gentleman's question, and the State of West
Virginia--just keeping in mind this is, while it is a big task
undertaking of the agency, it is a big task with the company.
Do you feel you can--that is not exactly a question, then
if you can comment on your sensitivity to all of that it would
Ms. Jackson. Yes. Absolutely. Not growing up or having much
contact with West Virginia before, I am the daughter of a
postal worker, so I want to be there to calm these wonderful
people, people who just are concerned in a tough time. I am
also duty bound, and this is probably one of the hardest issues
we are dealing with at EPA, water quality for the country, and
the science of what helps the water quality when still miles
and miles of streams, not just stream but head-water streams
because by definition they are the top of the mountain, and the
water flows downhill, and what that means at the bottom our
ability to mitigate that to restore the landscaping in a way
where we do not have those problems, I think the science is
showing that there are real severe concerns here. And I am
worried about that, too.
So I do believe that for many of these this is about
transition and justice and certainty and what I have said is
that we will get conditional clarity out in the form of process
by giving more clarity as to what it is and science tells us
what we are looking for. We are working on that right now very,
I just want to remind you, these permits have been
litigated in many cases for decades. Spruce is not an unusual
situation, and the reason is because there are fierce battles
over what this is doing to the water quality in West Virginia.
And I want the people of West Virginia to know that this is not
about anything other than that, meaning we have, as you well
know, sir, in the streams in West Virginia that are saltier
because of salt that is flowing into those. And that situation
is one where we may have irreparable harm.
Mr. Mollohan. Thank you, and perhaps we can follow up on
that. I would love to follow up on that. I just want to mention
before I go because I know your time is limited, I would like
to talk with you perhaps on another occasion about the
Administration's June '09 interagency action plan on
Mountaintop Coal Mining which states ``Federal agencies will
work in cooperation with the appropriate regional, state, and
local entities to help diversify and strengthen the Appalachian
regional economy and promote the health and welfare of
I would like to follow up and see what that means with you,
and I would like to submit some comments from my line of
Ms. Jackson. Thank you.
GREAT LAKES--DAVIS BACON
Mr. LaTourette. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I wanted to
talk to you just a couple more minutes about the Great Lakes,
so let me just make a couple of observations.
The EPA has been criticized for its interpretation of that
language, which was watered down sadly by the Senate. The
original Moran amendment would have had Davis-Bacon protections
instated in perpetuity, but in the Senate we could only get one
year, and that is why it is limited to one year in the law.
EPA's determination is completely consistent with the
intent of the United States Congress, and there were more votes
to apply Davis-Bacon. One of the reasons we did not have any
Water Research and Development Act for 7 years was because my
leadership did not want to bring it forth because they know
they got all those loans, and then they would look bad in front
of people that they did not want to look bad in front of.
But the fact of the matter is that when we regained the
chairman in 2009, it exactly indicates that this could be
Davis-Bacon coverage for subsequent rounds.
The other thing I wanted to discuss--I do not know where
Perkins, Oklahoma, is. I do not know that I care where Perkins,
Oklahoma is, but it is not a federal wage, it is a local wage.
For anybody that this concerns as a result of the Davis-Bacon
protection in Perkins, Oklahoma, the taxpayers being gouged, I
happen to have ratings for backhaul operators in Perkins,
Oklahoma. It is $8.40 with no minimum.
Now, that does not seem like a lot of money, and so I, as I
said at the time we submitted the amendment, both Davis and
Bacon were Republicans. People who came in and undercut the
local labor market, but you want people who live in this
facility and are going to pay taxes to support the police, the
school, the fires, and everything else. So enough said. I am
sorry for those 19 states that do not have little Davis-Bacon.
Mr. Olver. I thank you, and I very much appreciate your
offer to send folks to come see me. I do not want to be
misunderstood as a troublemaker, but I spent 12 years in the
transportation community. When we did the last bill, we had
what I thought was a great idea, it was a great bipartisan
idea. We set aside $17.5 million for projects that were
regionally submitted, and the deal was that in order to qualify
each one of those had to be at least half a billion dollars. So
we are talking about really a billion something. We were not
talking about spreading it on.
I understood that that meant there was going to be about 30
of them around the country. I mean, I get one. But what
happened was it went over to the Senate, they decided to just
can them all. What we do in my neck of the woods, we have a
road that is going to have a bridged entrance and--in our
center we got $200 million. Well, great, but it is still
sitting there, and we are not going to build a building for
$200 million, and that is my concern, that we do not create
stovepipes. Mr. LaTourette committed real money, $85, $90 bucks
to the areas of concern, that we really take care of areas of
concern, not take care of, little pieces of different areas.
So I look forward to meeting. I appreciate you. I think--
just so that people still think I am imposing, right. I was
struck by the $7 million and 6,800 jobs, and you know, one of
the satisfactions is the correlation of the dollars spent and
jobs created. And 6,800 jobs is nothing to sneeze at, but
$158,000 per job. We could employ a lot of backhoe operators in
Perkins, Oklahoma, apparently for a lot less than $158,000.
So we are looking for efficiency here and actually putting
more money on the street in the way that creates the most jobs
possible, and that is it, and I thank you for your attention
and look forward to meeting.
Mr. Mollohan. Okay. Thank you. Madam Administrator, I
understand that you need to leave here fairly shortly, so we
will take one round of questions from Mr. Price since he has
not had a chance to ask and then we will close.
Mr. Price. Well, thank you, Madam Administrator, Ms.
Bennett, good to see both of you here. We were together, the
Administrator and I in Durham, North Carolina, on a very joyous
day when we announced a Recovery Act half billion dollar plus
grant for high speed rail from Raleigh to Charlotte, and you
were kind to come down to North Carolina to make that
announcement, and indeed it was good news for the environment,
good news for our transportation system, good news for jobs. It
was a great day, and I appreciate your role in public attention
to what we are doing in the state because we have invested a
great deal in high speed rail, and it is satisfying to see that
I want to in the time I have here, and I appreciate the
indulgence here at the end of the hearing, the time I have here
I want to put on, partially anyway, put on my hat as Homeland
Security Appropriations chairman and focus on the portion of
your budget that is of particular interest to Homeland
I ask a question regarding the Water Security Initiative.
That is a pilot program with five high priority cities designed
to demonstrate an effective system for timely detection and
appropriate response to drinking water contamination threats
And then on a parallel track, the Department of Homeland
Security has developed a bio-watch system of monitors to detect
airborne biological threats in 30 major U.S. cities. Congress
has spent hundreds of millions on the Bio-Watch Program over 7
years. The President's proposal this year is to double funding
for that program from $89 million to $173 million in fiscal
Your budget, however, cuts the Water Security Initiative
from $18.7 million to $10.4 million, basically maintaining that
program at the pilot sites and no more. Now, the Bio-Watch
Program has had its fair share of problems from program delays
to technological challenges, and it may be that the comparison
of the two programs is not--they are not precisely comparable.
I will grant that going in.
At the same time it is striking the contrast between the
two aspects of the President's budget, and I wonder if the
greater focus we placed on the airborne threat relative to that
of the water supply as evidenced by these two programs and
their fate in this year's budget is a wiser property balance
So let me ask you two questions. First, can we rest assured
that we are doing everything we can to protect the drinking
water supply from intentional contamination with this proposal?
Or to put it another way, is it right to directly compare these
two initiatives and then draw conclusions about the
government's emphasis on bio-surveillance?
I know that that Bio-Watch Program, of course, they fall
under our department, but I also know that some of the
expertise involved in accomplishing the airborne surveillance
system does rest with your department. So my second question is
what has been the nature of EPA's involvement with DHS in the
development of bio-watch sensors and their architectural
design? Have you been able to leverage any of the research
done? For example, at EPA's High Bay Facility in North
Carolina, to support the Bio-Watch Program or other biological
threat protection issues.
Ms. Jackson. Thanks. Let me do one, Mr. Price, first, and
the need for us to maintain vigilance with respect to our water
supply has not diminished. The basis for the reduction, the
proposed reduction in the President's budget is simply that we
have full-scale pilots, and the idea was to keep an amount of
money. I would say the funding of the pilot is done, but that
does not mean the pilots are done, nor has the purpose of the
pilot, which is to collect information, evaluate it,
potentially disseminate it to the large public and private
water systems so that that what we learn, the good of what we
learn can be implemented and used for the protection of our
So the reduction reflects the reality that we do not need
as much money to initiate and fund the actual construction of
the pilots and the sample. We have work yet to do to get that
information evaluated and decide what worked and what did not,
which is usually--which is the purpose of the pilot.
The analogy to the air sector is not at all a bad one.
There are quite different technical challenges for obvious
reasons, and so there were approached quite differently. The
Bio-Watch Program is not as much of a pilot as it was meant to
be a source of vigilance. I believe it is right to say, correct
me if I am wrong, but I believe we did everything including
technical assistance, monitoring the systems in terms of
helping to set up the right protocols and how to monitor for
certain potential threats to our people. Because we manage air
monitoring networks all over the country for air quality
purposes, we have a built-in way to distribute and help ensure
that states and local governments could locate monitors for
So I do believe that North Carolina just played a role in
all of those areas.
Mr. Price. Well, tomorrow we launch this year's cycle of
hearings in Homeland Security and besides hearing from the
Secretary we are also going to receive the results of a
National Academy of Sciences study that we commissioned on Bio-
watch, and undertake a hearing on that program, and we are
going to look at the President's budget. We are going to
scrutinize it carefully. It does envision the widespread
deployment of bio-watch sensors in maybe 50 U.S. cities. It is
not clear what the optimal scope scale of that program is.
Clearly, by its very nature it is limited and actually
complemented by other modes of surveillance.
But the contrast is striking, and I guess I am left asking
you just to elaborate for another moment--is the difference in
scale do you think just a function of where these programs are
with respect to being deployment ready? Or is it likely
something that if we looked at this budget five years from now
we would still see much more widespread deployment of airborne
surveillance programs as compared to the drinking water
Ms. Jackson. Well, let me clarify. I am just going to
speculate here. This is more from my prior job as a state
commissioner than my current one. I think you have to realize
that the public water supply in this country is either run by
private companies who, you know, long ago bought all the
municipal systems and run them or municipalities, and so they
are public systems. And in both cases there has long been a
need in attention to monitoring as a fundamental job you are
supposed to use clean water. After 9/11 certainly there was
increased need to realize that someone might want to use the
systems to purposely do us harm, and they are varied. You know,
in some places we are talking about huge reservoir systems.
They have had to be on top of this issue of trying to think
about who might try to tamper with the quality for quite some
And I have always been impressed as a sector how much work
was done in the water sector. The air is different. No one owns
the air, right, and so there is no one entity who has for a
long time monitored air for today and today's governments for
air quality purposes.
So some of the difference may well be that there is no
private imperative and no private sector that is matching that
money up with the Bio-Watch Program. I am just guessing. Based
on what I know it has really been a public investment.
Mr. Price. Now, that is a theory of legitimate distinction,
and so what I am inferring is that your assumption is that as
these pilot programs in the Water Security Initiative go
forward, then you expect this will be picked up by whoever is
managing the water supply and in multiple locations.
Ms. Jackson. And I would suppose the Department of Homeland
Security would want that and might even require it in some
cases of the owners and communities in existence. I should also
mention that we have a big lab in Cincinnati, and there I know
that that lab is quite proud of a lot of the work they do, the
technical work to support issues, engineering issues of
Mr. Price. Well, Mr. Chairman, I will submit other
questions for the record. I appreciate the chance to have this
exchange and yield back.
Mr. Olver. Thank you. Madam Administrator, thank you very
much for being here with us today, and as I promised we will
get you out of here a few minutes later than perhaps you
wanted, but thank you for your testimony and for your service.
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Thursday, February 25, 2010.
FISCAL YEAR 2011 BUDGET REQUEST FOR THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE
THOMAS TIDWELL, CHIEF OF FOREST SERVICE
KATHLEEN ATKINSON, DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC PLANNING, BUDGET AND
Opening Statement: Chairman Dicks
Mr. Dicks. The committee will come to order.
Today we welcome the Chief of the Forest Service, Tom
Tidwell, and the Budget Director, Kathleen Atkinson. I believe
this is the first time for both of you in front of this
subcommittee, and thank you for coming today.
I have a longstanding interest in the Forest Service. This
agency is important in my district and in the State of
Washington. We had oversight hearings last year on Forest
Service management and on the wildfire program, and I am sure
the committee will continue this oversight.
Last year's budget was pretty generous to the Forest
Service. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act also
focused an additional $1.15 billion for various important
projects. These projects are fixing federal assets and
improving our environment while creating many jobs, especially
in rural areas. Chief, you will need to explain your agency's
This year, all of our budgets will have to be tighter and
more focused. We need to use this hearing and other
opportunities to understand what it is in the budget request
and to look for areas where savings might be realized. This
committee will look at GAO and Inspector General reports and
other sources for information concerning Forest Service waste,
performance and efficiency but we are glad that the Forest
Service budget can be balanced now and verified, and we
appreciate the good work that has been done there.
The new budget request has a couple of big changes. I want
to hear your rationale for these items. We need to carefully
examine and evaluate how you are planning to restructure your
national forest system budget. Although I certainly support
your goals of improving watersheds and restoring forests, it is
not at all clear that this big funding bucket with less
accountability is needed. Just last year at our oversight
hearing, the GAO once again raised concerns about your data
collection for performance and environmental monitoring. We
need to see if your newly merged budget has meaningful
The Forest Service has an ongoing problem demonstrating
that it is not wasting or improperly prioritizing funds. People
think that you fund internal administrative functions first and
use what remains for your core conservation and forestry
mission. I hope you can explain why you feel it is so necessary
to reduce the Legacy Road and Trail remediation program so
dramatically. It is vital for fixing roads which damage
sensitive watersheds. This is a key aspect of watershed
restoration, but it is left out of your new restoration focus.
You also need to explain how the Service will be able to
maintain access to the national forests without funding for
road improvements and we will need to take a careful look at
the proposed funding reduction for the Forest Service Research
Program, which does very high-quality science, helping public
and private managers nationwide.
I cannot finish without a comment on the wildfire program.
The request has a very large sum for wildfire suppression, well
in excess of recent expenditures, and the budget has reductions
for several important cooperative wildfire programs. I am
pleased to see that the request has funds for the newly
established FLAME account, but I am interested in hearing how
the additional suppression reserve account will work and why we
need three separate wildfire suppression accounts.
People here in the room also know that I am concerned about
the long-range impact of global warming. Our forests, both
public and private, are important parts of the carbon and water
cycles. Land managers need to take a longer view as they plan
ahead. This must be based on solid, sound science. The national
forests and grasslands were originally established to protect
watersheds and guarantee the steady flow of water. Western
America gets over half of its rain and snow from the national
forest system. Nationwide, state and private forestlands
provide the water for over 125 million people. As climates
change, the treatment and condition of all these forestlands
will be even more vital for America.
I look forward to a good discussion at this hearing.
Mr. Dicks. First I want to offer Mr. Simpson an opportunity
to make opening remarks.
Opening Statement: Mr. Simpson
Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chief Tidwell, thank you for joining us this morning. I
believe this hearing marks your first appearance before this
subcommittee, and I promise that Chairman Dicks will not hold
it against you that you grew up in Boise, attended the
University of Idaho and began your Forest Service career on the
Boise National Forest. The chairman may, however, take some
exception to the fact that you attended Washington State
University instead of his beloved University of Washington. I
do not know if you have made that public yet to him.
I want to begin my remarks by thanking you and your staff
for your willingness to work with my office on a variety of
complex Forest Service issues in Idaho over the last year.
Working together, we were able to roll up our sleeves and
resolve a longstanding issue relating to the location of a
historic marker, the Darby Monument, located in the Jedediah
Smith Wilderness. More recently, the House unanimously approved
legislation we developed with your staff over the last year to
address more than 20 separate water diversion issues on the
Forest Service lands throughout the state. I am grateful for
this collaboration and the Service's desire to solve problems.
We will have an opportunity to talk about even more challenges
in our hearing today.
For many years, this subcommittee and the Congress as a
whole has struggled with the issue of budgeting for wildfires.
Much to the credit of Chairman Dicks, last year's conference
report included historic changes in the way we budget for
wildfire suppression. More importantly, we took steps to
prevent borrowing from non-fire accounts to pay for fire
suppression. Judging from this year's budget request, it is
pretty clear that our friends at OMB did not pay any attention
to our work creating a credible, sustainable wildfire budget
last year. This is another issue that I would like to take up
and explore today.
But before closing, I want to make one additional
observation. As most of you here know or have heard the reports
that Chairman Dicks will soon be stepping down, and when the
Democratic Caucus approves it, become chairman of the Defense
Subcommittee, and I want to publicly thank Chairman Dicks for
his fine work, his sense of fairness and his steady hand
leading this subcommittee in recent years. We all know that
Chairman Dicks is passionate about our natural environment, and
while we have not agreed on every issue, that is okay, my wife
and I do not agree on every issue either. But I have learned to
respect her opinion more and more as the years go by, and I
have learned some new terms from Chairman Dicks, things like
ocean acidification, previous Administration, things like that.
Mr. Dicks. And in that order.
Mr. Simpson. But working together, we have made a sincere
effort to find common ground on many issues.
Mr. Dicks. And why Idaho should be concerned about Puget
Sound, too, is another one.
Mr. Simpson. Oh, we figure that we are going to have
oceanfront property before too long.
It is in this spirit that I applaud Chairman Dicks for his
leadership and wish him well when he takes on his new
assignment, and thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Dicks. Thank you very much for those very kind words,
and I have enjoyed it.
I want to offer Mr. Lewis a chance to make a few comments
here, and also to thank Mr. Lewis for the high-quality people
he sent to this subcommittee. I want you to know that not only
Mike but Ken and Steve and Tom have been here almost every
single hearing, and it is very impressive, and we appreciate
their participation. We have always run this committee so
everybody works together, and it is the way we do it on Defense
and I think it is the best way to do it. I think that is what
the American people want to see. Mr. Lewis, I want to thank you
for your leadership and your support of the Forest Service and
your concern about these issues, which is longstanding and very
Opening Statement: Mr. Lewis
Mr. Lewis. Thank you very much, Chairman Dicks.
Chief Tidwell, I appreciate as well your being here today.
You and I have not had a chance to meet each other but it is my
understanding that our careers in public affairs very much run
on a parallel. You were entering your distinguished work with
the Forest Service about the time I came as a freshman member
from California, and I am very pleased to have a chance to get
to know you personally. Our staff is very impressed by the work
that has been done between Norm Dicks and Mike Simpson, and my
colleagues on the committee have been very impressed with the
responsiveness to their interest and concern about our forests.
Over the years, it is apparent that we have been working,
you and I, at the forest problems from different avenues but
with the same goals in mind. My home State of California
presents you and your team some very complex issues with our
great national forests. I think you probably know that I have
the privilege of representing the beautiful mountain
communities that make up the San Bernardino National Forest,
and over the years the office has worked closely with the
Forest Service. I mean, they have really been fantastic and
responsive to us. We are attempting to do what we can to lay
the foundation to help you make sure the forest is better
managed, the business of clearing the underbrush is so
I particularly came this morning because of the prospects
of Mr. Dicks working even more closely with me on another one
of our subcommittees, but I will wait for the Democratic Caucus
regarding that before we jump from the ceiling. But he is going
to remain on this subcommittee, I might mention, regardless of
that and will continue with his interest in your work. Over the
years, I had hoped we would take the long view and make every
effort to see that we help you better manage the forest.
Now, one last comment. There is a lot of presumption out
there about what is sound science. I just wanted you to know
that I do have or look with interest at a website called
fightglobalwarming.com. Now, I have reserved a website that is
going to have very, very high stock market here in the years
ahead, I predict. It is called fightglobalcooling.com.
I look forward to working with you, sir. And I will have
questions for the record, Norm.
Mr. Dicks. Okay, Chief Tidwell, you may go ahead and
proceed with your statement.
Mr. Tidwell. Thank you.
Mr. Dicks. You are welcome.
Testimony of Chief Tom Tidwell
Mr. Tidwell. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, it
is a privilege to be here today to discuss the President's
budget request for the Forest Service. I appreciate the support
this committee has shown the Forest Service in the past and I
look forward to working with you to provide more of the things
that Americans need from their forests and grasslands.
The President's budget request is designed to support the
Administration's priorities, and Secretary Vilsack's
priorities, to maintain and increase the resiliency of
America's forests. This budget supports these priorities
through five key objectives. The first one is to restore and
sustain the forest and grasslands by increasing collaborative
efforts to build support for restoration activities that are
needed to increase the resistance and resiliency of these
ecosystems. This budget provides a request for full funding for
the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Fund. It also
proposes an Integrated Resource Restoration budget line item
that I believe will help facilitate an integrated approach to
developing project proposals and will optimize multiple
benefits from these projects.
Second, it increases the emphasis on protecting and
enhancing water resources and watersheds. We do that with a
proposal of a new watershed initiative which we call the
Priority Watershed and Job Stabilization Initiative. This would
be a pilot program that would fund fairly large-scale projects,
over 10,000 acres, and it will focus on watershed restoration
and job creation. We will also use statewide assessments where
they are available and our own watershed assessments, jobs, and
biomass utilization for the criteria to select these projects.
The third key objective is that we will continue to manage
our landscapes to be more resilient to the stressors of climate
change. We will do this by applying our science, a lot of the
science developed by Forest Service research to help us
increase the adaptive capacity of the ecosystems. We will also
use science to determine how our management needs to change in
order to increase ecosystems' resistance to the increasing
frequency of disturbance events like fire, insect and disease
outbreaks, invasives, flood and drought.
The fourth key objective of this budget provides full
funding for wildland fire suppression. First, it includes
preparedness funding so we can continue our success of
suppressing 98 percent of our wildland fires during initial
attack. It provides a realignment of preparedness funding and
suppression funds that more accurately displays the true cost
for preparedness. It provides for a FLAME fund that will
increase the accountability and transparency for the cost of
large fires. It also provides for a contingency reserve fund
that, in my view, will significantly reduce the need to
transfer funds from other programs, other critical programs, if
we have a large fire season. It also increases the emphasis on
hazardous fuel projects to reduce the threat of wildfire to
homes and communities by doing more work in the wildland-urban
The last objective of this budget is to create jobs and
increase economic opportunities in our rural communities. We do
this with our proposed Priority Watershed and Job Stabilization
Initiative. By doing more of our work with stewardship
contracting, we want to build off the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act projects encouraging biomass utilization. We
want to continue to work with our states using our state and
private forestry programs to address conservation across all
lands. Through job development with our 28 Job Corps centers,
our partnership with the Department of Labor, and the work that
we are able to accomplish with the Youth Conservation Corps
across this country. Our goal is to; increase the collaborative
efforts to build support for science-based landscape-scale
conservation, taking an all-lands approach to conservation, to
build a restoration economy that will provide jobs and economic
opportunity for the communities across our Nation.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to address this
subcommittee and I look forward to answering your questions.
[The statement of Tom Tidwell follows:]
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ROADS FUNDING IN THE FY 2011 BUDGET
Mr. Dicks. Chief Tidwell, I am interested in your emphasis
on restoration as a focus for the Forest Service, but I am
confused by certain aspects of your request. You eliminate all
road improvement funds and reduce the Legacy Road and Trail
Remediation program by 44 percent. I understand that you do not
want to spend money on new roads when you already have more
roads than you can care for. But how will the Forest Service
take care of its roads without any road improvement funding?
How are you going to take care of existing roads that we still
need if there is no money for road improvement? And we know
that there are many roads out there that need to be improved.
Mr. Tidwell. Mr. Chairman, thank you for the question, and
I also want to thank you for your support for addressing the
right sizing of our road system. With this budget request, the
focus is to not build more new roads, not to upgrade existing
roads, but to use the funds to really focus on maintaining the
system that we need. Where we have the opportunity to, we may
reduce the maintenance level on some of our roads which are
mostly used by high-clearance vehicles. We will really
prioritize doing the work that we need to maintain our road
system. The shift in this budget request is to not be building
new roads and not be upgrading roads. That is the difference
from what we have had in the past. We still want to focus on
addressing the environmental effects of our road system.
Mr. Dicks. But what about maintenance? If you have a
certain area where you have a problem, you have a washout or
something like that, do you have emergency funds? You know,
sometimes roads wash out. I have seen this many times in the
Skokomish River valley up on Hood Canal in Washington State.
Mr. Tidwell. With this budget request, I feel we have
adequate funds to address those maintenance needs. We are just
not going to be funding new construction or upgrading, but
between the various programs that we have, we can do the
maintenance. Also, through our legacy roads request, we will be
able to address the environmental concerns dealing with
culverts or where there are drainage problems on roads. We will
be able to decommission roads, the roads that are no longer
needed, to help reduce the deferred maintenance backlog that we
have with our road system.
Mr. Dicks. How will the public be able to access the
national forests and how will management activities such as
fire prevention or timber activities be conducted absent any
road improvement funding?
Mr. Tidwell. Mr. Chairman, I feel this budget request
provides for the road maintenance that we need to do. We----
Mr. Dicks. How much is in there for road maintenance?
Mr. Tidwell. Kathleen, can you pull that number out for us?
Mr. Dicks. We will come back to that. How will you be able
to accomplish your timber sale or stewardship contracting goals
in 2011 with no road improvement funding? We are worried about
whether there is any--is there any maintenance money at all? So
$164 million. That is pretty good. That alleviates my concern.
The current budget for 2010 is $70 million for road
improvements including engineering support, and the request has
zero. During fiscal year 2010, your budget indicates that only
10 miles of new roads will be built with this funding. Can you
please explain how the bulk of the road improvement funding is
spent in fiscal year 2010?
Mr. Tidwell. The bulk of the money will be spent on doing
the maintenance that you have addressed as a concern, providing
that appropriate level of maintenance to address the
environmental concerns. What we will not be doing in our 2011
request will be building additional roads, and like you
mentioned, we expect to build 10 miles in 2010. The other key
part of it, we will not be upgrading roads. We are really
focused on using----
Mr. Dicks. So you make a distinction between new roads and
upgrading versus maintenance of existing roads?
Mr. Tidwell. Yes.
Mr. Dicks. We are going to do the maintenance but we are
not going to be upgrading or adding new roads?
Mr. Tidwell. Yes.
Mr. Dicks. And do you think you can execute your forest
plan and do the fire issues without new roads?
Mr. Tidwell. With the 10 miles of additional roads, yes.
LEGACY ROAD AND TRAIL FUNDING
Mr. Dicks. As you know, I have a lot of interest in the
Forest Service watersheds and the impact of roads on sensitive
streams and fisheries. I note that your request has reduced
Legacy Road and Trail Remediation by $40 million to a total of
$50 million down from $90 million last year. You can also say
that restoration is going to be the agency's focus. Can you
help me understand why you are reducing this program by this
Mr. Tidwell. Mr. Chairman, our budget request is the same
as what we asked for last year at $50 million. I feel that is a
very adequate level of funding to do this very important work
to help us right-size our road system and be able to
decommission roads and also address some environmental
concerns, culvert replacements, drainage on our roads. I feel
the $50 million request is adequate for us to be able to
continue to make progress in this area.
Mr. Dicks. Your budget says the road backlog is $3.2
billion down from $3.4 billion in last year's budget book. Can
you give us a feel for the backlog of deferred road
maintenance? I mean, how are watersheds, community water
systems and fisheries affected by road failures? This is what
we are worried about.
Mr. Tidwell. Well, often it is one of the number one
contributing factors to the condition of our watershed is our
road system where we have roads that are close to the streams
or we have not been able to implement the best management
practice to ensure drainage, so we are going to continue to
focus on reducing that deferred maintenance backlog. We have,
right now, about 45,000 miles of roads that we no longer need.
Some are no longer needed to provide access to the national
forests, and we need to move forward to decommission those, to
remove environmental effects from those roads. That is going to
continue to be our focus, to right-size our road system, and to
maintain the road system that we need so that it does not
contribute to watershed quality concerns. That is going to
continue to be our focus.
[Additional agency information follows:]
Right-Sizing the Road System
We have approximately 45,000 miles of unauthorized roads, most of
which are user created. In addition to the unauthorized roads we have
unneeded roads that are currently part of the Forest Service Roads
The total miles of unneeded roads, both unauthorized and system
roads, have not been determined. The agency will continue to complete
travel analysis, based on current land management plan objectives, over
the next several years. The result of the analysis will be a
recommendation for changes to the current transportation system.
Mr. Dicks. Mr. Simpson.
Mr. Simpson. Just on that, as you know, when you start
decommissioning roads, there has to be an appropriate reason to
do so. The public needs to be made aware of that appropriate
reason because oftentimes we will hear complaints from
constituents that you are trying to decrease access to the
forests, and they think we are trying to make it so the public
does not have the use of them. So when you decommission roads,
you need to have a good reason to do it and you need to make
the public aware of it, but that is not the question I was
going to ask.
One of my largest concerns as we have talked about in my
office, and I want to give you an opportunity to answer for the
record, is the report that came in 2009 on morale within the
Forest Service where they were rated, I think, 206th out of 216
agencies. If there is an agency where you would think the
employees would love to get up and go to work, it would be the
Forest Service. What are we doing to address that and the
concerns we have looking down at the various areas where the
Forest Service seemed to be lacking, and this was last year,
strategic management, effective leadership in terms of
empowering the employees, performance-based rewards and
advancements, work-life balance. Those things are of concern to
us. What are we doing to address that?
Mr. Tidwell. Mr. Congressman, I appreciate that question.
When I first came into this job, it was right after that report
had come out, and I can assure you that it was the first thing
that Secretary Vilsack asked me about. He also shares your
concern about addressing this. The first thing that we did is
take a look at those survey results to really find out what was
driving that. Then I also spent a lot of time talking to our
employees. I personally have a group of folks that I visit with
every month throughout the agency, a cross section of the
agency, to hear from them. There were a lot of things that I
thought we needed to change, but before we just jumped into
that, I wanted to hear from our employees. Our leadership
throughout the agency is doing the same thing. Based on that
feedback, some of the actions that we are taking are to improve
our delivery of the human resource services for this agency. We
made a decision a few years ago, it did not work out. We now
made a new decision that I feel will better help address that.
That was probably one of the number one concerns that I was
hearing from our employees.
We also have concerns about our computer systems and using
information technology. We are also going to be addressing
that. We want to ensure the technology that we need to use for
our jobs works for us, it increases our capacity, it does not
create work. We have some problems in this area, so that is the
other thing that we are addressing.
The other thing I am doing with this group that I visit
with each month, we capture their thoughts and we actually have
a website now where I post them. Here are the concerns that we
are hearing, here are the actions that we are taking, and when
there are things that we just cannot change, we are also saying
that too. If there are some things that they raise that I
disagree with, I also post it on there. I am confident that by
continuing this approach--and this is something that we have to
constantly keep focus on. We just cannot do it for a short
period of time. It will always be my number one focus to take
care of what I feel is the most dedicated, committed workforce
in Federal Government by far. I can assure you that our
employees are still just as dedicated and committed to carrying
out our mission. They are just probably not quite as happy
about it, and when they have to spend their weekends and their
evenings to meet with community leaders, et cetera, you know, I
want them to continue to feel just as good about that as they
COST RECOVERY: OUTFITTER GUIDE PERMITS
Mr. Simpson. Well, I appreciate that. You are right. It is
something that you continually work on. You never achieve the
goal. It is something that you work on, so I appreciate that.
Let me ask another question, and I need to read the intro
into this because I want it the background for the question. In
February 2006, the Forest Service issued a cost recovery rule
designed to recover costs for the processing, monitoring and
special use permits including those issued by outfitters and
guides. The issuance of these permits has become more
complicated due to the consultation requirements under the
Endangered Species Act and the increased analysis under the
National Environmental Policy Act. Today, cost recovery
threatens to create significant hardships for small businesses
in Idaho and other states, especially in the current economic
climate. The scale of the analysis required to issue outfitter
and guide permits is now exceeding the economy of scale for
many of these small businesses and threatens to put them out of
business. In response to this challenge, the Forest Service
provided an exemption for cost recovery for 50 hours or less of
work on the application and processing of an outfitter and
guide permit. The problem is that once the amount of time
required to process the permit goes over 50 hours, the Forest
Service charges full cost recovery back to the very first hour.
In other words, no credit is given for the first 50 hours of
work. This problem could become an ever bigger issue nationwide
since many permits are scheduled for renewal or transition in
the coming year under the Forest Service permitting directives.
According to my constituents in Idaho, appeals from the Forest
Service to abate cost recovery or make adjustments to this rule
have fallen on deaf ears. What steps, if any, can the Forest
Service to lessen the impact of this cost recovery room on
outfitters and guides, and would you support legislative
language to make adjustments to the cost recovery regulation
that now threatens to put many small outfitters and guides out
Mr. Tidwell. Thank you for the question. Our cost recovery
has been very helpful for us to deal with the backlog of
applications, and for the larger operators, they have been able
to see a much more timely response to their applications. They
probably appreciate cost recovery. Definitely for the smaller
operators, it is a challenge and that is why we have the 50-
hour breakpoint there.
Mr. Simpson. Does it take longer to do an analysis for a
large operator than it does a small one, or do we essentially
do the same analysis for either one?
Mr. Tidwell. It depends on the type of operation and the
environmental concerns at the place where they are operating.
It could be the same level of analysis for a small operator as
it is for a large operator. One of the things that I would
offer is that I will ask my staff to take a look to see how we
could maybe take a different approach, especially with some of
the smaller operations. Maybe there is a way that we can pull
those together and do them as a group instead of each separate
one. We may have to think ahead about permits that do not
expire for 2 years, or so, to group permits in order to be more
effective in our process. I would hope that many small operator
permits would take less than 50 hours but any more with the
environmental concerns, especially if the permit is for
operating in a place where we do have threatened and endangered
species the work may take more time. I would like to get back
to you after we have taken a look to see if there are some
things that we could do internally to address this concern.
Cost recovery really has helped eliminate the backlog, and I
know that since we have had this opportunity, that it really
has helped with the larger operators. Our small business folks,
if it is anything under 50 hours, it is great, but when we get
over that--and anymore it does not take too much. You have one
or two issues and you are over 50 hours.
[The agency provided the following additional information:]
Outfitter Guide Permits and Small Operators
The Forest Service recognizes the financial impact of cost recovery
on small operators and is committed to ensuring the cost of processing
an application is kept to a minimum. A letter will be issued to the
regions clarifying our policy and encouraging creative solutions, such
as grouping permit reviews to reduce impacts on small operators.
Mr. Simpson. Well, I appreciate that, and I appreciate the
fact that you understand that it is those small operators that
we are really concerned about. I think you are right, that it
has helped to address the backlog in trying to get to these
earlier, so I appreciate that.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Dicks. Mr. Chandler.
Mr. Chandler. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Welcome, Chief Tidwell.
Mr. Tidwell. Thank you.
FOREST LEGACY PROGRAM
Mr. Chandler. Good to have you here. I have got a couple of
questions that I am interested in. One has to do with the
Forest Legacy program. I am a big supporter of it. I very
strongly believe that we need to preserve whatever we can in
our national forests. I see that you have that amounts to a
request for a 32 percent increase in the Forest Legacy program
and I was wondering if you could just give me some idea about
why you felt like you needed an increase of that sort at this
time? And again, I am very supportive of the program but I am
curious about where you all want to go with that. Is that just
a normal effort to increase the focus of that program or is
there something special about what you need to do this year?
Mr. Tidwell. I would be glad to respond to that question.
Our request for additional funds in Forest Legacy is based on
being able to use that program to address restoration needs and
address watershed concerns, and it is just a key part of our
overall effort, and when we look especially at lands where
there is a potential for development and being able to keep
these lands in an open space setting to provide for wildlife
habitat, to help us with restoration, to address watershed
concerns, I just feel it is a key part of our overall program.
That is why we are requesting additional funding, because it is
a program that fits very well with our focus on restoration and
improving watershed conditions. It keeps lands working. These
lands that have a potential to be developed, through Forest
Legacy we can keep those in the working landscape to help get
the restoration work done, we can increase the resiliency and
improve watershed conditions. It is part of our overall effort,
and we just feel that is a very valuable tool and that is why
we are asking for the additional funding.
EMERALD ASH BORER
Mr. Chandler. The other thing I would like to talk to you
about is an invasive-species issue which my home State of
Kentucky is particularly concerned about, and I guess it is a
problem throughout the eastern United States. I see that you
have actually requested a decrease in forest health management
and in invasive-species research and development. One of the
great trees in the history of the eastern United States that
was used by lots of the pioneers, you see it in some of the
older homes in our area, late 1700 vintage homes, because the
wood lasts a long time, it is a very hard wood, is the wood of
the ash tree, and the ash tree, as I am sure you know, may be
headed toward extinction because of the emerald ash borer. It
is a huge problem and we are very, very concerned about it.
Could you give me some indication of your view of where that
problem is, how concerned you are about it and what the Forest
Service is doing to address it?
Mr. Tidwell. Thank you for that question. I share your
concern about ash. The emerald ash borer, it has been a
challenge for us and we are continuing our research to find
ways that will help us to control this ash borer. What we know
today is that we do not have anything in place where we
actually can control it and so we are focusing on developing
strategies to really slow the spread. In order to slow the
progression of this exotic species we continue to do research
to find some way to actually be able to suppress the borer. We
are researching into the genetics of ash to see if there is a
different ash that we can be planting that is more resistant to
this ash borer. We are going to be continuing that work. We use
all the USDA programs and are working with the other agencies
to take more of a collaborative effort on this, in order to
really focus our funds on the best place we can continue to
attack this. This is going to be a challenge. I wish I had a
more positive response to you. At this point in time we
recognize that what we need to really focus on now is
developing a strategy so that we can really slow the
progression and build more time for our research to hopefully
be able to find solutions to stop this.
Mr. Chandler. Please do everything you can do.
Mr. Dicks. How much are we cutting forest health research?
Mr. Tidwell. We do have a slight reduction in our budget
request this year from what we had in the past, and it is----
Mr. Dicks. Three point seven million, about 4.3 percent.
Mr. Tidwell. So there are hard decisions that we have to
make if we look at our entire budget, but when I look at our
various programs in state and private forestry, with research--
Mr. Dicks. You know, I am a big supporter of the Forest
Legacy program and I am also a big fan of water conservation,
but if I had to choose between buying another piece of land and
taking care of important research issues like this, I am not
sure I would make big increases in buying more land and not
deal with these things. I am not saying you cannot deal with
this at this funding level, but it seems that research should
be the priority. There are bark beetles, and Colorado has
issues, and this is a national issue. I think also it is a
manifestation of climate change. You have a longer fire season,
and you have a lot more of these infestations that are not
dealt with because of the weather, and these problems are going
to get more and more serious.
STATUS OF EMERALD ASH BORER EFFORTS
Mr. Chandler. Well, Mr. Chairman, we are about to lose the
ash tree. That is a big deal.
Mr. Dicks. Has it been listed?
Mr. Tidwell. It has not been listed yet but we recognize
Mr. Dicks. Do we have a discrete program aimed at working
on the emerald ash bore?
Mr. Tidwell. Well, we do now have a program that is aimed
on the emerald ash borer. We are working in conjunction with
the other agencies to look at how we can slow the progression
and at the same time to continue our research efforts to find
solutions, some way to be able to suppress this or to find an
ash tree that is more resistant to this ash borer. It has been
frustrating. I am confident. I have a lot of confidence in our
research, and not only our research, but the research
throughout the country that is done. I think, hopefully, with a
little more time we will be able to find some solutions to it.
In the near term, we are going to continue to lose ash and one
of the things we want to look at is a strategy to be able to
slow the progression. That may mean getting out in front and
removing the ash to create some barriers to spread. These are
some of the concepts that we are working on right now in
developing this strategy.
Mr. Dicks. Our staff says that you submitted a report to us
this year, and it was a very good report that laid out what you
are doing on this, so we think it is being taken seriously.
Mr. Lewis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chief Tidwell, I have not heard about the ash problem
before Mr. Chandler raised his question but it is a pretty
fundamental question, and I think about the bark beetle in the
same terms. It is a threat to our existing forest and its
relatively near-term future involves getting a handle on these
infestations, and it sure seems to me that identifying the
personnel who are doing breakthrough work in these areas of
research and rewarding them for success is one of the
strategies that someone ought to look at. To lose the ash would
be ridiculous. If you have to clear some land, that could very
well be one style, but getting a handle on these infestations
is fundamental. So anyway, I want you to know from both sides
of the aisle we are concerned about this very much.
HAZARDOUS FUELS FUNDING DISTRIBUTION
I read in your proposed budget all 2011 hazardous-fuel
funds will be given to regions using the new prioritization
allocation system. Are there regions that are not using this
Mr. Tidwell. Mr. Congressman, our focus with our hazardous-
fuels work will be in the wildland-urban interface and we will
be using that system to help identify where are the highest
priorities for the best use of these funds. We have increased
our focus on wildland urban interface, so that is one of the
programs that we use to help identify those priorities.
Mr. Lewis. You might guess I am familiar with that
Mr. Tidwell. Yes, I know you are.
Mr. Lewis. Did you arrive at the $340 million figure based
on the number on funds or the funds you think can be expended
in the fiscal year ahead of us?
Mr. Tidwell. We are asking for a slight increase this year
from what we received in 2010 with a recognition that there is
more work to be done. I feel our budget request is based on the
capability we have, based on all of our other programs that we
have available, that this is a good balance, especially with
our increased focus on the wildland-urban interface. We are
estimating a reduction in acres treated from what we have done
in the past and that is based on this focus on wildland-urban
interface. More of the work has to be done through mechanical
treatment. We cannot use as much prescribed burning. We are
still going to be doing some work in the back country. We
definitely will be using the projects that are selected for the
Collaborative Landscape Forest Restoration Fund, which has a
focus on reducing the hazardous fuels, changing the fire regime
back to a class I or II. There are a combination of things that
I feel if you look at them together provide a very good
balanced program and we can continue to make the progress that
we have in the past.
FIRE SUPPRESSION: AIRCRAFT AVAILABILITY
Mr. Lewis. As we attempt to deal with that interface and
problems elsewhere in the forest, we are doing the best we can
to avoid having the major fire, but in the meantime, when one
does occur, one of the major assets that is most important--I
ask this question almost for Mr. Calvert, who had to go to a
Homeland Security meeting. The aircraft availability is an
important thing and we are in the business right now of looking
at certification of the C-130-J as well as the Metz-F. Can you
give me an idea of where we are in terms of that certification
and will those kinds of aircraft be in larger volume available
to tend fire season?
Mr. Tidwell. Well, for this year we have what we call our
eight airborne firefighting systems that are available. Two of
them are located in your part of the country. So we have eight
of those planes that are available as kind of our surge
capacity to fill with the large air tankers that we have under
our contract along with the large helicopters. In addition, we
have the call-when-needed contracts for the very large air
tankers, the DC-10, the 747s. Overall, the Forest Service will
have the same capacity and same capability we have had for the
last couple of years. We are just starting to work with this
integrated working group with the Department of the Defense and
the Department of the Interior to look at the C-130-Js. We have
a commitment to Congress to be able to give you a report back
in 90 days about the aviation platform we need available for
firefighting in the future. We recognize that our large air
tankers, these are old military craft. They are very expensive
to maintain. Our contractors do an excellent job to keep those
aircraft flying and to do that job. We recognize that those
planes are not going to be available forever and so we do need
to be thinking about a strategy to move forward.
Mr. Lewis. Thank you for that.
Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Mr. Dicks. That is very good.
Mr. Hinchey. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and thank
you, Chief. Thanks very much for your statements and your
response to the questions. There is very little federal public
land in the state that I represent, but nevertheless, it is
something that we are all deeply interested in, and I want to
express my appreciation to you for what you are doing.
The forestland issue is critically important but one of the
things that you mentioned is the watershed issues. Watersheds
in the context of these open federal lands are very important.
They are important for the wildlife, particularly various forms
of wildlife that are endangered. It is also, as I understand
it, very important for public properties and for cities even
where the water goes into. So you're focusing on the watershed
conditions. Can you tell us a little bit about that, how deeply
important this is, what you are doing and what the effects are
likely to be?
Mr. Tidwell. Well, thank you for that question. Even though
there is not a lot of national forest in New York, New York has
set the standard for recognizing the importance of watersheds.
They have done a great job on the watershed for New York City
and the benefits for that. That is one of the examples we
continue to point to.
Mr. Hinchey. Adirondack Park is the largest in the world.
Mr. Tidwell. We recognize the importance of water and
watersheds. It has been the foundation of this agency since we
started. We want to increase, though, our efforts to care for
the watersheds, to ensure that we are doing everything we can
to provide that clean, abundant flow. So that is one of the
purposes of our Integrated Research Restoration budget line
item so that we can take an integrated approach to doing
restoration that will ensure watershed condition improvements.
It will produce commodity products that so many of our
communities rely on. It will address the need for wildlife
habitat. It will do it in a way that we can put an integrated
project together and actually increase the benefits and
actually increase the jobs. So that is one focus.
The second focus is through our Priority Watershed
Initiative. We want to really select some projects throughout
the country, use a pilot approach, develop models about how we
can take a look at these large landscapes, and these will be
landscapes that include all lands, not just national forest
system lands. We want to be able to show how we can increase
the watershed health, improve watershed conditions, put people
to work doing the restoration work that needs to be done there
and use these as models to help us really show what we can
accomplish by taking more of a landscape-scale approach to
management. This is something that we have been doing in the
eastern forests, the eastern states, for a while and it is
something we want to be able to use across the country.
PRIORITY WATERSHED AND JOBS STABILIZATION INITIATIVE
Mr. Dicks. You mentioned the Priority Watershed and Jobs
Stabilization Initiative. Are people going to be able to apply
for grants or is this going to be done by the Forest Service?
Mr. Tidwell. It will be done by the Forest Service. We will
have our regions work together with their states to submit
project proposals and it will be on a competitive basis so
Mr. Dicks. So the regions will submit proposals?
Mr. Tidwell. Yes, and the Forest Service--at this time I
will be making the selection of which of these projects are
selected for this funding.
Mr. Dicks. Mr. Hinchey.
Mr. Hinchey. You were finishing?
Mr. Tidwell. I think I was about done.
Mr. Hinchey. Well, thanks very much. Thanks for your
response to the question. It is a very important issue that you
are dealing with. The connection between that issue of
maintaining these water-quality areas and the roadless
operation is directly connected and it is deeply important. The
roadless rule was adopted back in the Clinton Administration.
As a result of that, there are nearly 58\1/2\ million acres of
roadless wilderness that are in the United States Forest
Service, and the benefits of that are very, very high, and they
are increasing. So we have a number of areas that are
interested in stopping that. I understand that there are some
legal issues that are being engaged in now to try to stop that
roadless rule generally and then specifically in some areas.
Can you give us some idea about what the Forest Service is
doing to ensure that that roadless rule remains intact and that
it is not going to be weakened, it is going to continue to be
just as strong and effective as it has been?
Mr. Tidwell. Thank you for the question. The Administration
has been very clear that we are going to continue to protect
the roadless values of these areas. At this point in time you
mentioned there are ongoing court cases, and before we do
anything, we are going to wait and see what plays out in the
In the interim, though, Secretary Vilsack put out an
interim directive to help ensure that we are going to be
protecting roadless values, any projects that propose road
construction, that involve tree cutting, or tree harvesting in
roadless areas, he wants to take a look at those first to see
if it is really something that needs to be done and can be done
in a way that we still can protect roadless values. So that is
the additional assurance that has been in place. I am
optimistic that maybe in the next 6 months that the courts will
finish their work and then we can be able to move forward.
Mr. Hinchey. In the next 6 months?
Mr. Tidwell. Well, I am optimistic. That is being
Mr. Hinchey. Well, that would be great if that happens.
None of these legal actions have been successful against that
operation which was set up, as I understand it.
Mr. Tidwell. Well, there have been various stages of
success. I mean, we are still----
Mr. Hinchey. I mean, your success has been clear, but the
people who are bringing these lawsuits, I do not think there
has been any success on those lawsuits, has there?
Mr. Tidwell. Well, there has been in some courts, yes, and
so we are not finished yet. Even the Idaho roadless rule that
we completed last year and has strong support across the board
from conservation groups, from the state and from the countries
and industry, that too is being challenged and we are working
through that too. Roadless has just been very contentious. I
have been working for the Forest Service for 33 years and I
think I have spent 30 years of that dealing with roadless in
one way or another. I think it is past time for us to be able
to move on, recognize the importance of the values of roadless
areas, be able to have the flexibility we need to have in place
to be able to address some concerns from communities, but to be
able to really appreciate those values. You mentioned
watershed. That is one of the primary benefits of these areas
that remain undeveloped, still open for recreation use,
hunting, a lot of hiking, some motorized activities. They
remain intact, they provide tremendous watershed benefits, and
really those are the areas that we are not focusing our
restoration activities on.
Mr. Hinchey. Well, thanks very much, and I know that that
issue is very important to the watersheds. It is also very
important to air quality and to a host of other things. I
understand also that there is a movement to recommend more than
3 million acres of national forest for wilderness designation
in the context of this Administration.
Mr. Tidwell. There are various wilderness bills that I know
of in Congress right now. I am not sure of the total acres.
Mr. Hinchey. Thank you very much.
Mr. Dicks. Mr. Cole.
Mr. Cole. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I have got a local issue, then a couple of broader
questions for you. The local issue really relates to the
Ouachita National Forest in southeast Oklahoma. It is not in my
district, it is in my good friend, Congressman Boren's
district. But this has caused a great deal of concern in all of
Oklahoma, not just by Congressmen. Both Senators have weighed
in on it. Recently there was an effort to develop a trail and
road usage plan for the forest. As I understand it, there was
close collaboration by the local and regional forest service
officials, really excellent collaboration, quite frankly, the
local community. They developed a plan, and it went to D.C. for
final approval and at that point 90 percent of it was basically
thrown out. We are talking about really significant reductions
in access, 70 miles in Le Flore County, which is a very large
county in Oklahoma in the southeast, 300 miles in McCurtain
County. These are places that are being shut off now that
heretofore had been open, and this is historically the poorest
part of the state. It is very rural. These communities depend
on tourism and access, and I mean, there is a great deal of
discomfort about the decision-making process. I have no doubt
that we are in the appeal phase now and you will hear a lot of
local appeals. But I would like to know if you have any reason
why we are seeing access at that level cut off.
Mr. Tidwell. Well, thank you for the question. I am very
aware of the situation. I have had the opportunity to talk to
several folks on it. We did receive 27 appeals on that
decision, and we may even receive a couple more that are in the
mail as I speak. We will go through on those appeals and look
at the concerns that are raised to see within the decision if
there is some opportunity to address that. We put the draft
plan out and received comments on that and based on the
comments, and some environmental concerns, the decision was
made to reduce some of the trails. There are still over 3,000
miles of roads and trails that are available depending on what
community you are in. It does not help if there are a lot of
roads in Arkansas that are available if they are not available
right there and so that is some of the challenge. It is
essential that we get these travel management plans in place.
This is an effort we started a couple years ago. It is
essential that we are able to get to where we have a dedicated
system of routes across all the national forest and grasslands
so folks know they have a place to go ride, a place where they
can enjoy motorized recreation. I think by getting this in
place it will ensure that we will be able to sustain that
recreational opportunity. It has been controversial in places
where we have had a lot of cross country travel. Motorized
recreation can be an environmental concern. One of the things
we want to focus on is having this dedicated system of routes
and dedicated areas where people can ride, and do it in a way
that reduces the environmental effects.
Mr. Cole. I know this area actually very well, and first of
all, you know, there would be no cross country travel here to
speak of, but it is an exploding recreational area for north
Texas and it brings a lot of people into Oklahoma, so I would
ask you to just really carefully review that. We have all dealt
with these kind of issues before where communities are used to
having essential unhindered access and then all of a sudden
somebody from a long way away said no, you are going to change
the things have worked for decades. So I think it is going to
be a big issue.
Secondly, I was frankly very concerned at the opening round
of questions just listening to Chairman Dicks because I am
wondering if I am not seeing here a local manifestation of
broader conflict that is shaping up just in terms of roads and
access into national forest. Each of us have local
constituencies that, if you try to impose something too heavy-
handed from here and you try to cut back on access are just
going to explode. Is there some sort of design to dramatically
reduce the access that people currently enjoy into national
forests? Is there a sense that the current level of activity is
simply too much to sustain the forests in the condition that
you would want to sustain them?
Mr. Tidwell. The focus with our budget request is to
provide the funds for maintaining the road systems that we need
and also we have provided funds for reducing the road system
for places where we no longer need that access.
Mr. Cole. How do you define ``no longer need that access''?
Who makes that decision and why?
Mr. Tidwell. That decision is made through working with
local communities, working with the counties, working with the
states. We have a lot of roads that were built over the last
20-30 years that were built for one purpose, to go in to do
timber harvest, and that was the only purpose of that road. Now
there is no longer a need to get back into that piece of
country, or in the future we would be able to go in there and
be able to access that through a temporary road or something
like that. These roads are very expensive to maintain. What we
are trying to do is to right-size our road systems so it does
maintain the roads so the public can have access to have
recreational opportunities, but the ones that are no longer
needed can be removed. We go through a public process. We ask
the public. We get comments. I can assure you, we do not close
a road or decommission a road without listening to the public.
Mr. Dicks. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. Cole. Yes.
Mr. Dicks. This is a very important point, because
sometimes these roads are very important to these counties and
to these local areas. I mean, they are the transportation. So I
am glad you brought this up and I am glad to hear the answer
because I do believe that we have got to make sure that where
these things are essential to the local people that they are
Mr. Cole. Well, I do have that concern in this case, and I
really do--because again, we evidently had very good
cooperation from local Forest Service people who obviously
intimately know the area and know the communities, who worked
together the common plan. We got a very different response
evidently and I am told people were very surprised at it. I
would just ask you to re-look at that but also to look at the
broader question because I do not want to cut off access
without a really big discussion. If you close the roads and the
trails and the aim is look, to limit people in these areas
basically, that is going to be a problem. And I am not
Mr. Dicks. You are not closing down any trails, are you?
Mr. Cole. They certainly are in our area.
Mr. Tidwell. Under this travel management plan, we are
closing some trails that are causing some environmental effects
and impacting water quality. In places we are also having an
effect on endangered species. That is one of the concerns we
are trying to work through.
Mr. Dicks. Why was that not taken into account when the
trails were put in in the first place?
Mr. Tidwell. A lot of these trails have occurred over the
years. They are user-created trails.
Mr. Dicks. Okay. They are not necessarily Forest Service
Mr. Tidwell. Some would be Forest Service and some would be
user-created. Our goal is to be able to have a system in place
that year after year there is a place for you to go ride,
whether you ride in your pickup or your ATV or your motorcycle,
and that is what our goal is. To be able to have a system that
we can maintain, so we do not have the criticism about it is
impacting the water quality, it is having effects on endangered
species because we considered that when we put the system in
place. It is a system we can maintain and continue to provide
those opportunities. In your case, on the Ouachita, there is
going to have some change. We are going to have to do what we
can to be able to address those concerns to see if there are
opportunities to build new trails.
Mr. Dicks. Do you have a public process on the trails as
well as the roads?
Mr. Tidwell. Yes. All the trails and roads go through this
TRAVEL MANAGEMENT: OUACHITA
Mr. Cole. I am just skeptical if it really is, and this has
come to me rather recently. Again, it is not my district. But
it really is a 90 percent different decision here as opposed to
local people and local officials, and that suggests to me
either a really profound philosophical difference as to what is
going to go on or a really big disconnect, and I would be happy
to continue this. I do not want to take too much of the
committee's time on this, but it concerns me locally and it
really will concern me if it starts popping up in a lot of
other places because again it suggests a desire to really
dramatically reduce access.
Mr. Tidwell. We received I think over 800 comments on the
draft and had numerous public meetings. I do recognize that
what was put out in the draft versus the final decision, there
was significant change, and it was based on having to address
the concerns that were raised. That is one of the things that
our folks have to take a look at is to see how much change
occurred between draft and final and also to be able to look to
see if there is some opportunity to be able to address these
concerns either through this decision or through another
decision to be able to continue to provide--
Mr. Cole. And just to make one point, and I want to pick up
again on the chairman's point in his opening round of
questions. I would also want to make sure that this is not
because we simply are not spending enough money on roads and
access, in other words, does this become a consequence as
opposed to a policy? Are we underfunding something we ought to
be funding with a pretty dramatic reduction? Are we going to
make one size fit this budget whether or not it makes sense. I
do not know that you can address that question here. It is easy
to think, okay, if we are having this kind of cut, we are
paying for it by reduced access in a lot of different places,
FIRE SUPPRESSION: AIR TANKERS
Let me just end with--and you can answer that--the chairman
has been very generous with time. I just wanted to touch on one
other thing, and not with a series of questions but just to
pick up on something Mr. Simpson said. The air fleet of--or Mr.
Lewis, I guess. The air fleet of firefighting units you have,
that is such a national treasure, an asset, and I do not have
national forests in my district but I sure have wildfires, and
the ability of the Forest Service to redeploy those in times of
great need has been an enormous help to us over the last
several years, so I wanted to express my appreciation for what
you have done in that regard and also let you know again we
want to work with people that sort of normally have this kind
of concern with forests because we want that capability to be
very robust, not just in forest areas but the ability to deploy
in really what are prairie fire-type situations. We have had a
lot of them in Texas and Oklahoma in the last few years.
Mr. Simpson. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. Cole. Certainly.
Mr. Simpson. We were supposed to have a report in November
of 2009 on the air tanker fleet. Where is it? Is it coming?
When can we expect it?
Mr. Tidwell. It is coming. One of the things--we are taking
a look at the report and doing another review on it and working
with the Department of Interior. I also want to touch base with
the National Association of State Foresters to look at the mix
of aviation resource, the number of helicopters, the number of
small air tankers, the number of large air tankers that we
need. The other thing that I also would like to factor in what
will come out of this interagency aviation working group to see
if that does not need to be part of many of our overall
recommendations. But we are----
Mr. Dicks. So these are separate initiatives, separate
Mr. Tidwell. Yes, the report that the Congressman is
referring to is one that we owe the Congress and it is late. So
there actually will be two reports and we will get both of
those reports to you, but we will get our aviation strategy
report up to you as soon as we can complete this, what I think
hopefully will be the last review.
Mr. Cole. If I can add just one thing to Mr. Simpson, and
maybe you are thinking about this, but you mentioned the
problem of maintenance. These are very old aircraft in many
cases, and we do have three great air logistics centers in this
country. One of them is at Tinker Air Force Base but also at
Hill Air Force Base in Ogden. A lot of those facilities have
workforces that have literally worked on these planes before
you ever got them, and I would just suggest, I do not know if
there is some way for a partnership here but I know these are
bases that keep 50-year-old KC-135s in the air and performing
under combat conditions. There ought to be some way that they
could work with you that might, number one, save money as
opposed to private contractors, but those workforces at those
installations really have a unique understanding of those
airplanes which at that age are not routine maintenance
anymore. I mean, it is almost like having to have artisans work
on them because the wear and tear on the air frame is different
with each one individually. So you might see if there is some,
and we might be able to facilitate somewhat, particularly given
where the chairman is headed.
AIR TANKER OPTIONS
Mr. Dicks. Is the C-130-J a potential aircraft?
Mr. Tidwell. Yes. I mean, we have used that plane and we
feel it is definitely one of the options that we need to look
at. It has the capability to deliver the payload that we feel
is necessary. It also has the speed. It is also quite--it is
much more efficient airplane than what we have been using in
the past so it is definitely one of the options that we need to
Mr. Dicks. Is there a way to work this out with the
National Guard where they would have these planes part of the
year and then when you need them you get them? Is that
Mr. Tidwell. It is. It is one of the things we are looking
at. I think it is one of the options that we need to look at. I
also think the option of having a private contractor continue
their role in a way too. So I think they----
Mr. Dicks. Would they buy the planes and then we charter
Mr. Tidwell. That would be one option. I mean, we are
looking at options of----
Mr. Dicks. Lease?
Mr. Tidwell. A lease, or government providing planes that
are privately operated, potentially using the Air National
Guard to have these planes too. Those are the options we want
to work through and then have the discussion with you about
what is the best way to go forward. The one thing that is sure
is that our existing fleet of large air tankers, and we still
have 19 that are operational with our contractors, is going to
be very difficult to maintain under any situation. It is
something we need to work together on to develop a strategy
about where we need to be. We have some time and we continue to
use the large helicopters to basically fill in some of the lost
capability that when we lose one of the large air tankers it is
no longer serviceable and so we do have that. And so in the
short term, we are in good shape. It is the more long term of
where we really need to go, and I think we have the opportunity
of a little bit of time and I think we have some options, and
we can look at all these different options and come together
with a good mix that will address this concern. These are
planes that operate all over, and the Forest Service, we
average over 10,000 fires a year and we burn over I think 1.3
million acres a year. Across the entire Nation we burn close to
over 6 million. Fire is not just on national forest system
land, this is an all lands issue. It is definitely in your
state. The large air tankers, any time you are more than 25
miles from a water source or from where the ship is located,
that is when the large air tanker is more efficient than the
large helicopters. The large helicopters, if you are within 25
miles of where they are located and where you have water, that
is a very efficient tool. But in your case, if we have, say,
planes that are in Ogden, Utah, it will take a long time to get
Mr. Simpson. You have to fly a long ways to find water in--
Mr. Tidwell. Especially with the C-130-Js, the are pretty
Mr. Dicks. Well, and is it not true that it is 2 percent of
the fires that get to be mega fires, and that is where the real
cost is? So having a strategy to deal with that fact is very
Mr. Tidwell. Yes. Our aviation resources are a key part of
our initial attack success, but you are correct. We average 2
percent. Two percent of our fires escape, and not all of those
get very large but it just takes a few large fires. I wish I
could tell you that if we had this resource or another of this
that we would not have large fires, but I would be misleading
you. We will have large fires from time to time. I think
through a combination of our hazardous-fuels work, and having
the initial attack resources, that we can really make a
difference and reduce the threat to communities when we do have
these large fires. Our large air tanker resources are a key
part of our suppression strategy, both initial attack and on
INTEGRATED RESOURCE RESTORATION
Mr. Dicks. Okay. Let's move on here. Chief, I commend you
for your interest in integrated forest management but I want
you to explain in more detail how this new Integrated Resource
Restoration budget item would work. You say you are focusing on
watershed conditions. Certainly, one of the greatest impacts on
Forest Service watersheds is excessive or poorly maintained
roads. You propose to get rid of the Wildlife and Fisheries
program, the Forest Products program, and the Watershed and
Vegetation Management budget items. Can you explain why you
chose these three items and not other budget line items that
also have major impacts on the ground such as grazing
management, hazardous fuels or inventory and monitoring?
Mr. Tidwell. Thank you for the question. We chose these
three budget line items, these three programs to consolidate
these into an Integrated Resource Restoration budget line item
because our forest products, watershed, vegetation work,
wildlife, fisheries and habitat work all share the same
objectives and when we do restoration, all three benefit. The
majority of our forest products work is on restoration, so by
putting these three together, it provides a more integrated
approach to program development, to planning and project
development. The focus will be on restoring acres to be able to
show an improvement in watershed condition. We will also be
able to show you that we will produce the same level of biomass
that we have in the past. In fact, we are predicting estimating
that we will produce 2.4 billion board feet. In 2010, it was
2.5. I think the 2.4 is a conservative estimate. I am very
confident that we will be able to accomplish that along with
similar acres of wildlife habitat improvement, fisheries
improvement, and we will show you, we will continue to track
those outputs. What we want to be able to do is to take a focus
on looking at the outcomes for the landscape. Having this
integrated budget line item, it will help facilitate that. Now,
can we get the same thing accomplished with keeping the budget
line items the way they are? We can. But I will tell you by
doing this, it will help facilitate it. It will help us
internally. Folks can work together in the initial project
planning. And so it will help facilitate this work, and I also
believe it will allow us to be able to get more work done on
the landscape. It will allow us to have more jobs, especially
Mr. Dicks. Okay. Now, this came as a bit of a surprise to
us. Did you have a chance to talk to your constituent groups
out in the countryside about this, and what was their reaction?
Mr. Tidwell. We did not have that opportunity, you know,
with our budget process. This is a budget request and so we
have put that forward in our budget request and we are having
those discussions with interest groups as we speak.
Mr. Dicks. What has the reaction been?
Mr. Tidwell. It has been mixed so far. Some groups say
well, it sounds like a good idea but they are concerned. They
want to make sure that we will continue to have the focus on
wildlife, to continue to have focus on fisheries. There is some
concern from the timber industry that we will continue to be
able to produce the outputs that they are interested in. Many
of the folks that I work with in the timber industry, they
recognize that the work they do is restoration and so they
actually can see well, okay, this lines up with what you have
been telling us. Right now we are getting questions. I am
confident we will be able to address those in a way that we can
reassure folks that we will continue that focus, and I want to
work with the committee to be able to address your concerns of
INTEGRATED RESOURCE RESTORATION--PERFORMANCE MEASURES
Mr. Dicks. Right. We want to work with you on this.
Each of the three former line items has a set of
performance measures but those measures are all absent in this
new integrated budget. I am particularly concerned about the
lack of performance measures in the request. You rely almost
entirely on the number of watersheds in one of the three
condition classes. Can you please explain to us what these
condition classes are, how they are measured and how annual
progress would be measured?
Mr. Tidwell. With our watershed condition criteria that we
use, we have 12 criteria that we use to be able to classify
watershed conditions across the country. They are things like
the quality of water itself, the quality of fisheries' aquatic
habits, the quality of terrestrial habitats. There are things
like the condition class of the forest vegetation. What fire
regime is it in? What is the risk of having a catastrophic
fire, also with the roads. How many roads are within 100 meters
of streams or lakes? Are we able to implement best management
practices with that road system? These are the criteria that we
use to be able to have a systematic approach across the country
and be able to evaluate the conditions of watersheds across the
national forest and grasslands.
Now, in addition to that, we also have to factor in where
is the watershed located and what else is going on. Is this a
municipal watershed? What is downstream from that? What is
going to be the cost? In some of our watersheds we can make a
small investment and make a significant improvement. In others,
it is going to take a much larger investment. These are the
things that we are going to----
Mr. Dicks. So you are not going to do this based on just
how many watersheds are in--for example, region 4 has 1,098
watersheds in condition class 3. Region 6 has 536. But these
would be completely different, I would think, in terms of their
characteristics. So I hope you are going to make some judgments
and not just do this on the basis of numbers.
Mr. Tidwell. Yes, we will. We also want to work with you on
performance measures so that we can have your confidence, your
support that we will be able to continue to provide the
accountability that we have in the past.
Mr. Dicks. Going back to the numbers for timber, is it
harvest or your sales? How do we characterize this, when you
talk about 2.4 billion. Are you talking about sales?
Mr. Tidwell. We are talking about offered.
Mr. Dicks. Offered?
Mr. Tidwell. It is offered. It is actually--you know, sales
have gone through all the appeals and everything and they are
Mr. Dicks. Okay, 2.4 billion. Now, how much of that is
thinning or what we would consider preventive or hazardous
Mr. Tidwell. You know, most of our timber sales are
designed to accomplish restoration goals and so depending
where--and so I would say many of those are thinning but it
depends on what is the objective, what needs to occur on the
UNPLANNED FIRES: HAZARDOUS FUELS
Mr. Dicks. You know, again we get back to this 80 million
acres backlog, and that is for fire prevention.
Mr. Tidwell. Yes, or condition classes. We look at where we
have the highest risk for having a catastrophic fire.
Mr. Dicks. In this budget, how much will be spent on trying
to deal with some of those 80 million acres? Will that number
come? I am trying to think of the right word. Because the trees
are growing back, are we going to have that number go up or is
it going to come down?
Mr. Tidwell. Well, we estimate that we will treat 160,000
acres with our hazardous-fuels funding, and then we are
projecting our 2011 budget and especially with our focus on
stewardship--excuse me--1.6 million acres.
Mr. Dicks. One point six million?
Mr. Tidwell. Yes. I am sorry. I am surprised that I did not
see a reaction across the table.
Mr. Dicks. We were feigning.
Mr. Tidwell. Okay, 1.6 million is what we will do just with
Mr. Dicks. Is this strictly because of money? I mean, the
fact that we are not doing more, is it just because of money?
Mr. Tidwell. Well, we focus on----
Mr. Dicks. Because this is a great way to create jobs too.
Mr. Tidwell. It is. It is an excellent opportunity to
create jobs. So we look at where we need to do the work, and
one of the things with this focus on wildland-urban interface,
we will be creating more jobs because more of this work will
have to be done with mechanical treatments so we will be
increasing more jobs than we have in the past with just the
hazardous-fuels reduction. But that is just a piece of it,
because with our Integrated Resource Restoration funds, we will
also be changing the condition class out there. You know, for
instance, in 2009, we reported that we treated close to 3.4
million acres across all programs where we made a difference on
reducing the concern with wildfire on the landscape.
And Mr. Chairman, going back to your question. Can I tell
you at the end of 2011, that the total backlog of acres that
need to be treated will be less? Well, based on our treatments,
they will be less. At the same time, our vegetation keeps
growing and so it is something I think we really need to focus
on is where we do this work. There is no way--well, first of
all, we do not need to treat every acre.
Mr. Dicks. Right.
Mr. Tidwell. We do not need to treat every acre so it is
more about where we put the placements on the landscape that
are essential. The other key part of this is also to be able to
use wildfire, especially in the back country, allow wildfire to
play a role in the ecosystem to also help reduce some of this
fuel buildup that has just occurred naturally. We need to be
able to be in a place where we have the support of our
communities. We have done the planning. We have worked with
them so that they know when we do get a fire in the back
country, we can manage that. We do it in a way that we can
assure that it is not going to be threatening their
communities, and when I say manage, it is not we just leave it
alone. We do not do that. We are up there, we have folks that
are monitoring and working on it. We can do that in a way to
accomplish some of these resource benefits, reduce costs, and
at the same time use that as a very effective tool.
Mr. Dicks. Well, I think the case there is very strong. I
know in eastern Washington, it has been suggested that this is
a great way to deal with understory and then it also helps you
on bug infestation, all these other things as well. So I think
it is an appropriate tool. Even the Park Service does it in
certain situations, and I think it is proper there as well.
WILDLAND FIRE AND COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS
Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It is really an interesting question, one that we were just
talking about here that I have tried to deal with over the
years. Nobody likes wildfires but the reality is, that is part
of management of a forest and fire is necessary. Have we been
too successful in putting out fires? I mean, I know that we
want to put them out around communities and so forth and that
is why we do the fuels reduction program around communities.
How many states have adopted wildfire building standards for
that urban-wildlife interface, which would seem to make sense
Mr. Tidwell. I believe many states have adopted and
encouraged construction to be done in a way that the buildings
can survive wildfire. We provide a lot of information through
our Fire Wise program to help folks understand clearings and
what that they need to do. Also, the construction techniques,
construction material that they need to use can make all the
difference from having a situation where we lose homes and
where we do not, and we have many examples of that across the
country. So it takes a combination of doing what we need to do
on private land, also doing the field treatments that we need
to do on the adjacent public lands, and then to be able to
UNPLANNED FIRES: RESOURCE BENEFIT
Mr. Simpson. When you say we put out 98 percent of the
fires that start on Forest Service lands, is that being too
successful? I mean, should some of these fires be able to--
otherwise you are going to have the undergrowth, you are going
to have the fuel loads build up, which right now in many
forests, fuel loads are so large that when it does have a fire,
it is going to be a catastrophic fire.
Mr. Tidwell. With each fire we need to take a look at it,
where it occurs, the time of year, the conditions, the planning
that we have done ahead of time so that we know that this is a
fire that we can manage. We have had a lot of success
throughout the country where we have been able to do this. It
is one of the things we want to continue to work on. Whether it
should be 98 or 97, I think it is more of just being able to
make the right decision at the right time. We are going to
continue to have aggressive initial attack, so I do not expect
that number is going to change. I expect by all indications, we
are probably going to burn more acres every year, especially
with the effects of the warming climate. We have a longer fire
season now than we had in the past. It is going to continue to
expand so we will continue to just work with that.
BACK COUNTRY AIR STRIPS
Mr. Simpson. A couple other quick questions. Back-country
air strips. We have some concerns about some of them not being
maintained or closed down in some areas, and as you know, this
committee has been very insistent that those back-country air
strips remain accessible. Is Forest Service policy changing at
all or are you going to maintain those?
Mr. Tidwell. There is no change in our policy. We are going
to continue to work with the groups that are very willing to
help maintain these strips, and we recognize that these strips
are important not only to provide access but are also a
recreational opportunity. Folks like to fly into these. It is a
very unique recreational opportunity to fly into a back-country
Mr. Simpson. I think they are nuts, but----
Mr. Tidwell. We are going to continue to maintain those
where we can and with, their support. From time to time there
will be issues on certain strips that we will have to work
Mr. Simpson. Two up in Idaho, the Reed Ranch Air Strip and
the Seminole Creek and Grangeville Air Strip, there is concern
that they have either been closed or threatened to be closed by
the Forest Service, so I would like to work with you on that.
LAND MANAGEMENT PLAN RECOMMENDED WILDERNESS
One other thing. We treat recommended wilderness areas as
wilderness areas in general. We do not allow mechanized
vehicles, snow machines, et cetera, et cetera, in there. There
is some indication, at least I hear from the Idaho Snow Machine
Association, that it appears the Forest Service may be changing
its guidance as related to mountain bikes in recommended
wilderness areas. Is that true or not true?
Mr. Tidwell. I have not had any discussions about changing
the guidance. Our recommended wilderness areas, it is part of
our forest planning process, and as to how those areas are
managed until Congress acts on the recommendation is part of
the decision that this made. We are required to maintain the
wilderness characteristics of those areas until Congress has an
opportunity to act. So in some cases we have continued to allow
snowmobiling in recommended wilderness. We have continued to
allow mountain biking to continue. I will share with you----
Mr. Simpson. Just in the areas that were recommended, that
were used before it was----
Mr. Tidwell. Before, yes. It is through the forest planning
Mr. Simpson. Right.
Mr. Tidwell. I will share with you, though, that I believe
we do a better job if we look at those areas and when we are
making the recommendation, we factor in the current uses that
are occurring. When we make a recommendation to Congress to
consider these areas, I think it is better if we really look
at, and if there are areas that there is already a lot of
established snowmobile use or motorcycle use, we ought to
factor that into our recommendation. Then when we do make a
recommendation that we do everything we can to maintain the
area as conditions are, not encourage these noncompatible uses,
until Congress has the opportunity to address our
Mr. Simpson. Well, I appreciate that, and as you know, I am
working on a Boulder-White Clouds wilderness bill, have been
for several years, and one of the reasons is because I think
Congress needs to do its job and not just complain about them
sitting out there as recommended wilderness areas, ``de facto
wilderness'' is what we call them, and Congress needs to do its
job and step up and say what is going to be wilderness and what
is not going to be wilderness. If there are areas even if they
have recommended that Congress decides no, we do not want to
make that wilderness, then you release it. If there are areas
that are recommended that Congress agrees, then we ought to
pass the wilderness legislation. That is what we have been
working on for a number of years, and in fact, in our bill we
took out an area that was within the recommended area that was
highly used by snow machine advocates for high-altitude snow
machining and we took that portion out, and it makes sense. We
actually added in some area that the Forest Service did not
recommend in order to make a continuous area. But it is a
collaborative effort, and I appreciate the comments or the
questions from my good friend from New York, Mr. Hinchey, on
the watershed areas, the roadless rule, those types of things.
As you mentioned, doing this in a collaborative way is the way
to do it, and with the Idaho roadless rule, it was worked on
from the left and the right, by the state government, Federal
Government, local people, the conservation groups, the industry
groups, and they came up with a pretty darn good rule.
It used to be that the only thing certain in life was death
and taxes. The only thing certain in life anymore is that no
matter what decision the Forest Service makes, they are going
to be sued, not only from the left or the right, but most of
the time from both of them at the same time, and that is the
tough thing about a collaborative effort is that the extremes
on both sides are never going to be happy, and there are going
to be lawsuits. I once asked Chief Bosworth how much of the
money that you spend on making a decision for whatever it is,
whether it a timber cut or whatever, how much of the money is
spent actually making what you believe to be a good, sound,
scientific decision that you can defend and that you think is
the right thing to do and how much of the money is spent trying
to make it bulletproof from a lawsuit. He said depending on the
situation, probably 25 to 50 percent of the money is spent
making what they believe to be a sound, scientific decision,
and 50 to 75 percent is spent trying to make it bulletproof.
Think of what it would be like if we could use those
resources--and I know, we are always going to have lawsuits and
I do not want to take away people's rights to have their voice
and so forth, but think if we could use those resources we
spend trying to make something bulletproof actually managing
the forest and doing a better job and addressing some of the
backlogs we have. We would be a lot further ahead. But I
appreciate your questions, and they are important questions
about all of this because they are going to be sued no matter
what decision they make. I want to emphasize again, as Mr. Cole
and the chairman did, about when we closed some roads in the
forest in Targee National Forest when I first came, and it was
by building tank traps in the middle of the roads, and the
local population just kind of went nuts, and it was--you know,
you are trying to take away our right to use our national
forest, et cetera, cetera, et cetera. There really needs to be
a good reason when you do this and it needs to be explained
adequately to the public and they need to have their input into
it, so I just want to emphasize that. But thank you for being
here today and thanks for the job you do.
Mr. Tidwell. Thank you.
Mr. Dicks. Do you need a break?
Mr. Tidwell. No, I am good.
Mr. Dicks. Mr. Hinchey.
Mr. Hinchey. Mr. Chairman, thank you, and as you are
walking out, I just want to say we commend you going off to
Defense--he is gone but I just want to say it anyway. He is
going to be chairing the Defense Subcommittee, and we very much
welcome that. He is doing a very good job there, but, you know,
the fact is, we are going to miss him here chairing this
subcommittee as well. Thanks very much for your leadership on
the other side of the aisle and the focus of attention that you
have put on the most important issues that have to be dealt
Mr. Dicks. Thank you.
Mr. Hinchey. It is very much appreciated, and it is one of
the reasons why a number of us enjoy being here on this
subcommittee because of all of those things and the things that
can be done in a positive way to get something accomplished
Mr. Dicks. I appreciate that. Thank you.
LAND MANAGEMENT PLAN RECOMMENDED WILDERNESS
Mr. Hinchey. Thanks very much for everything you are doing
and saying. I guess we are pretty much running out of time but
I just wanted to go back to that issue of the 58\1/2\ million
acres of roadless lands and the fact that there is now the
recommendation of more than 3 million acres to be put into that
very high quality of protected areas. Those 3 million acres are
spread across this whole country from Alaska to Vermont, which
is really amazing. Nevertheless, it is a great thing to do and
I am very excited about it. I very much want to see it happen.
But at the same time that this is being proposed and projected,
there are issues that are taking place apparently that are
trying to undermine the ability of various areas of those more
than 3 million acres to be eligible for the recommendation and
the successful achievement of getting into that high-quality
preservation area under your jurisdiction. So maybe you could
tell us how your agency is handling these areas, what is being
done, what are some of the challenges that are taking place and
what you think the outcomes are going to be as a result of your
attention to it?
Mr. Tidwell. Thank you for that question. Through our
forest planning process, we are required to look at the
roadless areas and other areas of that forest or grassland and
make a recommendation about which of these areas we believe
Congress should consider to put into the wilderness system.
When we make that decision, we are also required then to
maintain the wilderness characteristics of that area, the
things that we feel justify that recommendation. And so that is
also part of the decision. In some cases it does mean that we
take steps to eliminate some motorized activity, we take some
steps to address snowmobiling. But, each of those decisions are
made through that forest plan decision. So our guidance, our
direction is to maintain the wilderness characteristics until
sometime Congress will act. The challenge is that sometimes we
make these recommendations and it is years before Congress has
the opportunity to consider these areas. Over any period of
time things can change on the landscape and there is more and
more pressure either for motorized recreation, for
snowmobiling, or for mountain biking. It becomes a more
difficult job and more of a challenge for Congress if we do not
do what we can to really stop any growth in those noncompatible
uses of a proposed wilderness area. I think by aggressively
limiting noncompatible use it helps. It helps not only assure
that we are maintaining the wilderness characteristics, but
that we are able to provide you the opportunity, the decision
I also appreciate Mr. Simpson's comments about the benefit
of Congress acting. I think that if we could address these
recommended wilderness areas in a more timely fashion, I think
there would be less concern about wilderness as a whole. It
leaves us with an unknown, especially for the communities and
the concerns around the area and so they are just never sure.
By Congress taking action to address these recommendations, it
brings some certainty to the issue. It also would help with our
management. So I appreciate your comment, Mr. Simpson, and Mr.
Mr. Simpson. Would the gentleman yield for just one moment?
Mr. Hinchey. Yes.
PROPOSED WILDERNESS: AGENCY DIFFERENCES
Mr. Simpson. Are the requirements different--as I
understand it, the requirements are different for the Forest
Service than the BLM in recommended wilderness areas? The BLM
has to maintain it essentially as if it were wilderness so if
there is recreation use there, it has to be taken out. They
essentially have to treat it more strictly than the requirement
of the Forest Service by the statutes we put in. You have to
maintain the characteristics, you cannot degrade the
characteristics that would make it wilderness. So if there is
recreation going on there now, it can be maintained. Is that
Mr. Tidwell. I have to get back with you on that. It has
been my experience with many of the areas in the BLM lands,
they are Wilderness Study Areas. There is action by Congress
that actually establishes the type of use that can occur on a
designated Wilderness Study Area until some time in the future,
so I would have to get back to you on that.
Our policy is to maintain those wilderness characteristics
that justify the area to be recommended. I do feel that we need
to consider the current uses that are in the area. We need to
factor that into our recommendations. Then we should do what we
can to limit the growth expansion of these noncompatible uses
until Congress has an opportunity to address our
[The agency provided the following additional information:]
Treatment of Recommended Wilderness Areas
The Forest Service has planning direction that: ``A roadless area
being evaluated and ultimately recommended for wilderness or wilderness
study is not available for any use or activity that may reduce the
area's wilderness potential. Activities currently permitted may
continue, pending designation, if the activities do not compromise
wilderness values of the roadless area.'' (Forest Service Manual
We are in the process of responding to a request we have received
from members of the House of Representatives to issue national guidance
on the management of agency-recommended wilderness. The request is
timely as we are in the process of reviewing the policy for recommended
wilderness areas. All land management and policy decisions will
incorporate extensive public involvement. We will continue to work with
members of Congress as the process moves forward.
Bureau of Land Management Wilderness Policy
The Department of Interior has asked that the Committee contact
their agency for the details of BLM management of recommended
Mr. Simpson. I agree with you.
Mr. Tidwell. I think that is a better way. But every place
is different, and that is the value of our forest planning
process that we can factor in the local concerns of the
communities within those areas. I think that is one of our
strengths. I think there is some benefit to having some
flexibility in the system to be able to address local concerns.
Mr. Hinchey. There are a lot of organizations and a lot of
groups that are very supportive of this wilderness designation
for these areas, the 3 million, and I understand now that the
International Mountain Biking Association has come out strongly
in favor of this. Have you heard that?
Mr. Tidwell. You know, I have not heard that. I have met
with the mountain biking organizations over the years and have
had a lot of good discussions with them about wilderness
recommendations and also to understand their concerns about
loss of opportunity for riding too, so we continue to work
closely with them.
LAND MANAGEMENT PLAN RECOMMENDED WILDERNESS
Mr. Hinchey. Well, there are a number of bills here in the
Congress to try to achieve these designations. A number of them
are pending now and we are hoping that they will get passed
because this is something that really, really needs to be done.
I appreciate your interest in it and my assumption is that you
are going to continue to be devoted to this and to try to do
everything you can in the meantime to make sure that there is
no erosion of these specific areas so that they maintain the
ability to be designated in this way.
Mr. Tidwell. We are going to carry out our responsibility
to maintain these wilderness characteristics until Congress has
an opportunity to act.
Mr. Hinchey. Thanks very much.
Mr. Dicks. Mr. Cole.
Mr. Cole. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
FEDERAL LANDS RECREATION ENHANCEMENT FUND
Just one area that sort of caught my eye, and maybe you can
educate me on it a little bit. In the President's proposed
budget on the Federal Lands Enhancement Fund, there is a pretty
substantial reduction. I think you proposed $67 million and
that is a decrease of 32.2, so about a third. Is that because
things are where you want them to be? I know in some of these
areas you have the ability to charge fees and you may have
other income coming in now, but why that big a reduction and
what will be the impact of that again on users, visitors to the
Forest Service system?
Mr. Tidwell. Well, the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement
Act allowed us to retain fees that we collected, and this
program, it has really made a difference in areas where we have
been able to maintain facilities----
Mr. Cole. I just have to interrupt for a second for Mr.
Simpson's benefit. That was actually passed under the previous
Administration in 2005. I knew you would want to know.
Mr. Dicks. I thought we did this before that when Mr.
Regula was chairman, we are thrilled they did something about
Mr. Cole. I am sorry.
Mr. Tidwell. This authority has been very helpful for us to
maintain some key recreational facilities and also to upgrade
to ensure that we can provide for public safety and health on
these, primarily in higher use areas. I know that there is
controversy with fees.
Mr. Cole. I am a big proponent. I mean, I really do believe
in user fees in a variety of areas, and I am delighted to see
you doing it, and if you have been able to reduce the demands
on the Treasury and still maintain where you wanted to go
because you are using fees, I think that is a good thing, not a
bad thing. I am just curious if maybe the fee structure had
helped you to be able to pull back a little bit on what you
normally need because there is another source of income or if,
again, there was just some other reason.
Mr. Dicks. Would you yield?
Mr. Cole. I will certainly yield.
Mr. Dicks. We do not understand, are the fees going down? I
mean, why would that be?
Mr. Tidwell. This is what our request is, is the budget
authority to be able to use what we have collected.
Mr. Dicks. Okay.
Mr. Simpson. Let me just ask along that same line----
Mr. Dicks. So you actually are going to collect more than
the $67 million?
Mr. Tidwell. We may.
Mr. Dicks. So what happens? Does the rest of the money go
to the Treasury?
Mr. Tidwell. No, it is my understanding that we can then
Mr. Dicks. So it goes into a fund?
Mr. Tidwell. A fund.
PROPOSED REDUCTION ON CAMPGROUND DISCOUNT
Mr. Simpson. Let me ask along the same line if I could,
because we are hearing quite a few comments, as you might well
imagine, regarding proposed reduction or elimination in the
deduction that seniors and disabled people get for use of these
fees. Are you proposing that, and if so, why?
Mr. Tidwell. We did propose changing the amount of
discounts available to seniors in our concessionaire-operated
campgrounds. We also, as part of that proposal, looked at
changing some of the discounts through the passes. We did that
to look at a way to maybe provide a little more consistency and
also for the concessionaire operators to collect more funds to
be able to put back into the facilities. We put that out there
and the comment period closed a few weeks ago, and I can tell
you that by far the majority of the comments were not
supportive of that.
Mr. Simpson. I can imagine that.
Mr. Tidwell. And we have not released the decision yet but
I am pretty sure we are going to be looking at some other
Mr. Simpson. I appreciate that, because my phone has been
busy, I know, in all of my district offices.
Mr. Tidwell. Well, I think it is part of the process. We
put out a proposal, we get a lot of good feedback and we are
Mr. Simpson. Appreciate it. Thank you.
FEDERAL LANDS RECREATION ENHANCEMENT FUND
Mr. Cole. Reclaiming my time quickly. Just to make sure I
understand, because I may not have understood correctly, is the
$67 million the amount of money you expect to come in through
fee activities so you expect that to be down by a third or is
that the amount of money that you are requesting that, you
know, because you have fees, you do not need as much directly
from the Treasury?
Mr. Tidwell. It is what we expect, at this time, to
Mr. Cole. Tell me why you expect that big a reduction.
Again, that is an awfully dramatic decline.
Mr. Tidwell. The reason for the decline is that what we
requested and received in 2010. That reflected funds that had
been collected over the previous years and so we had that on
the books. We requested that additional authority. Now we are
moving forward with what we feel will expect to collect. I
mean, we will not request more than we expect to collect. So in
the future like potentially in 2012, we might be able to ask
Mr. Cole. So would this reflect a decreased usage or was it
because we had built up a surplus in the system and you
basically had used that surplus and now you are returning to a
pay as you go sort of program?
Mr. Tidwell. It is a reflection of not so much a surplus.
We collected more in the past than what we requested to spend,
so then we kind of caught up this year. We are catching up. And
so we will kind of have to see where we are in 2011.
Mr. Dicks. Do you have a surplus of funds? You have $99
million in 2010, $102 million in 2009, and then all of a sudden
it drops to $67 million. Is that lack of income coming in or is
it just a limitation on expenditures of the money that is
available? And if so, what is the overage? I mean, how much is
Mr. Tidwell. We request what we feel is available and what
we can use this year. Next year, based on collections, if there
are additional funds there, we will be requesting additional
authority to use those. It is one of the things we have to
factor in, everything that is going on and give our best
estimate about the level of collections. This money is very
beneficial, and I think we have done a good job to be able to
show where we have made a difference to be able to improve
sites, especially for public health and safety, and really make
Mr. Dicks. This originated here in this committee. Mr.
Regula, when he was chairman, was the person who created this,
and then in 2005, we made it permanent law. We did what in
essence had to be done to make it permanent. So we are strongly
committed to this.
Mr. Cole. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Well, again, just to educate me, the income levels are
obviously dramatically different from last year. Do you expect
usage to be down or do you expect it to be comparable? Have we
changed the structure? That is just a big number for a drop,
and I cannot quite get my head around why. I am all for you
keeping the money and I think it is a great idea and using it
in ways to enhance the forest, so that is terrific.
Mr. Tidwell. Our request is just based on what we feel that
we will collect. In the past we have been able to request more
because we had kind of a buildup over the years and we kind of
caught up to that. I do not have any information that indicates
that recreational use is going to go down. In fact, some
indicators would show that folks are going to want to stay
closer to home, so we may actually see an increase.
Mr. Cole. That is certainly what we have seen in our state
parks in Oklahoma. As times get tough, people do not go as far.
Mr. Dicks. This is not on budget. This is off budget. So I
do not think you even need the authority. If you got more
money, you could not spend it, I believe. I want them to do the
projects on the forest that keep the forest in good shape.
Mr. Tidwell. The permanent funds are not part of our budget
request. We are requesting the authority to be able to spend
that, to be transparent, to let you know what we are doing.
Mr. Cole. That is great.
Mr. Dicks. Well, I am still interested to know whether we
are going to collect more than $67 million in 2011.
Mr. Tidwell. That is what we estimate.
Mr. Dicks. It is an estimate. Was $99 million in 2010 an
Mr. Tidwell. No, the estimate was more based on the 67 but
we were able to use other funds that had been collected in the
Mr. Dicks. But is there a surplus in this account?
Mr. Tidwell. Not that I am aware of, and if we collect
more, we will be requesting the authority to spend more because
there is an ongoing need.
Mr. Dicks. Give us a record, a clear history here, if you
would. How much is this--where did this $67 million come from?
Are there carryover funds that have not been expended yet, and
what is your plan? Where are you going to spend this money? Do
you have a rule where any percent of it has to stay in the
forest where it is collected?
Mr. Tidwell. Yes, 80 percent is returned right back to the
site where it is collected.
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Mr. Dicks. Let me just give you a little bit of a warning
here. The committee in the past where there has been excess
funds with the Park Service has taken those funds and used them
for other things, so I suggest you ought to keep the program
Mr. Tidwell. We will. Well, there is a----
Mr. Dicks. Not all of it, just a little bit. Some of the
parks had huge backlogs and these are the mega parks. They had
Mr. Tidwell. We will stay on top of this.
Mr. Cole. I was going to say, Chairman, since we are
finding this new money, can we like reopen trails and roads in
STATE FIRE ASSISTANCE
Mr. Dicks. That could be used for that.
Let me go on to a couple other quick things. State fire and
forestry assistance, now, this is one that just is really hard
for me to accept. We have been hearing from state foresters
that this budget request has some alarming cuts to state and
private forestry, and in particular cuts to state fire
assistance. Can you explain this? I mean, is this OMB driven? I
hope it is. To what extent is the state and private forestry
mission important to the Service? It seems to me on something
like this, this is where we have to work together, and for us
to cut off the funding when the states are in terrible
financial condition is just hard for me to fathom.
Mr. Tidwell. Mr. Chairman, our overall request for our
state and private programs has an increase but there is a
reduction in state fire assistance.
Mr. Dicks. This is the most important program. Why would we
Mr. Tidwell. Well, we look at it, the way to provide that
assistance to the states, we can provide that through a
combination of programs. One of those programs is actually
through hazardous fuels in forest health funds that we provide
to the states. Funds used to factor in where we need to be
reducing the threat, changing the conditions so our suppression
actions are more effective. Our states are key partners. In
fact, our states are more than a partner for us. It is
essential when it comes to wildland fire that we work together,
all the agencies work together with the states and local fire
to be able to have this coordinated response.
Mr. Dicks. So what is the state fire assistance used for?
Mr. Tidwell. It is funds that are given to the states and
they used to provide the support and equipment for wildland
fire with local communities and also through the states. It is
a very important fund. What we are able to accomplish through
that is very essential work. I can also use that for some
planning to help address the situation, I mean just with the
concern with wildland fire.
Mr. Dicks. Do you think $50 million is enough?
Mr. Tidwell. I think we have to look at our total budget
request and look at all the programs together, and I feel that
this is a good mix for our overall program. On any one piece of
it, there may be one of the budget line items that is reduced
and another that is increased. I think we have to look at the
entire budget request, in total, and look at the mix of
everything that we can provide. I do feel this is an adequate
level of funding.
STATE FOREST ASSESSMENTS
Mr. Dicks. The last Farm Bill required all states to
conduct a statewide forest assessment if they wanted to
continue to receive federal forest assistance. These plans will
be done this year. How do these plans look to you?
Mr. Tidwell. The couple that I have been able to look at
are doing exactly what we were hoping for. The states were able
to take a look at all the lands across their states and be able
to establish priorities where they want to use the state and
private program authorities. I think this helps us to really
prioritize where we need to do the work, where we can really
make a difference on the landscape. It will help us with our
all-lands approach to conservation. It is something I think
that we are on track for every state to have those completed by
the due date. One of the things I hear from the states is that
they want to make sure that we use this information. One of the
ways we want to use this information is when we establish our
priorities for funding under our Priority Watershed Initiative
and Jobs Stabilization. We want to use the information from the
statewide assessments to help inform which projects are the
best projects if we are taking an all-lands approach to this,
the assessments are going to be a really key part. It will be
my intent, my expectation, that we will be able to come back to
you. To be able to demonstrate, by using the statewide
assessments, that we are being more effective with the funding
that you provide in our state and private programs. That we are
using these funds to help address the concerns about all
forestlands, not just the national forest system lands. So I am
very optimistic. I can tell you in my discussions with our
state foresters that it was a task for them to get the work
completed but they are on board and they are seeing the value
of these statewide assessments.
Mr. Dicks. On your fixed costs, are you covering your fixed
costs in the budget or are you absorbing it in the various
programs, increases for cost of living and things of that
Mr. Tidwell. We have that covered in our budget request.
Mr. Dicks. You have covered it?
Mr. Tidwell. We have covered that.
FOREST AND RANGELAND RESEARCH
Mr. Dicks. Okay. That is good. Do you have any concerns on
the research program? I want to go back to that. Can you do the
kind of research that is necessary with all these issues we
have heard about today with the budget you have?
Mr. Tidwell. Mr. Chairman, I feel that our budget request
is an adequate level for our research and development. You
know, our scientists just do an outstanding job. We have to
look at our request along with everything else and find the
balance between the research that we need, not only to address
the problems that we face today but also to address the
problems we are going to face 10, 20 years from now. The record
of our research scientists is outstanding. The idea that 20
years ago, maybe 25 or 30 years ago our scientists had the
foresight to be thinking about the effects of climate change on
vegetation. Today we are in a position to be able to apply that
science to really guide our management. I think that is one of
the examples of the incredible work that our research
scientists do. So I think this budget----
Mr. Dicks. So what are you seeing out there on climate
Mr. Tidwell. What we are seeing on climate change is an
increase in the frequency of disturbance events. And depending
where you are in the country, increases in temperature
fluctuations and precipitation. These are things that we have
to factor in to our decisions. Our research scientists, they do
a very good job of working with our managers so we can apply
that science on the landscape. When we are designing projects,
we can factor in the effects projects may have on greenhouse
gases. We also can factor in the effects of a warmer climate
on, for instance, what type of species mix should we use in our
restoration work. Should we consider a different tree species
on this site for reforestation based on what is occurring with
the changing climate? I think we are in a good position to be
able to use the science to adapt our management to increase the
resistance and resiliency of these ecosystems. It is essential
that we continue to do the research not only around climate
change but also as we mentioned earlier with the invasives
ENERGY FROM FOREST BIOMASS
Mr. Dicks. What about biomass? How are you addressing that?
That is an important issue and something we are concerned
about. We think this is an area of potential for the Forest
Service and for the Department of Energy and other agencies,
Interior. What is your thinking on that?
Mr. Tidwell. Our budget request includes an increase in our
biomass response and we are looking at it not only with the
research part of biomass but also to use some of our state and
private funds to be able to provide more grants. We are working
with the Department of Energy and with other USDA agencies to
increase the opportunities for biomass utilization. I agree
with you that I feel it is an area that is essential for us to
find ways to be able to use the material that needs to be
removed through our restoration efforts. We have the option of
piling it up and burning it or finding use for it to be able to
create energy or other use from this biomass.
Mr. Dicks. And it can be done in a way that does not add to
CO2 emissions. Is that not correct? I mean, there
are systems that----
Mr. Tidwell. Yes. The technology is advancing as we speak.
We have examples of systems whether it is the small operation
that heats a school to larger facilities. The technology is
improving so there are very low emissions, and it is definitely
one of the management options. When I talk about the material
that we need to find a use for, it is not the saw log material,
there is a higher use for that. It is the smaller diameter
residual material, the brush, the small trees that we need to
remove for a variety of reasons, and we need to find a way that
it is economically viable to be able to haul it out of the
woods or at least----
TRANSPORTATION COSTS AND BIOMASS UTILIZATION
Mr. Dicks. They tell me we are doing that in Washington
State, that you can only go so far out because then the
trucking costs are getting it back to the place where you are
going to--unless you were processing it out in the woods
Mr. Tidwell. That is some of the work that we want to
continue to do. We are exploring the opportunity for smaller
facilities that can be moved from location to location. There
is also, I think, an opportunity to create ethanol and to be
able to have facilities, that are potentially smaller
facilities, so that we can address the transportation costs.
Transportation cost is one of the biggest challenges we have.
Mr. Dicks. That is the problem. That is the issue.
Mr. Tidwell. We are increasing our efforts to find ways to
utilize biomass and it is one of the things included in our
budget request, and I hope we will have your support for that.
Mr. Dicks. I am very interested. I think it can make a
Any other questions? Members have 3 days to submit
questions for the record, and thank you, Chief, good job, and
we look forward to working with you.
Mr. Tidwell. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you not only for
today's hearing but I too want to thank you for all your
support that you have shown the Forest Service being the chair
for this subcommittee. We look forward to continuing to be able
to work with you as a member of the subcommittee. I just want
to personally thank you for not only your support, but the time
that you have taken to learn about our issues, to be able to
take the time to go out on the ground and work with our forest
supervisors. That is important, and we appreciate it.
Mr. Dicks. Thank you.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010.
SCIENCE FOR AMERICA'S LANDS, WATER AND BIOTA; U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
2011 BUDGET REQUEST
MARCIA K. McNUTT, DIRECTOR, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
SUZETTE M. KIMBALL, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
CARLA M. BURZYK, DIRECTOR, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OFFICE OF BUDGET AND
MATTHEW C. LARSEN, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR WATER, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
BRENDA S. PIERCE, ACTING CHIEF SCIENTIST FOR GEOLOGY U.S. GEOLOGICAL
SUSAN D. HASELTINE, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR BIOLOGY, U.S. GEOLOGICAL
WILLIAM H. WERKHEISER, EASTERN REGIONAL DIRECTOR, U.S. GEOLOGICAL
DAVID APPLEGATE, SENIOR SCIENCE ADVISOR FOR EARTHQUAKES AND GEOLOGICAL
HAZARDS, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Opening Statement: Chairman Moran
Mr. Moran. The US Geological Survey actually has a very
strong request, over $1 billion, and given the fact that there
has been a freeze across all domestic discretionary programs,
the relatively modest increase is nevertheless significant and
shows a substantial level of support on the part of the
Administration and I know the American people. There are a few
targeted reductions, and all of the fixed costs, over $13
million, have to be absorbed, and I know that is going to be a
substantial challenge for you.
I think we are going to want to talk about climate change
science, the WaterSMART program, and endocrine disruptors, but
the first thing we want to mention is that this is the very
first budget hearing for our new Director, Dr. Marcia McNutt, a
highly esteemed scientist, the first woman director in the 131-
year history of the USGS. 131 years, that is a long time. Took
them a long time to figure it out, did it not?
The USGS is the Nation's leading natural science agency,
conducts fundamental and applied scientific research in
monitoring in a wide array of fields. Besides its famous
geology expertise, it also has major responsibilities for the
National Map, the National Streamflow Information Program,
water quality and quantity investigations, on-shore fossil
energy and mineral resource inventories, wildlife, fish, plant
science and conservation and many, many other things. This
bureau has a great history of accomplishment. It goes all the
way back to the land classification work of John Wesley Powell
in 1878, and then the Congress established it in 1879. We do
need an active, engaged and competent assembly of scientists to
ensure that the Federal Land Management agencies make
responsible policy decisions as stewards of our public lands
So it is critical and even more critical as our Nation
grows in population and in challenges and as we confront the
effects of climate change.
I am going to offer another moment of Zen. This is your
moment of Zen, Mr. Simpson, if you want to focus on this----
Mr. Simpson. I thought that was a moment to contemplate and
Mr. Moran. You can do that----
Mr. Simpson. Oh.
Mr. Moran [continuing]. As I share with you another quote
from John Muir.
Mr. Simpson. Oh, good. Let's all put our hands together
Mr. Moran. We are not going to sing Kumbaya, but you are
going to listen to this quote now. Follow this now. ``Nature is
ever at work building and pulling down, creating and
destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing
no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless
song out of one beautiful form into another.''
Now that we have been edified, we are going to go into the
specifics of the budget request. I want to mention the
noteworthy increases. An $11 million increase to climate change
science, including an $8 million increase for the National
Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. This is something
that Mr. Dicks has championed in the past. A $9 million
increase for the WaterSMART Initiative to develop a sustainable
water strategy, although in order to do that, other water
resource science activities have been cut by $3.5 million.
There is an increase of $3.3 million for natural hazards
research on earthquakes and volcanoes. An increase of $8
million for program support and continued development of the
next Landsat satellite ground system for remote sensing. There
is a small funding increase for ecosystem science on the
Chesapeake Bay in fulfillment of the executive order. And I
think one thing we are going to get into as we should in each
of our hearings is the collaboration, cooperation among
relevant agencies. USGS does get funds through the EPA to
conduct important scientific investigations, particularly as
part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Mr. Moran. So with that, let me turn to the Ranking Member,
Mr. Simpson, for your remarks.
Mr. Simpson. Ohm.
Mr. Moran. That is okay.
Opening Statement: Mr. Simpson
Mr. Simpson. I am just kidding. You had a beautiful quote.
Good morning, Director, and thank you for joining us today. I
always look forward to discussions with USGS because it is one
of the few agencies in our bill where we are able to divorce
ourselves from regulatory policy and focus on the underlying
It seems that today more than ever as this country is
embroiled in a heightened debate over ways in which we use and
conserve our natural resources and as we debate the question of
how much is sustainable, we need science agencies not only to
find the answers, and I, this is critical, believe we need to
clearly communicate the answers to the public. The science is
never settled until the people understand the science.
The fiscal year 2011 budget request for the USGS is $1.1
billion which is $21.6 million or 1.9 percent above the 2010
enacted level. Those numbers belie the fact that the USGS is
forced to claim $11.7 million in management efficiencies that
do not yet exist in addition to absorbing $13.5 million in
fixed costs. Given the strength and clarity of your strategic
plan, I have little doubt that you could have found smarter
ways to make those cuts if you had been given the opportunity.
As this week is National Groundwater Awareness Week, I am
pleased to see the increased emphasis in the budget on
groundwater. And being from a western state, I fully subscribe
to the notion that water is the new gold. That is why I am
particularly interested in better understanding the rationale
for some of the increases and decreases in this budget for the
various water programs, particularly those that emphasize
partnerships with the states. I do not understand how the USGS
can have a water initiative when total funding for water
programs was cut by nearly $3.5 million.
Another area of the budget that puzzles me is the rapid
increase in climate change funding. I have seen firsthand the
impacts of a changing climate in my state, and I do not dispute
that changes are occurring. What bothers me is what I see as a
rush to throw money at the problem without a clear
understanding of what we do not know, why we do not know it,
what we need to know, and how we intend to find out. Very
little information has been presented to this Subcommittee as
to what we have learned with the funds we have invested in 2008
and 2009. I am hoping that you can shed some light on that
Finally, I am interested in hearing today about the $13.4
million increase for the Landsat Data Continuity Mission and
with coupled with a corresponding decrease of $3.5 million for
the National Map, how the fiscal year 2011 geography budget
proposal gets the USGS closer to achieving its goals.
I look forward to hearing your testimony this morning and
working with you on the fiscal year 2011 budget. Thank you.
Mr. Moran. Thanks very much, Mr. Simpson. Now perhaps we
can hear from Dr. McNutt, and we will go to questions.
Testimony of Dr. McNutt
Dr. McNutt. Wonderful. Good morning, everyone. It is a
pleasure to be here this morning, and I want to congratulate
Chairman Moran on his official appointment to head this
Subcommittee, and I want to thank Mr. Dicks for his service. We
certainly enjoyed your leadership, and we know that the
Subcommittee for Armed Services is certainly going to be
blessed to have your leadership just as we have in the past few
INTRODUCTION OF USGS MANAGEMENT TEAM
I am ably assisted this morning by other leaders of the
USGS. On my right is my Deputy Director, Suzette Kimball, and I
know that you have met Suzette who was the Acting Director for
the USGS. On my left is Carla Burzyk who is our Director for
the Office of Budget and Performance. Also in the room with me
we have Dr. Matt Larsen who is the Associate Director for
Water, and my Eastern Regional Director is Bill Werkheiser.
Then we have the Acting Associate Director for Geology, Linda
Gundersen, who is in the second row there, and Dr. Bryant
Cramer, who is the Associate Director for Geography, next to
Linda. Also in the next row is Kevin Gallagher, who is the
Associate Director for Geospatial Information, and then Dr. Sue
Haseltine who is the Associate Director for Biology. And we
have Karen Baker, the Associate Director for Administrative
Policy and Services and also Kaye Cook, the Acting Associate
Director for Human Capital. I think I got everyone then.
First of all, I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, all the
members of the Subcommittee, and everyone here for the
unwavering support and energy in maintaining and also enhancing
USGS programs under your guidance.
When I was confirmed last November, I knew that the USGS
was an organization that was held in high esteem by the staff,
the constituents and most of all, by the members of this
Subcommittee. Yours and Mr. Dicks' interest has manifested
itself in many positive and exciting ways. I look forward to
working with you in the years ahead as together we apply the
talents of the USGS, which is the Nation's only integrated
natural science agency, to find scientifically defensible
solutions to the challenges that lie at the nexus between
water, energy and climate, while bequeathing an environment to
our children and grandchildren that is healthy and sustainable.
On behalf of the women and men of the USGS, I am proud and
humbled to appear before you today to testify in support of the
Administration's 2011 budget.
Our budget reflects Secretary Salazar's commitment to
science as the first consideration and a cornerstone for
natural resource decisions and policy guidance. A very vivid
example of an application of USGS science to help reduce the
vulnerability of populations that are increasingly at risk from
acts of nature is illustrated by the two recent earthquakes in
Haiti and Chile.
After correcting for the differences in magnitude and
location of those two earthquakes, a citizen of Chile exposed
to this same level of ground shaking, was 400 times more likely
to survive than a resident of Port-au-Prince subjected to the
same level of shaking. And the difference in survival rate for
those two citizens was thanks to decades of risk reduction in
Chile built on a foundation of earthquake hazard assessment
that was pioneered at the USGS.
The science methods and standards were shared with our
South American friends through partnerships and capacity
building. The USGS has provided substantial information and
technical support in the aftermath of both disasters and will
bring home important lessons to better prepare us here at home
when such a calamity strikes any of the 39 states that are our
own ``earthquake country''.
The 2011 budget for the USGS follows our Science Strategy
by prioritizing research that will keep Americans safe from
natural hazards, secure our supply of natural resources such as
water, minerals, fossil fuels and also protect our ecosystems.
Of course, a few difficult decisions had to be made so that
high priority programs could thrive. We identified potential
savings through management efficiencies and programmatic
reductions, which were, of course, very difficult choices.
In summary, the 2011 budget request for the USGS is $1.1
billion which is an increase of $21.6 million from the 2010
enacted level. Programmatic increases in the budget total about
$52 million. Each increase is well aligned with the science
priorities defined by the USGS Science Strategy.
ENERGY FRONTIER INITIATIVE
I will go through what those increases are now. The New
Energy Frontier Initiative is $3 million, and that $3 million
meets and matches the $3 million that this Committee
appropriated last year to seed a program in alternative energy
in the USGS. We will expand existing efforts on the impacts of
wind development on ecosystems. We will study the causes and
identify solutions that will minimize risk and the ecological
impacts of projected large-scale development of wind farms.
Pilot projects in the Great Plains and off-shore Cape Cod will
provide data and methodologies that can be applied nationwide.
CLIMATE IMPACTS INITIATIVE
You mentioned the Climate Impacts Initiative, which is $11
million. We believe there is a critical need to adapt
management approaches to changes on the landscape, and that we
believe is the niche for the USGS, not in climate modeling. We
believe that is the purview of other agencies, but rather
taking those projections of what climate is going to do and
say, what are the impacts actually where people live, in the
land, in the ecosystems. The USGS will support accelerated
assessment of biological carbon sequestration, and we will
create and staff two new DOI Climate Science Centers to enrich
the science with new funding for that aspect of the National
Climate Change and Wildlife Science Centers which Mr. Dicks, of
course, has supported, adding to the three Climate Science
Centers that will be established in 2010. We will also develop
decision support tools to enable resource managers and
policymakers to adapt to a changing climate, and that is what
they are asking for help in. They are having to make decisions
right now on the landscape, and they need to know what are the
changes that are coming down the pike and how can they make
decisions for changes that will be affecting them 20, 30 years
down the road.
In the WaterSMART program, there is $9 million of new
funding that will allow the USGS to begin to implement the
requirements of the SECURE Water Act of 2009 to determine the
quantity, quality and use of the Nation's water supply, both
surface and groundwater, that will integrate data collected at
the local, regional, State and national level. And Mr. Simpson,
you have already mentioned the importance of groundwater and
the Nation's water supply, particularly in the West. One
hundred million Americans rely on groundwater, and yet, where
do you go to see how your aquifer is faring? You can go out and
see how a reservoir is doing or how a stream is flowing, but
where do you go to see how your aquifer is doing? The number of
states is not uniform in terms of their reporting of aquifer
health. We need to make information on the health and water
levels of those aquifers readily available. It has been 30
years since there was a water census.
TREASURED LANDSCAPE INITIATIVE
In terms of the Treasured Landscape Initiative, $3.6
million is requested. Mr. Chairman, this increase supports
President Obama's executive order of May 12, 2009, calling on
the Federal Government to lead restoration of the Chesapeake
Bay which as you well know is the Nation's largest estuary. The
time to do this work is now in order to repair, restore and
preserve this awesome and wonderful national treasure.
NATURAL HAZARDS FUNDING
In Natural Hazards, we have $4 million of new funding which
is an important increase to leverage the $45 million in
Recovery Act (ARRA) funds in upgrading the seismic and volcano
hazard monitoring network. The U.S. appreciates the long-term
support of our important work in this area from Mr. Dicks. The
increase in 2011 will enhance the USGS hazards effort, focusing
on increased community resilience to those hazards. We will
extend existing work in California communities and expand to
the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. We agree with the concerns
that Mr. Dicks has expressed for many years calling for more
vulnerability assessments for volcanoes, improved monitoring
for earthquakes and volcanoes, improved forecasting
capabilities, better decision support tools, and better
training for emergency responders and new studies to address
urban and wildland fires. USGS possesses the understanding of
where these natural hazards will occur and how best to prepare
LANDSAT DATA CONTINUITY MISSION
Mr. Simpson, you mentioned the Landsat Data Continuity
Mission, $13.4 million. This increase will implement new ground
station requirements that are now necessary because of the
free-flyer satellite that will hold the new sensors. The USGS
is partnering closer with NASA in planning for this free-flyer
satellite, and we eagerly look forward to the launch.
COASTAL AND MARINE SPATIAL PLANNING
In coastal and marine spatial planning, a $4 million
increase is proposed. This increase supports the
Administration's National Ocean Policy. We will be engaging
with other DOI bureaus and Federal agencies such as NOAA in
implementing the soon to be finalized framework for effective
coastal and marine spatial planning. This plays an important
part in furthering our understanding of coastal change and how
to provide communities with information they need to protect
COLLABORATIVE DOI SCIENCE WORK
And finally, there is support of $4 million to increase the
number of USGS scientists available to work collaboratively
with the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land
Management, and the National Park Service, a total of $4
million on bureau-defined resource and management issues where
they need our science.
PROPOSED BUDGET REDUCTIONS
Now the complementary side of developing this agency is
having to identify savings to ensure that each Federal dollar
is very wisely spent and not duplicative of other work being
conducted at the State or Federal level. We had to make some
difficult decisions in collaboration with the Secretary and the
Administration. The decreases that we are putting forward are
$12.4 million in reductions in IT, travel and acquisition
costs; a reduction of $3.5 million in National Map
partnerships, leaving approximately $10 million still in that
budget category; a reduction of $3.3 million in cost savings as
requested in the Administration's memorandum in planning for
the President's fiscal year 2011 budget and performance plans.
We have also been asked to not include $13.5 million in fixed
costs as Mr. Simpson already mentioned.
BUDGET SUMMARY BY BUDGET ACTIVITY
In sum, our budget includes as a roll-up here, $153.4
million for our geography programs; $253.8 million for geology
activities which is hazards, energy, minerals; $228.8 million
for water research and monitoring; $201.3 million for biology
activities; $72.1 million for global change activities, $223.8
million for science support, enterprise information and
Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you again for the
support this Committee has provided for the USGS over the
years. We believe we have a good budget that addresses the
greatest needs for the Nation. It positions us where science
needs to be, always looking to the future. Thank you for
allowing me to testify today, and I would be happy to respond
to your questions.
[The statement of Dr. Marcia McNutt follows:]
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CLIMATE CHANGE: ROLE AND LEVEL OF COORDINATION
Mr. Moran. Thank you very much, Dr. McNutt. That was a
comprehensive and yet concise statement. I fully appreciate it,
and we appreciate your leadership.
Doctor, there is some concern by some Members of Congress
that various federal agencies are using the current focus on
climate change as the basis to get increased funding for the
kinds of activities that they would be doing anyway. There is
also concern that there may be a proliferation of climate
change science going on in lots of different federal agencies
and programs. So I wonder if you could just step back for a
moment and explain what exactly is the role of the USGS in
climate change science and then explain how you are
coordinating with other Federal departments and agencies,
Dr. McNutt. Great. Thank you for that question. First of
all, there are two very distinct roles of the USGS. One of them
is that the USGS, as a geological and a natural science agency,
has the responsibility for looking back into time. We are one
of the few agencies within the Federal Government that has the
perspective of time for understanding what can happen in the
future by the perspective of what has happened in the past.
Now, that is not distinct from what the academic community can
do because the academic community can do that as well. But by
integrating that within the Department of the Interior with the
land management agencies, we can then take that information and
help our fellow land management agencies to understand what the
future might be for their land management responsibilities.
The way the Department of the Interior has taken the
responsibility to build the budget this year is rather than
build a budget individually, bottom-up from the agencies, they
have taken a very top-down view and said, what are our goals in
climate change and how do we achieve those goals department-
wide and then how do we apportion the specific tasks to the
various bureaus within the Department of the Interior and who
best can accomplish this. That way, the Department of the
Interior has avoided duplication of effort and made sure that
every dollar is very wisely spent. Sometimes there was, of
course, competition among the bureaus in order to accomplish
those tasks, but I think in the end, we worked it all out and
came up with a very good division of responsibilities with USGS
taking on a lot of the science responsibilities for these
Climate Science Centers which are the cornerstone of what we
want to do for the Department of the Interior with the land
management agencies, then taking that science, much of which
will be done at universities, and then applying it to
management practices on the landscape to help them actually
apply the best practices to understand how to prepare land
managers for what is coming ahead.
Let me give you a specific example. I think that the
experience that the USGS has had with earthquakes and
understanding risks is extremely important in climate change.
We understood in the earthquake group that predicting
earthquakes specifically would be a very difficult thing to do.
But what we could understand was where earthquakes would happen
and that we needed to prepare the population for the inevitable
earthquake that would happen.
Dr. McNutt. We believe the same is true for climate change,
that it will be difficult to predict at the local level exactly
what will happen with climate change, but we will be able to
say in broad terms that there will be changes in climate, some
of it will be natural because of natural cycles in climate.
Some of it may be caused by man's activities. But there will be
certain parts of the landscape system that will be most
sensitive to changes in climate. Those will be equivalent to
the faults, the parts of the landscape that are most likely to
change. We can identify those features and say, What do we need
to do to prepare communities for those weaknesses in the
system? Water in the west is the San Andreas Fault of the
climate system. That is the part that we know for sure is a
weakness in the climate system. We know already that there are
changes happening because of climate change that have caused
communities, agriculture, natural ecosystems to feel the
effects of changing climate, both the natural part and the
So we identify those parts and then we say, what do we do
to prepare industry, agriculture, communities, individuals, for
those coming changes and make them more resilient to those
changes? That is the kind of science that the USGS can do and
then work with those managers to make them better prepared.
Mr. Moran. Thank you. I was going to ask another question,
but given the comprehensive nature of the answer, I think not.
Thank you very much for putting all of that on the record, Dr.
But at this point, let's turn to Mr. Simpson.
CLIMATE CHANGE: APPROPRIATE FUNDING LEVEL
Mr. Simpson. Following on what the Chairman just mentioned,
because I ask these questions, some people think I do not
believe that climate change is happening or think it is some
kind of fake science out there. I think there is a real issue
there. My question has been all along and continues to be this
year--well, let me give you this example. After September 11,
2001, virtually every agency that came to my office and almost
every interest group who came to my office that wanted to do
something said we have got to do this because of homeland
security, and almost every budget request had money in there
for homeland security. Now the catchphrase is climate change,
global warming, whatever you want to call it. And I see more
and more money being spent on global warming. My question is
not whether it is appropriate to spend the money. I think we do
need to spend some money to study this. The question is
coordination. And I noticed that you mentioned in your
testimony that you will study wind farms, potential impacts of
wind farms and so forth, remarkably similar testimony as to
what the BLM said yesterday. And forest fires, wildfires,
impacts, remarkably similar testimony to what the Forest
Service says. What is the coordination, and this has been my
debate all along, what is the coordination between the agencies
on what we are spending, and why are you studying wind farms
instead of BLM or are you coordinating with BLM or the Forest
Service? And beyond that I guess is the report. Is this the
guide that we are using in terms of where we are going on
climate change in this country? Is this the roadmap for the
adaption, research and management on federal lands and how does
that translate into the USGS climate change adaption budget? Do
you understand my concern? It is not that we are studying
climate change, it is whether we are doing it wisely.
Dr. McNutt. Okay. A couple questions there, Mr. Simpson.
First of all, to get at the broader issue about is the USGS
just climbing on some popular bandwagon with climate change?
Certainly I do not think so. Climate change is an important
issue certainly for our agency to work on for the following
reason. We are absolutely certain that climate change, if not
an issue that Congress demands answers from our agency today
about climate impacts, you will be demanding answers from us
about climate impacts within the foreseeable future. And when
you haul us in front of you to ask us for answers to those
questions, there will be no time for us to write the proposals,
put together the definitive studies, and gather the appropriate
data sets because you will want the answers yesterday, or at
best, tomorrow. We will have to have had the studies already
ongoing, and we will have to have the answers for you. Our land
managers will have to have already been using the best
practices to preserve those ecosystems. The land managers are
already seeing the effects out there on the landscape, and they
say to preserve these places, we have to have those answers
Mr. Simpson. I do not disagree with anything you just said.
The question is, when I call and say how are the wind farms
impacting--why should I call you instead of BLM?
Dr. McNutt. There is excellent coordination there. There is
a very simple answer to that. The BLM will use the USGS
science, and they will then apply that science because the wind
farms will be on the BLM land. There has to be a handoff there
so there has to be funding in both budgets because the USGS
does the scientific study, it hands off the science to the BLM,
and then the BLM land managers apply that science in order to
properly site the wind farms and do the applications of the
science to best site the wind farms. So there is the general
scientific study and then the application of that science to
the specific issue of that wind farm.
Mr. Moran. If the gentleman would yield?
Mr. Simpson. Sure.
Mr. Moran. Could I just follow up on that a bit? I had a
conversation with the Fish and Wildlife Service yesterday, and
they said without this kind of data that they are getting from
USGS and other scientists, they can not predict what habitat,
for example, they are going to need for fish and wildlife and
in fact, when they do the overlap, only 3 percent of what they
were preserving was relevant to the future because of the
change in the fauna, the flora, the flow of water and so on.
They have got to build all of this in into their future
planning so they can effectively preserve fish and wildlife. It
was fascinating but I think----
Mr. Simpson. Again, I do not disagree with what you are
saying, and I do not suggest that USGS should not be doing the
study, should not be doing the science. But I wonder when we
put tens of millions of dollars into the BLM to study science
on the impacts of global warming or climate change, where wind
farms would be located. It sounds to me like they are doing an
awful lot of the same work you are doing, and maybe it is just
that I do not understand it. But my concern has been all along
that we are throwing hundreds of millions of dollars budget-
wide across the agencies, not just in Interior but in almost
every budget you look at there is money for climate change
study. And I am wondering if there is any government-wide
coordination of all this money that we are spending or if it is
the new catchphrase. And I am not suggesting people are doing
it saying we can get more funding because I am sure that
everybody thinks that they need to study it. Do we need a
climate change agency?
Dr. McNutt. I would suggest that for the record we respond
in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management to show how
those two amounts of funding work together because let me tell
you, the Secretary was so keen on finding any amount of
duplicated funding that he could cut from the budget that had
that been a possibility, he would have loved to have been able
to do that.
CLIMATE CHANGE: GOVERNMENT-WIDE COORDINATION
Mr. Simpson. Do we need a climate change agency that could
coordinate all of this government-wide?
Dr. McNutt. You know, that possibility has been discussed,
and the problem is exactly drawing the line because climate
change is so pervasive when you look at atmosphere, oceans,
ecosystems. Climate change even impacts energy. It would be
Mr. Moran. I do not think we are looking for a climate
Mr. Simpson. I am just saying that I feel very
uncomfortable with the amount of money we are spending and how
we are spending it and nobody has yet been able to give me the
vision for the coordination between all of these agencies. And
we have a responsibility to make sure that the taxpayer dollars
are spent efficiently. I am not suggesting that we should not
be spending it or anything like that.
Dr. McNutt. OSTP also did an incredible job this year of
coordination in the climate arena, and anything that was
labeled as climate funding, they questioned each of the budget
offices extensively in terms of that.
Mr. Simpson. Well, I know that we had our staff put
together a briefing that we were going to have and have all of
the agencies within the Department of the Interior that got
climate change money, we were going to have a briefing on how
this is all working together, and it so happened that the
snowstorm came and cancelled it.
Dr. McNutt. It got snowed out. I remember that.
Mr. Simpson. It is just one of those things. I have decided
the only way to get enough snow in Idaho is to have a meeting
there on climate change.
Mr. Moran. If the gentleman would yield again, the Council
on Environmental Quality does have responsibility to coordinate
this. It might be useful to have a briefing, if not a hearing,
from CEQ and see how they are ensuring that there is
collaboration but not overlap.
Mr. Simpson. I would kind of like a briefing rather than a
hearing because, we could have informal discussions with all
these different agencies. And I am just saying that as an
appropriator, I have to be responsible for taxpayer money, as
you do. I think we need a better effort to at least educate me
as to how it is being coordinated and spent, that it is being
done in the most useful way.
STREAMGAGE PROGRAM: VISION
Let me ask one other question before we go to Mr. Cole. I
think all of us here understand the value of streamflow
information provided by the nationwide network of streamgages
and we are aware of the significant investments we have made in
the program through the stimulus bill and the fiscal year 2010
budget. We have a tendency to provide increases and then
sometimes walk away thinking we have fixed the problem, and I
caution us against doing that in this case.
The fiscal year 2011 budget proposes management efficiency
cuts and fixed cost absorptions that add up to almost a $3
million erosion of the streamgage budget. The USGS has set a
measureable goal of having roughly 4,700 streamgages in its
nationwide network, and yet it is only 64 percent of the way
there. I wonder whether we are setting ourselves up to again
walk away. Can you tell me what your vision is for the
streamgage program, where it is now, where it needs to be and
how were are going to get there?
Dr. McNutt. I can say just personally as the Director of
the USGS, I am a huge advocate of the water program and of the
streamgage network. I have been from day one concerned about
the fragility of the mechanism that we have used to fund the
streamgage program. In the beginning it was built on this
partnership, and for a while because of erosion in the USGS
budget, the partners were shouldering more than their 50
percent of the program. Now there has been hard times with the
State budgets. That has led to challenges in keeping
streamgages funded. I personally think that we need to find a
more bullet proof way to keep a solid national backbone of
streamgages in the national interest so that we have a regular,
year-to-year national picture of the health of our stream flow
in the Nation.
But I want to refer to Dr. Matt Larsen and let him talk a
little bit more about the state of this. So Matt, you want to--
Mr. Moran. Please come up to the table.
Dr. Larsen. Thank you for the question.
Mr. Moran. There is a microphone to your right there that
you can turn on.
Dr. Larsen. This is an ongoing challenge for us, and as our
Director acknowledged, we have many partnership agreements
across the country and many of those, alluding to your previous
question, are done in close coordination with other Federal
agencies, the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation
are key partners in funding our overall streamgage network
which is about $135 million a year total cost.
It is not an easy budget scenario to be in. We heard the
President talk about austere budgets in the coming years. We do
everything we can to maintain the network. We have been able to
make substantial progress in the last few years as Director
McNutt acknowledged in her opening remarks. We saw a $5 million
increase in fiscal year 2010, a $2 million increase in fiscal
year 2009 for our National Streamflow Information program. We
also were able to put about $14.2 million in ARRA funds into
upgrading the network.
We have made some improvements in the budget scenario, and
our plan this year is to try to put a bit more attention into
our National Water Census, what the Secretary is now calling
WaterSMART, to help leverage that program and use those data
and interpret those data and provide a better product for the
Nation in terms of what water managers throughout the country
will need to manage water.
Mr. Simpson. Well, I appreciate that. The streamgage
information is, as you know, vitally important particularly in
the West. I guess it is in the east also. But let us not let
that deteriorate because of the budgets or the efficiencies you
have to create within the Department, you know. It is always
easy to say we are going to create efficiencies. It is like
saying we are going to save money by finding waste, fraud and
abuse. But let's not let the system go.
Mr. Moran. We agree. Thanks for raising that, Mr. Simpson.
STREAMGAGES: REDUCED FUNDING SUPPORT
Mr. Cole. Dr. Larsen, do not run away because that was
actually, as Mr. Simpson so often does, that was an area that I
was very interested in and I want to pursue a little bit
further. I think Mr. Simpson makes an excellent point about
maintaining this particular program over time, and I know you
are interested in doing that. But I do not know how you
maintain the program while you cut it. We have got other new
initiatives here which, again, I would agree with Mr. Simpson
are good and interesting initiatives, but I would rather see
them funded a little bit less. And this one, which is an
ongoing, proven cooperative program, funded at least the same
level or frankly enhanced because again, we are well below what
our targets were in terms of this data. And over time, I think
this data is going to be useful in a whole variety of areas.
So I would ask you this question, I guess after my little
sermonette. How many water gauges do you expect, if any, to
lose this year because we are not funding at current level? And
what sort of pullback are you seeing from particularly state or
tribal governments, other governmental units that are under
financial pressure that actually stepped up and sort of helped
us a few years ago in this program but now do not have the
wherewithal and are pulling back?
Dr. Larsen. Excellent question, and it is always a moving
target because as our Director noted, our streamgage network,
in addition to the large Federal partners I mentioned, is
operated in partnership with all of the 50 States at the local,
municipal and water utility level. Right now we have somewhere
between 100 and 200 streamgages around the country that we call
our threatened gauge list, and that is a number that varies
with State budget and Federal funding every year. We always
have some number on that list, and I can provide that for the
record by State so you can see exactly what I am talking about.
Mr. Cole. I would appreciate that.
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DATA COLLECTION VERSUS ASSESSMENT: FUNDING CHALLENGE
Dr. Larsen. You have highlighted an ongoing challenge for
us, and this is true not just in the streamgaging program but
all of our data programs. How do we support our basic data
collection which is a key role of our agency--we are not
regulatory, we are a science agency--at the same time being
able to interpret and assess those data? We have long had a
challenge with both collecting but also assessing and
interpreting the data for the user community. This year's
budget is an attempt to try to balance both of those
priorities, both of those challenges for us across all of our
programs. You heard the Director talk a bit about volcanoes and
earthquakes in particular but equally important in the water
management arena. We will provide more information for the
Mr. Cole. I would hope, Mr. Chairman, that we would look at
this pretty carefully because this is a really valuable,
ongoing program that I would argue actually needs additional
funding. You do have a tough decision to make and I am the last
one to be critical of the people that are trying to make hard
choices economically. But if we are going to spend money in new
areas, I think we ought to make sure that the ones that we have
a bipartisan agreement that are really foundational stay
adequately funded so you can get quality research and provide
us with the information we need.
NATURAL GAS: HYDRAULIC FRACTURING TECHNIQUES
Second question, and this is probably more appropriate to
you, Director, and this is just a simple question. We do a lot
of discussion with other agencies around here, and it is going
to be a hot topic on water quality about hydraulic fracturing
technique in natural gas. I am curious what, if anything, your
agency is doing in that area, and do you have ongoing programs
that you see need to be active there? How do you look at that
Dr. McNutt. Very good question. Yes, this has been
certainly a hot topic. At this point, the USGS has been
involved in assessing the potential for reserves, but right
now, we have not been asked to do what you might call a full
environmental study on the impacts of resource recovery on, for
example, how it would impact groundwater and contamination and
things of that sort.
We are, with our John Wesley Powell Center, looking at the
possibility of a pilot project to see whether the USGS might
look at something of that sort. I might ask Brenda Pierce, our
Acting Chief Scientist for Geology. Brenda is involved in our
energy program. Brenda, maybe you would like to answer that
Ms. Pierce. Thank you. As Director McNutt said, we have not
done a full-blown study, but we are looking at natural gas
resources as well as some of the environmental impacts of
development. We actually have a produced waters project both in
the Energy Resources Program and in partnership with the Water
Resources discipline, and we are actually increasing that to
look specifically at Shale gas and some of these other
unconventional resources. So we are looking at the produced
waters and the geochemistry of that. Those data will become
publicly available. We are looking specifically at the
Marcellus shale. It is not a large project, but we do have some
studies on that. I can pull that together and send to you.
Mr. Cole. I would love to see it because I think it is
going to be an issue we are going to be revisiting again and
again here going forward.
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Ms. Pierce. It is certainly on our radar screen, and we
have increased some of the studies we are looking at so we can
certainly provide that through the Director's office.
GROUNDWATER COORDINATION WITH EPA
Mr. Cole. If I could ask one last question, Chairman,
actually also deals with water, and it is just a coordination
issue, back to Mr. Simpson. EPA has a terrific lab in my
district, Enid, Oklahoma, the Kerr lab which focuses on
groundwater studies, and I know that, looking at your water
census is a big undertaking, and I agree with you, a very
important one for the country. I am just curious what degree of
coordination, if you will, there are with these other agencies
that also have resources to bear that might be helpful to you
as you go about making that census?
Dr. Larsen. If I might answer that. It is one of the areas
I am particularly proud of because although the President
called for greater collaboration, coordination among Federal
agencies at the beginning, the day after he was inaugurated, we
have been at it for quite a while in our water programs just
because water is such an integrator across so many programs.
There are two dozen Federal agencies that have some purview
over water, so it is not an easy task. We meet quarterly with
the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, and
NOAA to coordinate programs. We meet semesterly, every four
months, with EPA headquarters to make sure that we are
coordinating programs and not duplicating effort. We work
particularly closely with them to provide water quality
assessments and data so that when they are moving forward on a
particular regulation or thinking about regulation and policy,
they have our science behind them to help inform their
Mr. Cole. Okay, thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Moran. Good. Thank you, Mr. Cole, for the questions. In
the past, the USGS has done some very important research on the
presence of bioactive endocrine disruptors. It is a very
important water quality issue. We are finding out that it is
far more pervasive across the country than we initially
But USGS has had inadequate funding to even do chemical
analysis on samples that have been obtained, so I would like to
understand what you plan to do to deal with the backlog of
detailed chemical analyses of specimens and also, of course, I
would be interested in when the USGS study of the intersex fish
in the Potomac River might be completed?
Dr. McNutt. Okay. Thank you for that question, Mr.
Chairman. As you point out, we are finding this to be a wider
problem than perhaps originally suspected, and we are also
finding that the causes might be broader than originally
suspected. I will defer to Dr. Sue Haseltine for a more
detailed response to the specific questions about the level of
effort and of course our challenges in getting enough funding
for this very important research.
Mr. Moran. Dr. Haseltine.
Dr. Haseltine. Good morning. We are, as you know, actively
working in the Potomac Watershed as we are across the country
on this and in particular working on the relationship of
chemicals, disease and intersex fish occurrence there in
several fish die-offs. We have money to work on the backlog of
samples this year. I hope they will be completed by the end of
the year. But I would like to emphasize that we are in the
process of doing several new studies with the money that the
committee allocated to us last year. While we will complete the
backlog and have some products this year, I think going forward
we will have a continuing challenge to understand all the
issues in the Potomac Watershed.
Mr. Moran. Well, thank you. I agree with you. I think we
are going to find more and more members that have problems
within their water supply----
Mr. Simpson. Talking about fish.
Mr. Moran [continuing]. Dealing with the endocrine
Mr. Simpson. You are talking about fish when you say
MERCURY CONTAMINATION STUDY
Mr. Moran. We will allow that distracting comment because
it was so witty. We understand that the USGS conducted a study
of the Shenandoah River showing that a textile manufacturing
plant in Waynesboro, Virginia, continues to contaminate the
South Fork with serious amounts of mercury. Can you very
briefly summarize that study and explain what the implications
are for downstream communities such as Washington, D.C.?
Dr. McNutt. Yes, this is a problem of mercury contamination
which as we know----
Mr. Moran. Very toxic.
Dr. McNutt. Produces methylmercury which becomes
bioavailable and is concentrated up the food chain. When people
eat contaminated fish, they can become ill over time. There is,
I understand, a mercury advisory out for eating fish from this
river. I am going to defer to our Eastern Regional Director,
Bill Werkheiser, to talk about the work that the USGS has done,
including cooperative work with the State of Virginia on this
very important problem.
Mr. Moran. It is not in my district but a number of other
members, it is in their district, and eventually it will be in
ours in Washington, D.C., too, as we have to deal with this
Mr. Werkheiser. That is exactly right. This study was
conducted in partnership with the State of Virginia at their
request. The study we conducted showed that 90 percent of the
contamination was actually preexisting, dating back almost 50
years. The problem is that the mercury is in the sediments and
in the soil from that operation so long ago, and then we have
flooding and erosion that gets mobilized downstream. We are
working with the State of Virginia to look at what are the
potential remediations and so far, my understanding is that we
do not think it is a water supply issue as far as drinking
water health for humans, but it is an ecological issue for fish
Mr. Moran. How do you fund such a study?
Mr. Werkheiser. This was funded through our Cooperative
Water Program where we had funds from the State of Virginia as
well as our funds from the Cooperative Water Program that was
allocated to our Virginia office.
Mr. Moran. Thank you. We have another hearing coming up
with surface mining but----
Mr. Simpson. Let me just follow up on this.
Mr. Moran. Yes.
Mr. Simpson. Why is the USGS doing this study instead of
the EPA, just out of curiosity?
Mr. Werkheiser. Because we looked at the distribution of
mercury, and mercury is such a complex chemical. It is not
well-understood and we do a lot of water sampling, a lot of
sediment sampling. That is kind of our routine analysis, and we
have close working relationships with many States on water
quality issues. So it came about through that route.
Mr. Simpson. We do have another hearing right now. I am
going to have several questions that I would like to submit for
the record. Many of them will be questions about coordination
and so forth. But I want to tell you, and really, the employees
that are here behind you, USGS does great work. It is one of my
favorite agencies within the government, and I think it is one
of the most respected agencies by the public and by Members of
Congress. So if I have one piece of advice to you, Director, do
not let it slip.
Mr. Moran. Relatively speaking, it is not an agency that
gets a whole lot of money, and so I have a great deal of
Mr. Cole. Why, it is one of Mr. Simpson's favorites. That
is a very short list.
Mr. Moran. I was hoping that Mr. Dicks might be able to
return from his meeting, but let me at least get to one of the
questions I know he wanted to ask before we conclude the
Dr. McNutt. Sure.
PUGET SOUND ACTION PLAN
Mr. Moran. The USGS also has important responsibilities
under the Puget Sound Action Plan. I wonder if you would give
us an update on that, and if there are important action items
for the USGS that you were unable to accomplish due to lack of
adequate funding? Do we have an expert on the Puget Sound here,
other than Mr. Dicks himself?
Dr. McNutt. David, do you want to mention work on the
multi-hazard program, Puget Sound?
Dr. Applegate. I certainly can.
Dr. McNutt. Dr. Dave Applegate is our Senior Science
Advisor for Earthquakes and Geologic Hazards.
Dr. Applegate. Well, Puget Sound is very important from a
number of different aspects, and the work in the Puget Sound in
particular really underscores the importance of working across
the different disciplines and capabilities that we have. The
Puget Sound Action Plan specifically is looking at work that
has been done by our Washington Water Science Center, continued
collaboration there both with the State and local government.
We are also focusing on more broadly the range of hazards that
are experienced there. We have been able to use some of the
support that has been provided from the Subcommittee to be able
to enhance the flood pathway modeling, look at the way that
extreme events have an impact on the area, and in particular to
be able to strengthen our work in the earthquake areas,
understand the range of the hazard. It is not just the shaking
at large but particularly in areas like the Puget Sound you
have a lot of what we call microzonation, very broad
differences and therefore a wide range of impacts. And so in
order to be able to understand it better, we need to have more
instrumentation, and that is exactly what has been enabled in
partnership with the University of Washington and Washington
Department of Emergency Management.
Mr. Moran. Okay. I know that we want to make sure that that
is adequately funded, but with that, I think we need to move
onto the next hearing.
I have before me some extraordinarily well put-together
questions that really deserve answers. And so what we are going
Dr. McNutt. You stayed up all night writing.
Mr. Moran. So we are going to submit these for the record,
and we appreciate timely answers but most importantly, we
appreciate the quality of the answers that you have been giving
us in oral testimony. And Mr. Simpson has indicated he has some
questions as well. Mr. Cole may as well. So we will submit
those for the record.
And at this point we will conclude this hearing, and
congratulations on your first hearing. It was superb.
Dr. McNutt. Thank you.
Mr. Moran. And thank you to all your very capable staff.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010.
BRIDGING CULTURES: THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES FY 2011
JAMES A. LEACH, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES
Opening Statement: Chairman Moran
Mr. Moran. Chairman, colleague, friends, this is exciting.
This is your first official budget hearing where you are on the
other side of the dais, the hearing table at least. We do look
forward to your leadership of the National Endowment for the
Humanities. I know we both have a history of working with you
and it is a very positive and constructive history. We miss you
in the Congress, but we do look forward to the opportunity to
continue a relationship. Unfortunately, a lot of our colleagues
do not have the opportunity we have in being able to work with
you as chair of the Endowment. Back in 1965, our Nation
committed to the progress and scholarship of the humanities by
enacting Public Law 89-209 and the National Foundation on the
Arts and Humanities Act, and that states that democracy demands
wisdom and vision in its citizens. It must, therefore, foster
and support a form of education and access to the arts and the
humanities designed to make people of all backgrounds and
wherever located masters of their technology and not its
This statement is particularly relevant at this point in
time. Each year our technology is expanding exponentially and
all are exposed to a greater diversity of ideas, people, and
places. This technology has the potential to be a great unifier
of ideas. How we use, analyze, and manage information is
critical. As the Pope reminds us, the act of citizenship is the
very essence of democracy and requires that we understand how
to think creatively, analyze critically, and communicate
So, Mr. Chairman, it is within this context that we are
particularly interested in learning more about your Bridging
Cultures initiative and civility tours and what you hope to
accomplish with these initiatives. Overall, your budget is
fiscally restrained but it still sustains our Nation's
commitment to the humanities. It is $6 million less than what
was provided by the Congress last year. In the past several
years, this subcommittee made increases to restore funding that
was cut from the budget in the 1990s. From fiscal year 2007 to
fiscal year 2010, we provided $24 million above what the
current and prior administrations have proposed. Chairman Dicks
has arrived at a perspicacious point because he was largely
responsible for that leadership in restoring that funding, and
I know all involved with the humanities appreciate his efforts.
The Endowment has done an exceptional job with these
resources, but we really do want to hear how and why the $6
million cut was appropriate. And at this point, perhaps we
could hear from Mr. Simpson.
Opening Statement: Mr. Simpson
Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, Chairman Leach,
it is great to see you again. I invited you to sit on this side
of the table. You chose not to. Jim, your service in the House
is noteworthy for many legislative achievements, but to me your
enduring legacy remains your unfailing sense of humility and
civility. Some may question whether it is appropriate to spend
dollars from the NEH budget addressing the issue of civility,
but one thing is for certain. After 30 years of service in
Congress, you are probably among the most qualified people in
the country to embark upon a 50-state civility tour. Your focus
on the needs for civility in our public life and the underlying
Bridging Cultures initiatives are among the issues I look
forward to discussing with you today.
I think you know that I have been a long-time supporter of
both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National
Endowment for the Humanities. The success of both these
organizations in recent years is largely the result of both the
endowments making a conscious effort to provide a selection of
quality educational programs reaching diverse cross sections of
America without making over arching political statements. In
recent years, the work of the NEA and NEH has enjoyed strong
bipartisan support in Congress. My hope is that that will
continue. As you well know, my home State of Idaho benefits
directly from a close working relationship with the NEH. For
many years, I have been an enthusiastic supporter of the Idaho
The IHC has a long history of awarding grants to
organizations throughout our state to develop humanities
projects and programs on the local level. About one year ago at
its winter meeting in Pocatello, Humanities Council awarded 24
grants totaling $53,000 to a variety of educators and public
humanities organizations. I am grateful for the ongoing
successful collaboration between the NEH and our State
Humanities Council. In fact, if you plan to spend any time in
Idaho this year, I would love to personally introduce you to
the work of the Idaho Humanities Council. Thank you for being
here today. I look forward to your testimony.
Mr. Moran. Very good. Thank you, Mr. Simpson. Mr. Dicks,
did you want to make a comment?
Remarks of Mr. Dicks
Mr. Dicks. I just want to make a comment. Our colleague,
Jim Leach, is one of the best members we had in the House of
Representatives, and I know he is going to do an outstanding
job as the chairman of the National Endowment for Humanities.
And I really want to say how much I enjoyed having him in
Washington State. He was snowed in, could not get back, and we
toured Tacoma and Seattle, and I enjoyed it very much. We are
glad to have you here, and we know you are going to do a great
job in this new responsibility. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Moran. Would you like to make a statement, and I know
we are going to have some questions, Mr. Chairman.
Testimony of Chairman Jim Leach
Mr. Leach. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. First, let me
pass out a few of these civility pins, and I would like you to
have one too. I am honored to be with you, and I am
particularly pleased to learn that two great friends have been
promoted through the cardinal ranks, and so, congratulations,
gentlemen. And I must say one of the interesting things when
you come to the other side of the table, you come to learn
about members you did not know about--the other side of the
table meaning the executive versus legislative branch. This
committee, for instance, has an artist in its midst. Michael, I
was very impressed with what I saw of your work. I do not know
if all of you know your ranking minority member is a really
fine western artist, and this is something I was honored to
find out about.
In any regard, I have a larger statement, I would like your
permission, sir, to put it in the record. Let me just read a
few minutes worth of that statement. After 30 years in
Congress, I do find it awkward to be sitting on this side of
the hearing table, but I could not be more honored to come
before a panel of former colleagues whom I hold in such high
regard to testify on behalf of the National Endowment for the
Humanities. In seven months as its chairman, that is, as the
NEH's chairman, I have been constantly reminded of just how
important this small, but very vital, agency is to the
humanities in the United States. The budget justification we
submitted to Congress last month describes in some detail our
current activities and our plans for the next fiscal year, and
I would like to take a moment simply to discuss some of the key
features of our request and offer a perspective about the
agency and how the humanities fit into the fabric of American
My view of the humanities is rather straightforward. They
are about bringing perspective to the personal and public
challenges of the day. History, literature, philosophy and
related disciplines illuminate the human condition. Values, for
instance, cannot simply be understood as abstract concoctions.
They take on meaning as individuals address enduring questions
about life's purposes. Such examinations are made possible by
the study of civilization's greatest literary and cultural
works--that is, by engaging in humanistic inquiry and
reflection. In carrying out duties as NEH chairman, I have come
to see that culture can be used to either unite peoples of
different backgrounds or magnify it as a lightning rod to
accentuate differences. At issue are not only problems of
social cohesion at home but also direct challenges deliberately
leveled at our values and capacities abroad.
It is in this overall context of a challenged America that
the NEH has launched an initiative we are calling Bridging
Cultures. The initiative is being designed to help American
citizens gain a deeper understanding of our own rich and varied
cultural heritage, as well as the history and culture of other
nations. There is abundant evidence of the need for Bridging
Cultures initiative. Numerous reports indicate that many
Americans lack even a cursory knowledge of other nations, not
to mention our own history. Such lack of knowledge has serious
and ultimately dangerous ramifications--incivility at home,
misunderstandings detrimental to our national security abroad,
and an inability to compete effectively in the global economy.
As President Obama said in his address last June to
students at Cairo University: ``There must be a sustained
effort to listen to each other, to learn from each other, to
respect one another, and to seek common ground.'' The NEH's
Bridging Cultures initiative is intended to reflect the
concerns the President so eloquently expressed. As a key
component of this initiative, I have begun a 50-state civility
tour to try to make clear that coarseness in public manners can
jeopardize social cohesion. Civilization requires civility.
Words matter. Just as polarizing attitudes can jeopardize
social cohesion and even public safety, healing approaches such
as Lincoln's call in the closing days of the Civil War for a
new direction with malice toward none can uplift and help bring
society and the world closer together.
To some, the connection of civility to the humanities may
not be immediately apparent. The Oxford English Dictionary
helpfully reminds us that among the original definitions of
this word is training in the humanities. Through humanities
studies it was believed citizens could acquire a depth of
understanding of history and culture that readily allows civic
engagement free of the rancor that often characterizes the
expression of ill-informed opinions. These notions of civility
form the background for the civility tour. Little is more
important for the world's leading democracy in this change-
intensive century than establishing thoughtfulness and decency
of expression in the public square. The exchange of ideas and
consideration of other viewpoints are central not only to
understanding the disciplines that fall under the rubric of the
humanities but to improving the human condition.
Thus far, I have traveled extensively around the country
and spoken at venues ranging from university museum lecture
halls to hospitals for veterans. The response has been
overwhelmingly positive. There is a hunger in America for
thoughtful dialogue and balanced debate on the issues of the
day. While Bridging Cultures will be a special emphasis of our
next activities in the next fiscal year, the Endowment will
continue to pursue its primary mission of providing support for
high quality projects in the humanities, programs that improve
instruction in the humanities in the nation's schools and
institutions of higher education, efforts of the State
Humanities Councils to bring the humanities to citizens in
their states, public programs that creatively draw people into
the humanities, scholarly research that creates new knowledge
and insights and preserves and makes successful the best works
and ideas of the past, and efforts to leverage non-federal
support for the humanities.
On the assumption that over the next decade the need to
restore fiscal order will consume families, cities, states, and
the federal government, where does the case for continued
public support for the humanities fit in? The real world irony
that Congress faces is that demand for governmental programs
increases in trying economic times, i.e., when the governmental
resource base weakens. This is as true for programs that
provide perspective and uplift for citizens as those that
provide other basics. Indeed, hard times have increased demand
and utilization of many cultural institutions at the same time
resource capacities have been reduced.
In this context, I am convinced that the American people
have been well served by NEH projects and programs and ask that
Congress continue its support of this small agency committed to
expanding the idea base of America. Hard times require
attention not only to recovery but to avoidance of their
There is historical precedent for consideration of
humanities during other difficult periods in American history.
In the middle of our country's most traumatic conflict,
President Lincoln in 1862 signed the Morrill Act establishing
land grant universities in every state in the union. Likewise,
in the darkest days of the Great Depression Franklin Roosevelt
foresaw that support for the humanities and the arts through
the WPA, the Federal Writers Project and other federal
programs, would be a unifying act, providing work for some and
enlightenment for all. There is, of course, cost involved in
any federal program and in many cases a cost as well to not
meeting certain social obligations.
While public expenditures for NEH programs can be measured
precisely, the indirect cost to society of not paying attention
to the disciplines that bring perspective to the most pressing
issues of the day are more conjectural. While the magnitude of
that cost is incalculable, it is not slight. A citizenry that
does not understand its unique heritage, as well as foreign
cultures, will not benefit from the lessons of history, the
stimulus of literature, the values that philosophy can
illuminate and clarify. It will struggle in the global economy
and be prone to foreign policy mistakes. In a world where
leadership will continually be tested, America cannot afford to
ignore the humanities. They are us. Thank you.
[The statement of James A. Leach follows:]
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TANGIBLE RESULTS OF BRIDGING CULTURES
Mr. Moran. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We appreciate your
commitment to the humanities and to civility and to bridge-
building between people, organizations, and cultures of
different perspectives. Having said that, you have taken $3
million from what has been a successful initiative called We
The People, and you have used that to partially offset a new
initiative, as you referred to, Bridging Cultures. The capstone
of this national tour that you plan to conduct is going to be a
series of conferences and forums. I think we would like to know
what tangible results you might expect from these meetings.
Mr. Leach. Well, tangibility and scholarship are difficult
to quantify but we expect to continue the maintenance of very
high quality programming. I must stress that ``We the People''
has been a very successful rubric for NEH programming, but it
must be understood that it is a rubric. That is, in many
regards much of what occurs under ``We the People'' can occur
under the rubric of Bridging Cultures and vice versa. And so it
is not quite the differentiation of one program versus another.
It is a continuation in some regards of the work that NEH does.
Congressman Simpson mentioned earlier the work of the Idaho
Humanities Council, and I want to reference that in the sense
that traveling around the country I have met with the councils
from every state that I visit, and I am extremely impressed
with their work. Many of the things that one might consider to
be under the civility label are work that state humanities
councils are doing. And to some degree when I announced a
civility tour, when I talked about Bridging Cultures, I really
am taking as a model much of the work of the state humanities
councils. They are ahead of Washington. Washington is not
leading them. It is almost a reverse relationship.
I would only say that the terminology is intended to be one
of emphasis with programmatic initiatives potentially coming
under any terminology you want to use, but this is the emphasis
that we are applying.
Mr. Moran. Mr. Chairman, perhaps it is not fair to use the
word tangible when we are dealing with the humanities but we do
need to be able to evaluate the success of an initiative. Do
you have any kind of evaluative criteria that would enable us
to determine has this been a successful initiative?
Mr. Leach. Well, it is an initiative that has just been
broached so it is hard to evaluate in advance. I agree with you
totally in your concerns. As I entered the agency, I found that
we have not done as much on the evaluation issue as perhaps we
could. In fact, we have been working with OMB in that regard.
Part of it relates to the fact, which is a real positive, that
we have this incredibly highly competitive grant-making process
in which about one in five, this year it has been fractionally
less than that, prevail in the decision making and so the
greatest evaluation comes from the initial valuation. That is,
very highly qualified people are applying in circumstances that
one has confidence in their outcome. In terms of Bridging
Cultures or civility, one can say abstractly if peace breaks
out the world over it is a wonderful thing for the country, and
that is a positive, but that is the type of thing that is a
little hard to attempt to measure.
All I can say is that we will do our very best in the
highest quality kind of way to raise issues of concern to the
American people in as decent a way as possible and bring
attention to certain things that may be considered breaking
down in American society. In terms of evaluations, we will
attempt to move forward in ways that other departments and
agencies have proceeded, particularly the Department of State,
which is an impressive model. I sometimes have thought that
State does better evaluations then most but few read them in
any institutions of government. But we are going to be spending
more time thinking through how you evaluate programs as they
unfold. But I must say in the area of scholarship, it is hard.
One measurement that NEH is quite proud of are the number
of awards that are won by works that we have helped produce.
The highest prizes in history and literature have gone to work
that we have supported, and if you sometimes hear of
institutions, whether it be the University of Chicago or
Cornell or U.C. Berkley that talk about numbers of Nobel
prizes, well, we have incredible numbers of works supported
that have won the highest prizes in their field, and that is a
manner of evaluating but it is only one kind.
Mr. Moran. But that is a tangible expression.
Mr. Leach. Yes, it is.
Mr. Moran. Of the $2.5 million additional that you are
asking for, how much goes to the tour versus programs and
Mr. Leach. The tour is cost-wise incidental, and partly,
frankly, as an individual, I do not travel with big entourages
and try to keep costs under control. In terms of projects, we
have not exactly parsed that out because we are talking about a
fiscal year beginning next September, but we will be having
conferences on national and international subjects and these
will be centered in university communities and will be
involving some of the greatest experts in American society.
Mr. Dicks. If you would yield just a second. Would you
consider doing reports on the conferences themselves?
Mr. Leach. We would expect to have follow-ups and so, for
example, one of the aspects of the conferences we want to do,
it is not exactly a report. We want to develop material that
can be used by others, and so we will follow on the day after
the conference to develop approaches that can be used, for
example, by any state humanities council. And so if one takes
the subject matter, whether it be related to a region of the
world or an American domestic issue, we will try to develop the
kinds of tools that can then be used by others to advance the
subject, and that will involve presumably some of the papers
that will have been presented at the conference, as well as
process techniques that can be replicated elsewhere. And, by
the way, we do intend, in tangible ways to be looking at films,
not of the conferences themselves but movies on various
subjects. They may be historical and might have direct
relevance to issues of the day.
CIVILITY AND AMERICAN HISTORY
Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is a huge task you
have taken on. Is the world less civil today than it was a
hundred years ago?
Mr. Leach. Let us go to the American world and then----
Mr. Simpson. Is America less civil than it was a hundred
Mr. Leach. In many regards there were incidents in the 19th
Century far more uncivil in some measurements than today. The
classic is that the Vice President of the United States shot
and killed the greatest Secretary of the Treasury we ever had,
which is a pretty bizarre phenomenon in a legal act of
incivility. That is, it was a duel legal in the state in which
it occurred although there are modern indications that are less
than a couple decades old that the dueling pistols had been
filed to a hair trigger and that only one of the participants
may have known, which makes it a little less civil than might
otherwise be the case.
Mr. Dicks. Predetermined the outcome.
Mr. Leach. At the time there was kind of a national
movement that it was a murder perhaps because people identified
more with Hamilton than Burr, but if this information was
known, there might have been a trial on that subject.
My favorite reference is to Walt Whitman, who once defined
America as an athletic democracy. He meant by that that
feelings were pretty strong on issues that were far greater
cleavages than any today in America. I mean after all we had
slavery. And there was an anti-immigrant movement in America of
gigantic proportions, and symbolically I have to point to a New
York alleged renaissance man named Samuel F.P. Morse who
developed the Morse Code and the telegraph and also was a great
But he led an anti-immigrant, pro-nativist and pro-slavery
movement called the Copperheads. That is an aspect of American
history we forget, just how many identified with this. But I
want you to know, Mr. Hinchey, seeing you are from New York,
there were many on the other side of this issue too in New
York. New York was a real teeming center of pro-immigrant
feelings and anti-immigrant feelings, and so we have had a lot
of that divide in our history. Now, what I would also suggest
is a little different are changes in communications technology
that have really caused issues to gravitate in ways that we
have never seen before. By the way, I think it has caused
movements to accelerate and trends to accelerate in American
society. And you have some issues of true gravity. One, despite
all the problems in American society other than the first years
of the 19th Century, we have always felt protected by oceans.
Now it is clear that we have terrorism, which has existed
throughout history, but the first time has been globalized, and
the most developed societies are often the most vulnerable.
And so that is a very new phenomenon for us. And at the
opposite end of the power structure, we are the first
generation or two that can destroy civilization entirely with
nuclear weapons and also biological agents. And so the gravity
of the issues are new.
And then the globalization of the economy puts a sense that
people are up against forces beyond their control. It used to
be, for example, in my state and your state and actually much
of upstate New York, which is like the Midwest, the great force
outside of anyone's control was nature. Now there are forces
that are man-made but not locally man-made, and this causes, I
think, an angst in our society that has never existed before.
CIVILITY AND CONGRESS
Mr. Simpson. The reason I ask the question is we hear all
the time that Congress, since we are in Congress, is more
uncivil than it has ever been. I do not know that this is true
when I start reading history. I mean we have not caned anybody
on the floor in a long, long time. And I tell people when I
talk to them that, you know, if all they did was watch TV and
their impression of how Congress acted, it would be totally
different than the reality because while we go there and we
fight for things we believe in, and we argue and we yell and
all that kind of stuff, that is what we are expected to do is
to defend the position that we believe in. But, yeah, we like
each other, and I have got several examples of stories that I
always tell that I will not tell here but if you saw a couple
of us on TV arguing a point, you would probably walk away from
that saying, man, these guys really hate each other. They do
not know that we are out in the Speaker's lobby afterwards
laughing with each other. But you have to effectively represent
your position. That does not mean you have to be a jerk about
it and you have to be personal about it, and 99 percent of the
time we do not do that. But I think the public has a
misperception of the partisanship up here. I do not think it is
as great as a lot of people think. Are the differences in our
philosophies and what we think is best for the country
different? Yeah. But you got to remember this is the most
diverse country in the world.
And so the thing that I guess bothers me is what you
mentioned, the new technologies and stuff. We all get e-mails
from people that if they actually had to sit down and write a
letter, they would never send it. They would never sign it and
send it. But it is so easy now to type it out and press send,
and they see things on television at night and, you know, with
the cable news and all that kind of stuff, it seems to me that
if that is all you saw you are going to think the world is
pretty uncivil. I think people get a wrong impression of what
we do up here and of the country in general because there is
24-hour news focused on isolated incidents and you think the
world is moving that way.
And the thing that also concerns me more is I used to tell
a story about a speech I gave one time about my grandfather
born in 1900, died in 1988. When he first moved into the Cache
Valley in southern Idaho, northern Utah, he used to get on his
horse. He was a student. Every male student had to do this for
like a two-week period of time and ride to the one house school
and put wood on the fire to heat the one-room schoolhouse. And
during his lifetime in the Cache Valley, he saw the first
automobile come, saw the first plane fly overhead, saw a man
land on the moon and come back during his lifetime. Think what
a child today is going to see in his lifetime, the changes that
are going to occur. And that puts tremendous pressure on
society because we are animals that like stability. We like to
know that the sun is going to come up tomorrow pretty much
where it did today, that the job we had yesterday is going to
be the job we have tomorrow.
But things are changing so rapidly, and the average student
today is going to have to be retrained for a new job an average
of seven times in his lifetime. That is not just updated
skills. That is completely retraining. The pressure that puts
on our social, our political, our education, our religious
institutions is tremendous. To me, we have got to address that
somehow. And I do not criticize what you are doing. I am saying
you have taken on a hell of a task to address civility in the
country but it is something that needs to be done.
Mr. Moran. Good comments. Thank you, Mr. Simpson. Thank you
very much. Mr. Dicks.
Mr. Leach. Before you begin, may I just in response note
that I think what you say is very profound, Mr. Simpson. And
let me stress, and I do not mean to fawn, if you were to take
this subcommittee and replicate it in every legislature in the
country, I do not think you would see a real problem anywhere,
but we do have problems in Congress that have changed. I cannot
relate it in any personal sense to the 19th Century but in my
time here they did get a little bit worse. But your tying this
to the job change issue, I think is deep as any problem in the
country today; it is one that cannot be easily changed. It can
only be dealt with and how we do it is a real challenge. I am
sorry, I did not mean to interrupt you, Norm.
Mr. Dicks. No problem at all, and I agree with a lot of
what Mr. Simpson has just said. I think part of this is the
competitiveness between the two parties for control of this
place. When I first got here, there were 295 Democrats, and the
Republicans were about 140, so there was no chance that they
were going to be a majority. I remember Ron Chandler and I, we
would be going to the gym. I said ``where are you going?'' He
said ``I am going to the class of '92 meeting.'' And I said
what is that, and he said, well, we are planning on taking over
the House in '92. But since things now are closer and more
competitive, there is a little more stress. And another thing I
think that has really changed things is so many people go home.
And when I first got here, there was a lot more socializing
between the members during the week as people stayed here They
did things together, and there was just less stress.
And I do think what you said about the economic
circumstances of the country, the demands. People's lives are
really on the line right now. You have places, I know, in my
district where there are fights in food lines to get food
because they think we are not able to provide the jobs, and so
this is a very stressful time. And so to me what you are trying
to do, I think is important that even as bad as it gets we have
to remain civil and there has to be a civil discourse between
people and we have to try to help people. Screaming at people
just does not further things. It makes it harder for people to
help somebody if it is done with that kind of an approach. So I
think this is a good idea. I do think DVDs trying to capture
some of these discussions, and with so much we have been doing
on digital humanities maybe that is the way to take some of the
best statements made by people and present it to the rest of
the country as you go through this tour.
I am trying to think of ways to tangibly pull together the
rewards of what you are out there trying to do. But I support
it. I think it is a good idea. And I also think Bridging
Cultures, is a way to have more understanding in this country
of a lot of the cultures around the world. I think that is a
fundamental thing especially when you have such a diverse
society in our own country. I support what you are doing on
digital humanities, Bridging Cultures. And I think you really
hit on it. When we had that meeting out there with Humanities
Washington, I was really impressed by the quality of people,
the projects that they are working on so I think again I would
say we have got to continue to support and help these state
programs. And I would love to see a number of states take on
some of these initiatives as you suggested. It is not just Jim
Leach doing this but having the local states talk about
civility and Bridging Cultures. I think that would be a
tangible result of what you are trying to do.
And, again, we are going to continue to be supportive on
the budget. We have tried to do our best. And I have always
said I want to do this on a bipartisan basis. Whatever
increases we have made, we have done it together, both the
Democrats and the Republicans on the committee. We are
comfortable with what we have done. Spending the money wisely
and having a good record is very important.
Mr. Moran. Thank you, Mr. Dicks. Mr. Cole.
Mr. Cole. It seems to me, Jim, you have already succeeded.
We are much more civil and thoughtful than we normally are, so
your presence alone does that. I want to make a couple
comments, and then I actually have a couple things I wanted to
ask you about in terms of your presentation. But I want to pick
up on something Mr. Simpson said because I could not agree with
it more as an old historian. American society is not better in
every way, but, believe me, I was born into a much better
America than my parents, and my son was born into a much better
America than I have been born into. You look at the sweep of
the 19th Century. This country was as close to ethnic cleansing
and removal of Indians from the southeast and as close to
genocide if you talk about Native Americans during the Gold
Rush in California as it ever has been in its history.
And even in the 20th Century, the difference between how
Japanese Americans were treated in 1942 and Muslim Americans
were treated in 2002 is dramatically different and better. And
I think sometimes we lose the fact that at least the American
people, what goes on in the institution, that is another
interesting point, but the American people are enormously more
decent and civil to one another and internally than they were
at earlier points in their history, and that does not even
touch the question of race and African Americans.
So the broad sweep here has been in the right direction, no
matter how tragic individual incidents have been. But I do
think those kind of conflicts continue today. You know, we have
got a new kind of immigrant issue, obviously, a new kind of
immigrant culture in some ways. That is actually a big debate
with what goes on, and we will be plunged into a very difficult
debate over immigration. In previous Congresses and the
previous Administrations and it was actually one that divided
members on party lines. It is very easy to play the race card
one way or the other in that particular debate. I think it will
be a real test of congressional civility, if you will, and a
real test honestly for the Administration because it is an
opportunity for bipartisanship, a missed bipartisanship.
I think we will actually look back on the Bush
administration and give him a lot of praise for what he did not
succeed in doing, an immigration bill where he actually really,
really tried, and there was really, really bipartisan support.
Frankly, this includes his efforts to deal with entitlement
reform. I think honestly we are going to be dealing with that
again too, so we better find some ways to operate in a
bipartisan fashion, and we better reflect the very basic
decency of the American people as we go forward. I think what
you do is enormously important. I am a huge supporter. I see
this, of course, in my state, but I see it around the country,
and this is one of those cases where a little bit of money goes
a long way.
And while we are in a very tough fiscal environment, and I
commend you for being a wise steward to the resources that the
Congress has given you, and I understand the Administration
trying to make a broad statement, the reality is, and we all
know it, the big things are going to be when do we get to
entitlement reform and programmatic expenditures across the
board. You are not going to balance the budget on the back of
this particular program. And I know this committee will be
awfully thoughtful about looking at these sorts of things
because these are relatively small amounts of money with
enormous payoff and leveraging power around the country. You
know, $36 million is an awful lot of money but it is not an
awful lot of money in the context of what this committee deals
with or let alone what the entire Appropriations Committee
deals with, so your money has been well spent.
The particular initiative you have that I wanted to ask you
because I am a big believer in this. I come from a particular
perspective. But you are documenting endangered languages
program. We probably have more endangered languages in Oklahoma
of all places than any place else in the country. As a matter
of fact, there have been articles to that effect. And I could
look at my own tribe, 42,000 people, my grandmother was fluent
in the language, my mother knew quite a bit of it. I know my
name, that kind of thing. And we still have a few hundred
native speakers out of the 42,000 that are fluent, and there is
now a major tribal effort underway. We have the resources
finally, and actually as tribes develop resources you find that
they actually go back and begin to reinvest, but a lot of
tribes do not. There are maybe 50, 60 tribes in the country
that actually have put themselves in a position economically to
do things beyond just what do we do to keep our kids healthy
and get them educated sort of thing.
So these kind of programs where you are developing
bilingual dictionaries, grammars, helping people find native
speakers are very important and very, very desirable. I would
like you to just talk a little bit about what you see going
forward with those kinds of programs that help not just the
indigenous cultures, we have a lot of different cultures in
America. It is one of the wonderful things about the United
States of America. You name it, we got it, and so what do we do
to both preserve (because each one of those cultures wants to
in some way hang on to their own sense of identity) and at the
same time, you know, make sure they always understand they are
part of a much larger whole and they need to be integrated and
part of a very diverse and vibrant America. Is your Bridging
Cultures aimed as much at our internal cultures as it is at
helping Americans understand the world beyond America?
DOCUMENTING ENDANGERED LANGUAGES
Mr. Leach. Well, you have given a very thoughtful,
historical review, and I find not only no fault, I am very
impressed with the framework you have given and I will try to
reflect that in my talks. Having said that, we are a country
that has an unique national culture and we are a mosaic of
thousands of sub-cultures. We are both. And we are rubbing up
against many other countries that have different cultures, and
then are also mosaics of sub-cultures, and we have a real
national interest in trying to understand that phenomenon. We
also have all throughout the world what I consider to be
competition between globalism and localism. That is globalism
is affecting everybody. At the same time, there is a desire for
local control. It is a hard combination to match.
With regard very specifically to the indigenous language
issue, this is something that NEH has taken on for nearly a
decade and we are going to continue to attempt to in a very
steady way record as many as we can languages that have just
gone out of existence or in danger of going out of existence
and not from the point of view of necessarily stopping the use
of languages because that is beyond any government's control.
But the idea of trying to document languages that are going out
of existence relates to the fact that language is often how one
captures the history of thought, so it is not just how you
pronounce, how you define, how you conjugate a word or put
together a sentence. It relates to what is the thinking that
went into the formation of those words and those sentences, and
what kind of thought can be captured as you look at these
languages, whether they be myths, whether they be stories,
whether they be histories that are important for all of us, in
terms of an outsider looking at another culture for some sort
of meaning, and then as a son or daughter of that culture
having a sense of from whence they have come.
Now we are partnering with the National Science Foundation
in this endeavor, and we are going to continue it. In your
state, Tom, we have a program at the University of Oklahoma. We
have another one with the University of Nebraska in which we
attempt to document particular tribal languages. Around the
world we are coordinating with UNESCO, which has this as an
international phenomenon. The statistics and languages going
out of existence are really very large. We are looking at 3,000
that we think may go out of existence in the next half century
or century. That is a rather gigantic task to consider, but we
think it is important to look at this. And then there are some
languages that do not really have structures to them. This is a
new kind of dilemma that is even harder. I consider it a very,
very important endeavor.
Mr. Cole. And I am sure you do. I just add while you are
doing this, spend a little time with tribal authorities, and
again I think you will find particularly in places where there
are resources, there are people very interested in helping you
in leveraging your work and investing some of their own
resources in these kind of programs. But, again, you guys just
do great things, so thank you. Sorry, Mr. Chairman. I yield
Mr. Moran. Thank you, Mr. Cole. Mr. Chandler.
STATE HUMANITIES COUNCILS
Mr. Chandler. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Chairman.
Welcome to you, Mr. Leach. Always good to have you back. I
admired very greatly your work on the Foreign Affairs Committee
for all those years, and I see that you have taken a lot of
that with you. You feel very strongly about it. This
conversation that we have had today has been very interesting,
I think, and it points out the importance of the humanities. It
causes us to think about ourselves as a people, what kind of
people we have been, what kind of people we are and want to be,
and those are the kinds of discussions and thoughts we ought to
be having, if we want to continue to develop our society in the
right kind of way.
I heard somebody say, I guess it may have been Mr. Simpson,
that things have been getting better than they had been in the
past, and while that I am sure in many respects is true, in
some respects I am concerned that we might not be heading in
the best of directions. And one thing that worries me is that
we do not seem to know each other like we used to because of,
for example, the television, the ability of people to be
entertained in their own living rooms. They do not need to go
out and visit with other people as much as they did. The
Internet, while it is a wonderful tool in so many ways, it is a
very anonymous tool in many ways, and people have the ability
to attack other people, to say whatever they want to on the
Internet without having to look them in the eye, and there is,
I think, a real danger in that and a real danger in us not
really mixing and getting to know each other and socializing
like we used to. That could have long-term repercussions on the
civility of our society, which is one reason I think the
humanities and what you are trying to do are crucial to where
we are going.
So to the extent that you can get people to use your
programs, to get people to come out, to learn about themselves,
to mix with each other and talk about these issues, I think it
is just absolutely critical to where we are. I was going to ask
a little bit about We The People but Chairman Moran has already
discussed that, but I do think that has been a tremendous
program, and it has done some of these things. [It] has caused
these kinds of programs on a local level in all 50 states to
occur, and of course the state councils are very interested in
it, and they are interested in the support that they get from
the National Endowment.
If you could give me a little bit of an idea about how you
expect to support the state councils, because I think they are
very important to all of us in our respective states. I would
appreciate that. I do not know if you have been to Kentucky yet
on your tour, but I would certainly like to be there when and
if you come.
Mr. Leach. Well, thank you very much. We will let you know.
We are in the process of trying to set something up with
Kentucky, and when and if that comes to be, we will definitely
let you know. I like your analogy a lot on looking someone in
the eye. And when you think of civility or manners, it is not
etiquette in the full sense although that is a slight part of
it, but it is respectful engagement, and what you are saying is
that people are not looking other people in the eye enough. And
I think that is a good metaphor for true problems in our
society. Regarding the state councils, I am a strong advocate
of the state councils. We give approximately 37 percent of our
budget when you total all aspects of how we support the state
councils, and this is a very important aspect of our work.
NEH basically is two phenomena--at the risk of pigeonholing
and some exaggeration--we are the academic humanities and we
are the public humanities. The academic humanities are
disproportionately run out of Washington where we bring in
scholars from around the country and experts from around the
country to peer review projects and academic research and film
making, et cetera. And then the state councils are
disproportionately the public face. They reach out to the
general public although they do some academic work too. It is a
terrific mix and it is a balance that we strive to maintain. So
in a way one can look at it as the national headquarters
helping facilitate the creation of ideas while the state
councils serve as kind of a transition belt to the public
I am a big believer in the work of the councils, and I am
trying to meet with all 50 state councils on their territory.
We have a national kind of assembly where all the councils come
and I address that, but I want to meet people in their states.
And I will note that in terms of percentage impact the
importance of the council is almost an inverse proportion to
size of state, and so, for example, in Mr. Hinchey's state you
have a terrific state council, but you have all of these other
cultural institutions in the state of a size and magnitude that
overwhelm the council, and so the percentage hit on the average
citizen is not quite as large whereas in a smaller state it can
be absolutely extraordinary.
I was in Maine a few months back and they had done a survey
that approximately 60 percent of the people of Maine had had
direct contact with a program of the state council and knew it.
That is an astonishing statistic and something that is to me
incredibly impressive. So I am impressed with the work of the
councils, the innovation of the councils, the differences of
the councils. Every state is different. There are lots of ways
to say we are different cultures, and one is by state. And then
within states there is not any state that does not say we have
got this group and that group and another group that are very
different whereas we think of one state versus another state,
and so only these councils know how to handle that in credible
ways. So I respect very much what you are suggesting.
COOPERATION AMONG STATE COUNCILS
Mr. Simpson. Will the gentleman yield for just a minute? As
an example, southwestern Idaho is the largest Basque population
outside of Spain. Does the Nevada and Idaho humanities council
work together to speak to that community because it is not
divided by a state line.
Mr. Leach. Well, I do not know that precise answer. I will
tell you that one of the things the state councils do has an
analogy in my mind to many state legislators. That is, as you
know, if you are in the Judiciary Committee of the state
legislature there is a national meeting and you pick up what
other states do. Likewise, there is a lot of communication
between the councils. They see what other states are doing but
on your precise question on the Basque, I will have my people
query this in the next few days and we will get back to your
office on it. I do not know the answer, but it is a great
Mr. Simpson. Kind of how we used to look at conservation
issues, you know, as if mountains were divided by state lines
and stuff, and we find out that there are watersheds and things
that cross state lines, and the same thing, I guess, with these
cultural identities and so forth.
Mr. Moran. Good point. Mr. Hinchey.
TWO-YEAR COLLEGE INITIATIVE
Mr. Hinchey. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Jim, it is
a pleasure. This has been a very interesting pleasure this
morning to listen to you and to listen to your statements and
your response to the questions that were put to you. And it
just reminds me how much I miss you.
Mr. Leach. Thank you, sir.
Mr. Hinchey. We very much appreciate what you are doing and
your work on the humanities is very, very important. It was
very insightful for the President to ask you to do this job,
and I am awfully glad that you agreed to do it. So thank you.
Thanks very much. We are expecting a lot of positive things to
come out over the course of the time that you are there. I also
want to thank you for your mentioning of New York several
times. It is a very interesting place, and it has been very
much involved in initiatives of various kinds over the history
of this country. But as you point out the complexity of that
state in many ways makes it more difficult for those
initiatives to be fully understood and appreciated by so many
We just did the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's trip up
the river, and the context of that re-engagement with Amsterdam
and the Dutch. For many people it drew a clearer understanding
of how the initiative of the international complexity of New
York starting in lower Manhattan was so important for that city
and for the state and for the rest of the country and how that
was initiated actually by the Dutch in the context of
Amsterdam. In any case, all of these aspects of humanities are
all very, very important and very critical to all of us to be
engaged in. And, again, I very much appreciate the fact that
you are there and all the things that you are doing.
One of the things that is mentioned in the context of some
of the changes that are being made is the focus of attention on
two-year colleges, and community colleges. I can very much
appreciate that, and I see it all across the state that I am
in, New York. So many people are going to colleges now in two-
year schools at the community colleges, and the effort of that
is to try to get some education and to use that as a means of
getting into a very high level four-year school. And I see that
this something that you are interested in and engaged in, and
it is just another example of the kinds of interesting and
positive things that you have been involved in and continue to
be so. So maybe you could just tell us a little bit about that
and what you are hoping to do and what the outcome is likely to
Mr. Leach. Well, thank you very much, and let me first
mention something historically and then come to the two-year
colleges. The NEH has supported over the years among other
things some translations from the Dutch of New York State
papers, and one of the surprising revelations has been that
many of the ideas that we identify with Jefferson et. al. were
also reflected earlier in some of the Dutch writings in the
State of New York, and that is a real surprise to historians.
And then with New York history you have with the New York
Historical Society, an NEH-supported exhibition today that is
really astonishing about Lincoln in New York. It is part of
some of the stuff we are starting to work on in the Civil War.
I had never given the least thought of Lincoln in New York as
any consequence because we think of Lincoln as a Midwesterner,
Indiana, Illinois, et cetera, but they have some pictures at
the exhibit that are very reflective.
There are pictures in this exhibit of the 1860 election.
One is of a group called the Brooklyn Soparifics, a rally of
30,000 that were pro-slavery, very anti-Lincoln, and then there
are pictures of a group of brown-shirted people marching down
the street with lanterns, and they were called Wide Awakes, and
they were pro-Lincoln. So you see this vitality and when we
think of, for example, the Tea Party, Coffee Party, et cetera,
there may be no one-to-one analogies here of any nature, but it
is not as if no predecessor groups naturally formed that are
concerned with things in our history. Public engagement is a
terribly interesting phenomenon.
As far as community colleges go, right now a little over
half of the people in post-secondary education are in community
colleges or their equivalent. Because we as a society tend to
think of almost everything that does not go perfectly, we
forget we invented this notion of community colleges. People
around the world are now looking at the American model of
community colleges. When first established they were almost
exclusively trade oriented and almost exclusively oriented
towards particular kinds of work in particular communities. So
they are very adaptive. It was initially considered by many in
the education field absolutely wrong to offer the general
academic disciplines, now that has changed. Community colleges
have evolved in many of the structural ways that you have
indicated. So we are trying to figure out approaches to expand
and strengthen humanities offerings in community colleges.
And, frankly, we are exploring. We have made no final
decisions, so if any of you have any particular idea or
approaches we are very open to listening in that regard. We are
going to do this year some kinds of matching grant approaches
for endeavors at community colleges related to the humanities,
and we are taking a grant-making format that we have that
community colleges could apply for in the past that have not
done well in competitions and taking the community college
component out and making it exclusively for community colleges.
And we have some general criteria on certain kinds of grants
that are matching that have been 3 to 1 in the past. For
community colleges, we are going to make it a 2 to 1 match and
make the length of time needed for meeting the match a little
bit longer. We are trying to do as much as we can to encourage
a strengthening of traditional humanities teaching at community
colleges. And this is not natural to every community college
but is found to be something that there is increasing demand
Mr. Moran. Very good. We applaud that effort. I think at
this point we ought to move on to the Holocaust Museum. Thank
you very much, Chairman Leach.
Mr. Leach. Thank you, sir.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010.
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM
SARA BLOOMFIELD, DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM
JAMES RICHARD GAGLIONE, BUDGET OFFICER, UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST
Opening Statement: Chairman Moran
Mr. Moran. It is now time to begin the hearing on the
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It opened in the
District of Columbia in 1993 as a living memorial to the
Holocaust created to remember the victims of the Holocaust, to
stimulate leaders and citizens to confront a legacy of hatred.
The Museum and its education and research programs worked to
prevent genocide and to promote human dignity. Today we welcome
Sara Bloomfield, who has been director since 1999. Ms.
Bloomfield has an outstanding reputation as an educator and has
led many important efforts throughout the country and the
world. It is important that this story be told. As then-General
Eisenhower wrote after encountering the Ohrdruf concentration
camp, and I quote, ``I have never felt able to describe my
emotional reactions when I first came face to face with
indisputable evidence of Nazi brutality and ruthless disregard
of every shred of decency.''
Last June, a tragic hate crime occurred at the Holocaust
Museum where a white supremacist shot and killed Museum
security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns. We are here again wanting
to recognize and remember Mr. Johns.
I understand that the Museum and its outreach efforts
continue to reach a wide audience. Over 30 million have visited
the Museum so far including over 1.7 million just this past
It will be interesting to hear Ms. Bloomfield explain
highlights of the Museum's recent activities and its 2011
budget request. I note that the Museum has continued to be
successful at raising private funds to expand exhibits and
widen public outreach all over the world.
Mr. Moran. Mr. Simpson, do you have any opening remarks?
Opening Statement: Mr. Simpson
Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning,
Executive Director Bloomfield. Thank you for being here today
to testify for the important work that you do for the Nation
and the world to combat hate and genocide.
Only 9 months ago, as the chairman mentioned, hate barged
through the doors of the Museum and took an innocent life. It
was a critical reminder that the Museum's work is as much about
the world's future as it is the past.
Mr. Chairman and Executive Director Bloomfield, it seems to
me that this is one area of the bill where the collective we
seems to be getting it right. Thanks to modest appropriations
by Congress and sound management by the Museum's staff, the
Museum is able to plan and budget for the high start-up costs
of new exhibitions. The Subcommittee is not in a position of
having to fund sudden increases for mission-critical but vague
ID and other equipment, and there is no maintenance backlog at
the Museum. All this and still the Museum's unobligated
balances are less than 5 percent of annual appropriations.
The Museum's proposed fiscal year 2011 budget appears to
have been untouched by OMB. It contains no new initiatives to
be paid for by absorbing fixed costs in the so-called
management efficiencies. This budget fully funds fixed cost
increases for salaries and expenses in order to maintain
current services. The Museum proposes a modest cut to its
exhibition accounts even while it proposes to rename and expand
the scope of the account in order to take advantage of online
I look forward to hearing about this proposal today and
about the many ways in which you are helping people to
understand that history is not necessarily destined to remain
in the past.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for calling this hearing today.
While the Museum's budget is relatively small in this bill, $50
million still deserves our attention. Fortunately, the
Holocaust Memorial Museum seems to need little Congressional
tinkering at the moment but eventually that may change,
particularly as the building ages and the maintenance costs are
likely to increase. I have little doubt that the collective we
will have the foresight to address these and other items in a
responsible fashion. Thank you.
Mr. Moran. Thank you, Mr. Simpson.
Testimony of Sara J. Bloomfield
Ms. Bloomfield. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Simpson.
Thank you for your great support of our institution and your
excellent articulation of what we are trying to achieve. It is
an honor to report to you today on behalf of the Museum and on
behalf of the millions of Americans who benefit from its
programs. I want to thank you for the support of the Committee
over many years.
As you stated, the Museum's request is $50,520,500. The
proposed increase over fiscal year 2010 is $1.4 million, which
just covers pay raises and inflation and allows us to continue
our operations at the current level.
As you said so eloquently, we do more than teach the
Holocaust. The Museum was really built to inspire people to
learn the lessons of the Holocaust and act on them, and as a
living memorial, we seek to inspire people worldwide to promote
human dignity, confront hate and prevent genocide. If I may
add, listening the previous conversation here about civility, I
feel that we in a way make our own contribution to this in
promoting human dignity among different groups for people to
see the consequences of when you look at people who are
different and treat them that way, there are great consequences
for any society.
As you said, we were a victim of hate ourselves last year
when on June 10th a white supremacist shot and killed Stephen
Tyrone Johns, one of our security officers. Mr. Johns was a
wonderful man, beloved by all his colleagues who had worked for
our museum for 6 years. He will always be remembered for the
lives he saved that day. There were young schoolchildren in the
area, and thanks to his actions and other security officers,
our tragedy was not worse. We are establishing a privately
funded summer youth leadership program in his memory.
We are Congressionally mandated to lead the Nation in
Holocaust remembrance, and this year is the 65th anniversary of
the end of the war, and so we will be honoring all the soldiers
who liberated the Nazi concentration camps. We are delighted
that we have 120 liberators coming from all over the country
for this event. And since you referred to General Eisenhower,
you should know that he is memorialized in our Museum in many
ways but most prominently our plaza is named after Eisenhower.
President Obama delivered the address at last year's
remembrance ceremony, and he invoked the obligation not just to
honor the memory of the dead but to resist injustice and take
action against atrocities wherever they occur. On the issue of
contemporary genocide, we have opened a new exhibit called From
Memory to Action to help visitors understand the continuing
problem of genocide. We sponsored a Genocide Prevention
Taskforce with the U.S. Institute of Peace, which was co-
chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and
former Secretary of Defense William Cohen. The taskforce issued
a report outlining how our government can be better positioned
to respond to and prevent future genocides.
The Museum has a strong focus on the role of leaders and
professions and maintaining a democratic society. We conduct
programs for law enforcement, the judiciary and the military to
help these professions better understand their roles in
ensuring a just and humane society. Among our many partners are
the military service academies, the FBI and the Federal
Judicial Center. Last year, we trained all 50 State chief
In response to the rising power of the Internet and the
pervasiveness of misinformation and online hate, we opened a
special exhibition on Nazi propaganda that shows how the Nazis
themselves used the most modern technologies of their day to
sway millions to their ideology. Our own website is the leading
online authority on the Holocaust. Last year, we had some 34
million visits from every country except North Korea. With
private funding, we have translated parts of our website into
more than 10 different languages including Arabic, Chinese,
Farsi, Turkish and Urdu.
Over 30 million people have visited our museum since we
opened 17 years ago including probably our most important
visitors, 9 million schoolchildren and about 90 heads of state.
Our Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies won three awards for
the first volume of its groundbreaking encyclopedia of camps
and ghettos. This project has so far identified 20,000 sites of
Nazi incarceration across Europe.
The Museum's collection now includes unusual documentation
such as interviews, rare interviews we are getting with
bystanders, collaborators and even perpetrators in Nazi crimes.
Digitizing our collection will be a major priority to ensure
Thanks to Federal funding, as you said, of our repair and
rehabilitation program, we are able to meet all of our
maintenance needs for the building, the museum building and its
administrative center. We are currently evaluating our offsite
storage for our collection facility to assess the long-term
ability to meet the needs of our collection.
As a public-private partnership, we are aggressively
fundraising for both annual funds and to build an endowment.
Fundraising has been off by about 25 percent since the
recession began but the Museum is still very much supported by
our donors. Last year we raised over $33 million.
In closing, we deeply appreciate the support of the
Committee and Congress. As the world continues to confront hate
and threats to democratic values, we feel our mission is both
timely and urgent and we are grateful to Congress and the
American people who share that mission.
[The statement of Sara Bloomfield follows:]
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Mr. Moran. Good statement. Thank you, Ms. Bloomfield.
How have you responded to the security concerns after the
shooting of security officer Johns? You mentioned you have
responded in other appropriate ways, the scholarship fund in
his name and so on, but what have you done to make sure that
this cannot occur again?
Ms. Bloomfield. Well, we took a variety of security
measures immediately after the incident happened but we also
asked the Department of Homeland Security to come in and do a
whole review of our security program, which they did for us,
and they have just issued a report. We are now discussing it
with our governing board. They, by the way, praised the Museum
for its high level of security and made several recommendations
and we are discussing with our board which of these
recommendations we think we can implement and which we are not
able to. I would say that last year the Committee very
generously gave us an extra $550,000 to support security. When
we are done assessing this report, if we think we need more, we
will come back to you but for now that looks fine.
As for the specific recommendations that Homeland Security
made to us, I am glad to talk to you about it in private. We
generally do not discuss the security measures we take.
I would just add also parenthetically that as a result of
the strong support of the Committee for our security program
over the years, I think they helped make this incident much
less tragic because we do have armed officers. They were able
to take down this assailant. This whole incident happened
within 6 seconds and it was over, so we thank you for really
helping us out in a real crisis for our museum.
Mr. Moran. That is considered National Park property, is
Ms. Bloomfield. It is Federal property. I think it belongs
to the Museum, not the Park Service, but I can verify that for
Mr. Moran. I am just wondering if people are entitled to
legally carry weapons on the perimeter of the building, for
Ms. Bloomfield. Well, they are not allowed to bring them
into the building, and----
Mr. Moran. Because that is a Federal facility.
Ms. Bloomfield. Right. Exactly. This individual actually
had his--it was a rifle, I believe, and had it hidden under a
jacket and so it could not even be seen. In fact, the officer
who was killed did not even see that this man had a gun. He was
an elderly man. He was 88 years old. So the officer actually
held the door open to let him in, so he had really concealed
this weapon quite well.
Mr. Moran. I am just wondering how the concealed carry
would apply there, although since it is D.C. and not Virginia,
they are different laws.
Ms. Bloomfield. We could get back to you on that.
ETHICAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS
Mr. Moran. It is fine. I am sure that you have responded in
appropriate ways in terms of security at the Museum.
If you could share with us just a few minutes on the
ethical leadership programs that you conduct, whether you are
able to meet the demand, and where the demand comes from?
Ms. Bloomfield. Yes. We do a lot of these programs for many
professions but I would say the primary ones are law
enforcement, the military and the judiciary, and the programs
are all based on the same premise. It is really an examination
of how these professions behaved during the Nazi period,
particularly during the transition from Weimar Germany, which
was a democracy, a struggling democracy but certainly a
democracy, into the early Nazi period when Hitler was
consolidating his power and then into war and genocide. And so
by studying their own profession and the history, it provokes a
lot of conversations for their role today and particularly in
post-9/11 America, a lot of these institutions are having a lot
of questions about their responsibilities, their moral
responsibilities. So to give you just one quick example, the
German army was one of the most respected armies in the world
before the Nazi era, and many people thought for a long time
that the German army in World War II was engaged primarily just
in winning the war, but we now know through scholarship that
they were, parts of the army in Eastern Europe were involved in
mass executions of civilians. So one of the programs we do for
the military, and this is a program for all the military
service academies, the defense war college, the defense
intelligence agencies, is they take one case study, one
battalion and look at the orders that were given to them, given
to three different commanders to massively shoot civilians,
just go out and execute them for no reason at all. One
commander said, ``I would like to see the order in writing.''
It was given to him verbally. One commander just followed the
order, did not ask any questions, and the third said, ``I am
not going to follow it.'' So we use this as a case study to
see, well, what were the consequences, what happened to those
commanders, what happened obviously to the civilians in each
case, and it prompts a very lively discussion for them in their
We do have much more demand than we can respond to,
particularly I will give another example. In the judiciary that
we train, we have trained about 1,600 judges, State and Federal
judges, but we have been asked to train all 11,000 State and
Federal judges in the country, and right now we are seeking
private funding for that. We will not be coming to you for that
but would love to report to you on that after I find a private
donor to make that possible.
Mr. Moran. Very good. Thank you, Ms. Bloomfield.
Mr. Simpson. Your fiscal year 2011 budget proposes a small
reduction in the Exhibitions Development Fund and proposes to
rename it to the Outreach Initiative Fund. Please tell us about
the scope of this fund in prior years and how and why you are
proposing to change the scope.
Ms. Bloomfield. Well, the fund was originally set up, I
believe back in 1995, when our primary form of, I would say
creating content and educating people, was through exhibitions.
Of course, as you have been discussing all morning, the
Internet has become very big and what we find is the content we
create for a physical space can also be replicated in
cyberspace and therefore we can use the same content and
educate millions more people, and of course, an exhibition you
eventually have to take down. Something you put up on your
website stays up there forever. We have a philosophy at the
Museum called COPE, Create Once, Produce Everywhere. It is a
very efficient way to reach as many people as we can. So given
the fact that we do not want to create anything without having
opportunities to make online versions, to get our collections
digitized and put them online because to give you an example,
last year we reached about 1.7, 1.8 million came through our
physical doors but 34 million people came through our cyber
doors. So it is a way to really maximize the dollars that you
are helping us with to educate the country.
Mr. Simpson. Do most of the people that come to the Museum
know that it is more than a museum?
Ms. Bloomfield. No, they do not.
Mr. Simpson. I mean, because I look at my own experience. I
thought it was a memorial to the Holocaust but it is much more
Ms. Bloomfield. It is much more than that, and we
actually--really, people think of it as people used to a
museum, you go and you see stuff, and we are really not about
stuff, we are really about a larger idea, and we try to do
things, like our exhibition on Nazi propaganda is designed to
meet our visitors where they come from so everybody is on the
Internet today and this exhibit kind of makes the point that
Hitler himself said propaganda is a terrible thing in the hands
of an expert. Well, with the Internet, everybody can be an
expert, unfortunately. So this exhibit is really geared to
young people to get them to think about, you know, as I say
very kind of glibly, what if Nazis had cell phones. I mean,
that is a very scary thing. And we know we are living in a
world with some pretty evil people. So young people have to
learn to question what they get. We actually give young people
a definition of what propaganda is. With the Internet, with the
24/7 news cycle on TV, I mean, you know, it is a pretty
MILITARY TRAINING PROGRAMS
Mr. Simpson. And I guess that is why I was so fascinated to
learn about the training that you do with the chief justices of
the States, with the military personnel, with medical personnel
and others. Do the military personnel that you train then take
that training back to their commands? Because a lot of the
instances we hear about are troops on the ground, and I
oftentimes wonder, because we are always told, you know, you
are given an order, you follow it out in the military. And not
having been in the military, I do not know how much training
goes into determining what is a legitimate order, what is not a
legitimate order, when do you say no and so forth.
I have a soldier from my district, I happen to know his
family, who is in jail now from Iraq. He was prosecuted for
murdering an Iraqi civilian. The circumstances are--and as I
walk through it, I am sitting there going I do not know if I
was a young soldier, 19 years old, that I would have done
anything different than he did. And I worry about the training
that these people get and sometimes it is almost like they are
the scapegoats for some of the decisions that are made higher
So taking that training back to the troops and training the
troops would be, I think, important too.
Ms. Bloomfield. Right. It is a really good point. One of
the things we have learned over the years in our training is
first of all, it is who can we realistically reach, given our
resources, and where can we have the most impact, and we
believe, and from our evaluations of these programs, that
reaching leadership is where you can have the most impact. So I
can get you more information to what extent so, you know, we
know we are reaching the future leaders because we are going to
the military service academies and they are going to become
leaders in the Army, and with our work with the defense
colleges, we know again we are reaching the leadership. But I
can get back to you on specifically how much this is filtering
down. There is no way we can train everybody in the military.
But the leaders, if you do not have your leadership support,
you are not going to have it down in the ranks. After Abu
Ghraib, you can imagine that conversation came up a lot in
these discussions, and I know there were some comments. Again,
I am not an expert on what happened in Abu Ghraib but a lot of
those soldiers were in the Reserves, and one of the questions
that came up was the training for Reserves as much as the
training for the regular military. But I will get back to you
on how much this is filtering down.
Mr. Simpson. Thank you. I appreciate that.
Mr. Moran. Thank you, Mr. Simpson.
GENOCIDE PREVENTION TASK FORCE
Mr. Hinchey. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. These
hearings have been very fascinating and it has been great
listening to you. I too appreciate all the work that you have
done for so long there on that very important project, as you
say, it is not just a Museum, it is a facility that does a lot
more than that. A lot of it has to do with education and
understanding the periodic perversity of human behavior and how
it needs to be dealt with and hopefully even prevented. So
thank you very much for everything that you are doing.
I just have a couple of questions. The Genocide Prevention
Taskforce report, can you tell us a little bit about that? I
understand that you are directly involved in it and have some
Ms. Bloomfield. Yes. We convened this with the U.S.
Institute of Peace and co-chaired, as I mentioned, by Madeleine
Albright and William Cohen, and then they convened a group of
leaders and then experts in various areas looking at the
problem of genocide. Both Secretary Albright and Secretary
Cohen, of course, were in government during the Rwandan
genocide, and I think both felt great failures. Genocide is a--
once genocide breaks out, it is very hard to stop, and you
really want to figure out, how can you anticipate it and do
things ahead of time. So one of the things this report was
designed to look at, could the government be better structured
so that when these things happen, it is not always so much
panic but we have systems and people in place to deal with them
early on, prevent the eruption but then deal with the eruption
So some of the recommendations, for example, include having
an interagency taskforce on genocide prevention and response
with all the agencies that would have to deal with, so the
Pentagon, State Department, CIA, NSC, and just have a group
that is going to meet regularly on these issues and be prepared
if something happens. It seems obvious but that was not in
place and we are pleased that that recommendation has been
Another one is to look at the threat of mass atrocities in
doing the intelligence reporting, and I understand that this
has also been adopted, that that will now become part of what
they are looking at when they do that, and in the Quadrennial
Defense Review, there will be some effort to begin to do some
training in preparation for dealing with mass atrocities. So
these are three of our bigger recommendations that we are
pleased seem to be getting some traction.
Mr. Moran. If I could interject for just a moment on the
logistics here, we have three votes, which means that it is
going to be 11:45 before we can get back. If we could
accelerate this, maybe we can get the Eisenhower Commission in.
These folks have been waiting all morning, I know, and so I
think out of consideration to them, we might want to do that,
but I do not want to cut short your questions, Mr. Hinchey.
Mr. Hinchey. That is fine, Mr. Chairman. It has been very
good and we deeply appreciate it. Thank you very much.
Mr. Moran. Thank you very much, Mr. Hinchey. Thank you very
much, Ms. Bloomfield.
Ms. Bloomfield. Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity.
Mr. Moran. We appreciate it.
Ms. Bloomfield. Come visit us any time.
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010.
THE TRANSFORMATIVE IMPACT OF ART: THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
FY 2011 BUDGET REQUEST
ROCCO LANDESMAN, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
Opening Statement: Chairman Moran
Mr. Moran. Good morning and welcome to everyone. Before we
begin today's hearing, I want to explain the agenda for this
morning. First we are going to hear from that larger-than-life
impresario by the name of Rocco Landesman, our new chair for
the Endowment for the Arts and we are going to talk about the
NEA's request for 2011.
At the conclusion of the NEA budget hearing, we will
adjourn and then we will hear from the cochair of the
Congressional Arts Caucus, Louise Slaughter from New York.
And once we have heard from Louise, we will hear from an
esteemed panel of witnesses on the value of Federal support for
the arts and arts education.
I think Jeff Daniels and Kyle McLachlan and a number of
people are coming over. We have a busy schedule. As a result, I
don't have too long of a statement. Steve LaTourette came just
in time for my statement. I thought I would be finished.
I, of course, want to welcome Mr. Landesman. This is his
first appearance before our subcommittee. We are here today not
only to discuss your proposed budget but to celebrate the arts
in America. This is one of the most fun days of the year in the
Congress. Of course, some days it is not keen competition.
There are some days when they are anything but fun. But we are
going to talk about the influence that arts has in building and
transforming our community.
Every year the nonprofit arts and culture industry
generates $166 billion in economic activity; almost 6 billion
jobs, more than $100 billion in household income, and over $28
billion in Federal, State and local tax revenue.
Today has been designated as Arts Advocacy Day by Americans
for Arts. They put together information on how far-reaching the
arts are in developing and maintaining robust communities. They
also improve student performance when art is incorporated into
the curriculum. It is an industry where I think the word
``transformational'' is appropriate.
We all know stories about people seeing or hearing
something truly motivating and changing their lives as a
result. Denise Graves was an example where she told us in this
hearing, actually, that she grew up in Washington but the
Kennedy Center could have been the other end of the world until
the NEA gave her an opportunity to hear her first opera.
Someone picking up a paintbrush or finding new ways to
communicate changes their lives, and, of course the lives of
Arts are and remain an important part of our Nation's
economy and it is a reflection of our culture. This Congress
recognized the importance of the arts to the economy by
providing the National Endowment for the Arts $50 million in
Recovery Act funds. Not all of that money has been completely
spent, but all of it has been obligated. It has gone out
throughout the country. It has assisted arts organizations in
all 50 States and the territories. We congratulate the
Endowment for seeing to it that that money went out
immediately, where and when it was needed.
The budget request is $161 million. It is a reduction of
more than $6 million from last year's enacted level. That is
the President's request, as it was the previous year in fiscal
While I understand the fiscal constraints we are facing, we
are going to want to ask you about the impact these reductions
will have on your grant programs. In addition, we want to
discuss your $5 million request for your new initiative, ``Our
Town.'' Jeff Daniels was just telling me he started this Purple
Rose Studio and he is putting on ``Our Town'' in Michigan. I
understand this initiative is intended to revitalize
communities by enhancing the presence of arts in those
communities. And we share your vision of strengthening
communities through the presence of arts, and are interested in
hearing about this initiative.
Mr. Moran. One other thing. This is so important. Steve, I
hope you are focusing on this.
Mr. LaTourette. Absolutely. Like a laser beam.
Mr. Moran. Mr. Landesman won the Trifecta in the Kentucky
Derby. Can you believe that? Talk about being in awe of
Mr. LaTourette. What did it pay?
Mr. Moran. $1.3 million.
Anyway, moving along, let us hear from Mr. Simpson, who is
a respected artist in his own right. And, in fact, Mr.
Landesman was just in Idaho. I read about it in The New York
Times. And Mr. Simpson, I know, would like to--they spelled it
I-D-A-H-O. I think that is pretty close.
Opening Statement: Mr. Simpson
Mr. Simpson. Do they know where it is? I am just kidding. I
actually had an opening statement, but after that comment I am
not sure I can get it out, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Landesman, I want to join Chairman Moran in
welcoming you to testify today on your fiscal year 2011 budget
request. We look forward to learning more about the important
work the NEA is undertaking across the country. I also want to
thank you and Anita for making time in your busy schedule to
join me in Idaho last week for a whirlwind tour of the finest
that the Idaho arts community has to offer.
During the course of a very busy day, you had the
opportunity to see firsthand the value of the arts in rural
Idaho. The Big Read, Shakespeare in American Communities, and
other NEA programs are the lifeblood of the arts in Boise,
Jerome, and many other communities. And in fact, I picked up
the paper the day after you were here, and the Shakespeare
Festival--the play we saw was in Blackfoot, in my hometown, the
next day. And they were on the front page of the paper there
the next day. So they do a great job. I really appreciate the
NEA's efforts to work with State art organizations because this
is how we reach rural communities in Idaho and across the
As you know, the NEA found itself at the center of a
political firestorm in the mid-1990s because it began to stray
from its central mission. It was a time when the NEA was
receiving national attention not because of the quality of its
initiatives, but because a specific grant became the subject of
some controversy. After a period of introspection and
congressional reforms instituted by this subcommittee, and with
strong leadership, the Arts Endowment found its footing again
and Congress has responded with more robust budgets.
In recent years, the NEA has been successful because of its
emphasis on promoting arts for all Americans rather than
Fifteen years ago, the NEA was fighting for its very
survival. Today Democrats and Republicans provide broad
bipartisan support for the NEA. A very important strategic
decision was made some time ago, which I encourage you to
continue, for the NEA to provide grant fundings to art
organizations and local communities in every congressional
district in the country. Local arts organizations, particularly
those in rural areas where opportunities to experience the arts
are often limited, welcome the opportunity to partner with the
NEA on large national initiatives like The Big Read and
Shakespeare in American Communities.
Today the arts are prospering in both rural and urban
settings and reaching a greater cross-section of our country
than ever before.
I want to close by expressing my support for The Big Read,
arguably one of the most popular and successful initiatives
ever developed by the NEA. The Big Read has worked largely
because the NEA created partnerships across the country
involving public, private, nonprofit and corporate entities.
Created in 2006, this national initiative to encourage
literacy and the art of literary reading has been hosted by
more than 400 towns and cities in all 50 States, with over
21,000 local and national organizations supporting this effort.
This initiative is popular because it has broad reach across
all segments of society, urban and rural, rich and poor, and is
widely supported by both Democrats and Republicans.
The Big Read makes literature a topic of conversation in a
community and creates synergy between educators, civic leaders
and citizens. Local libraries and school libraries are
transformed from book lending institutions to community
cultural centers. Because of its proven success, I look forward
to working with Chairman Moran and members of the subcommittee
to ensure The Big Read receives adequate levels of funding
Thank you for being here again today. I really enjoyed your
time out in Idaho and I thought it was a good experience for
all of us. Thanks for being here today.
Testimony of Chairman Rocco Landesman
Mr. Landesman. Thank you, Congressman. Before I begin,
speaking of art in rural areas, they told me I was visiting
Congressman Simpson's district. They neglected to tell me that
basically his district is the whole State of Idaho. And we are
in Boise, and they say we are going to go on to the next town.
Well, the next town is 200 miles away. And then we are going to
the next town after that, that is another 150 miles away. So we
did spend a lot of time in the car, but it is a gloriously
beautiful State and I was very glad to be there.
Mr. Moran. It takes a big man to represent a big State.
Mr. Simpson. You had a good 2 days, didn't you?
Mr. Moran. Mr. LaTourette, did you have any comments?
Mr. LaTourette. I have nothing to say at this point.
Mr. Moran. Mr. Landesman, we would love to hear from you.
Mr. Landesman. Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of
the subcommittee, I am pleased to be appearing before this
subcommittee for the first time as Chairman of the National
Endowment for the Arts. I look forward to discussing with you
the President's fiscal year 2011 budget request of
$161,315,000, which includes support for our ongoing
activities, as well as $5 million for a new initiative we refer
to as ``Our Town.''
USE OF FY2010 FUNDS
Before I speak about the President's budget, I would like
to briefly bring you up to date on what we have been doing
since I joined the agency this past August. As you know, in
fiscal year 2010, we expect to invest nearly $140 million in
support of the arts throughout the Nation. Through the more
than 2,000 direct grants expected to be awarded, we can
anticipate reaching nearly 100 million people.
But our reach and impact go even further. Through the 40
percent of our grant-making funds awarded to the State arts
agencies and their regional arts organizations, thousands of
additional grants are awarded to support worthy projects in
communities throughout the country. In fiscal year 2010, we
have almost an $8 million budget for Learning in the Arts
grants, and we will invest well over $4 million in arts
education through our access to artistic excellence grants and
State partnerships. In addition, I have challenged my staff to
find at least one arts education project in every congressional
In order for the NEA to invest most effectively, it is
important that arts organizations and creative communities
across this country feel closely connected to us. We are using
technology to connect even more Americans with the agency. We
have launched an agency blog on our Web site, www.arts.gov, and
a Twitter account at NEA Arts. We will shortly launch a
Facebook page to continue to broaden our reach and keep the
public informed in real time. And we have begun Webcasting
agency convenings. Most recently, we Webcast the March 2010
public meeting of our National Council on the Arts which helped
ensure even greater transparency into the work of the agency.
``ARTS WORKS'' TOUR
Technology is no substitute for in-person meetings. So last
October I announced I would begin an ``Art Works'' tour. When I
say ``art works,'' I have three meanings for those two words.
One, they a noun that refers to the creation of artists, works
of art. Two, they remind us that art works on audiences and
viewers to transport and inspire them. And three, they are a
reminder that arts workers have real jobs and are a vital part
of this country's economy.
I was in Pennsylvania last week and the Governor cited the
Pennsylvania cultural data project which reports that, in
Pennsylvania alone, nonprofit cultural organizations and their
audiences had direct expenditures of $1.99 billion, which
supports over 48,000 full-time equivalent jobs and means over
900 million in resident household income.
I began seeing how art works in Peoria, Illinois last
November; and most recently, just last Monday in fact, I had
the pleasure of joining Congressman Simpson in his district to
see how art works in Boise, Jerome, and Twin Falls, Idaho.
Everywhere I go, I see how the arts help create the sorts
of places where people like to live, work, and play. In fact,
Chairman Moran recently wrote in the Falls Church News Press
about how the arts have transformed communities ranging from
New York Mills, Minnesota, to Paducah, Kentucky. Thank you for
Mr. Moran. You are a wide reader.
Mr. Landesman. And Professor Mark Stern, along with his
colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania and the
Reinvestment Fund, has discovered that the presence of the arts
has three main effects:
One, the arts are a force for social cohesion and civic
engagement. People who participate in the arts are more likely
to engage in other civic activities, leading to more stable
neighborhoods. I consider that very important.
Secondly, the arts are a force for child welfare. Low-
income populations with high cultural participation are more
than twice as likely to have very low truancy and delinquency
Three, the arts are a poverty fighter. They do this through
direct employment and they do this by leveraging other jobs:
the restaurants, retail stores, and hotels that spring up
alongside cultural districts.
FY11 BUDGET REQUEST
This brings me to the President's 2011 budget request for
the National Endowment for the Arts. As you know, the NEA has a
threefold mission: to support excellence in the arts, both new
and established; to bring the arts to all Americans; and to
provide leadership in arts education.
The President's budget request maintains the NEA's positive
momentum in providing support to this country's nonprofit arts
AMERICAN MASTERPIECES AND BIG READ
There are two changes that I would like to highlight for
your attention. In April 2005, the NEA launched a funding
initiative called ``American Masterpieces'' that was designed
to ensure audiences the opportunity to see classic American
repertoires. As we reviewed these grants, we realized that the
sorts of projects and organizations being funded through this
program were largely redundant to the support being offered
through our core discipline grants, the one notable exception
to this being The Big Read which provides communities the
opportunity to read, discuss, and engage with one another
around a shared reading experience. This program will continue,
and will continue as the agency's largest national initiative.
In fiscal year 2010, the NEA's budget contained $10 million
in American Masterpieces funding. In our 2011 budget, you will
see that we have proposed instead to have $5 million to fund
``Our Town,'' which I will discuss in a moment; $1.5 million to
continue The Big Read; and the balance to contribute toward
offsetting any differences between our fiscal year 2010 and
2011 allocations for our direct grants.
``OUR TOWN'' INITIATIVE
We are extraordinarily proud of the success of our programs
and the benefits that accrue to the American people. We
believe, however, that there is an element of our grant-making
program that has been missing, an element that is particularly
important today. This is, of course, the ``Our Town''
initiative presented in the fiscal year 2011 budget. This
initiative is built upon solid fact-based research, such as
that of Professor Stern; personal firsthand observations and
the recognition that all Americans have an investment in the
places they live. Through Our Town, we anticipate investing the
proposed $5 million in up to 35 communities to support planning
and design projects and arts engagement strategies. The funded
projects might include the mapping of a cultural district along
with its development potential; the integration of public art
into civic spaces; a community waterfront festival; affordable
housing for low-income artists; rehearsal spaces to serve as
research and development space for our performing arts
companies; outdoor exhibitions and performances to enliven
civic spaces and engage citizens and so on.
Almost every Federal agency under this administration is
looking at its role in helping to create sustainable
communities. And I have been meeting with other Federal agency
heads to talk about ways that our agencies might partner in
deep and meaningful ways. It is my hope that as Our Town
recipients are selected, we can look at the other Federal
agencies working in those same places to discover areas of
mutual interest and overlap.
Everywhere I have gone over the past 9 months, I have been
encouraged by the resilience and adaptability of our arts
organizations as they strive to fulfill their mission in the
midst of a challenging economy. They remain active and
optimistic. And I remain eager to enjoy their work and offer
the NEA support as effectively as we can.
A thriving arts sector brings with it economic and cultural
vitality that helps drive community stability. In short, art
works. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
Let me end by thanking the chairman and the distinguished
members of the subcommittee for your ongoing support of both
the agency and the arts. I look forward to our discussion and I
am happy to answer any questions that you may have. Thank you.
Thanks very much, Mr. Chairman.
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INCREASED BUDGET AND IMPACT OF ARTS FUNDING
Mr. Moran. Because we have other witnesses, this is not
going to be as long as I wish it could be, because this is one
of the most exciting aspects of the entire appropriations bill
that we have to consider.
But your request is for a reduction, and yet your
initiative is to create jobs all over the country, new jobs,
jobs that are designed to serve as a magnet for further
economic development. I see the Ford Foundation is trying to do
the same thing, again with limited resources, but they have
looked at the research and understood that a theater or any
kind of performing facility invariably serves as a magnet, and
you get restaurants and retail and so on.
Maybe you could share with us, if you had your druthers,
what would this budget look like? I mean, don't get too carried
away. But if you were asking for money that you know could be
very well spent, spent within the ensuing fiscal year, and
spent to create more jobs and economic development throughout
the country, what would you be asking for?
Mr. Landesman. Of course, I am here to defend the budgetary
Mr. Moran. I know. That is why I asked you to look beyond
the parameters of the administration, and we are asking you
directly, if this were possible.
Mr. Landesman. If it were possible, of course I would love
to see a restoration of at least last year's numbers. That is
not really my call. I am here to defend the budget that is
submitted before us. I do know that the Our Town money, in my
belief, is highly leveraged money; that that money is going to
have a ripple effect through all the communities where we take
this initiative. I am convinced of that. Because it is only $5
million to start, we are going to have to start in very limited
fashion in only a few places. I think we are talking about 35
communities to begin with.
WORK WITH FOUNDATIONS
But you mentioned something else that I think is very
interesting here; you mentioned the Ford Foundation. They
recently announced a $100 million new strategic initiative in
the arts that is very exciting to me. And I am hoping we can
work alongside them in some of the things that they are doing,
which are very enlightened.
One of the things I did when I was nominated for this
position, long before I was confirmed, was to meet with the
heads of the major foundations that have interest in funding
the arts, to talk to them about what they were doing. I met
with Luis Ubinas at the Ford Foundation and Rip Rapson at
Kresge in Detroit and Jim Canales with the Irvine Foundation in
California and Don Randel with Mellon. They are very interested
in the arts and they seem to be very interested in what the NEA
is planning to do strategically in the arts. And I am hoping
that one way we can leverage our very limited resources is
through close cooperation with the private sector foundations,
individuals, corporations. I think that would be very
meaningful for us going forward.
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF ARTS FUNDING
Mr. Moran. Let us just conjecture, if we were able to
restore your budget to last year's level, how much additional
economic activity do you think that would generate given the
fact that it is highly leveraged?
Mr. Landesman. The Our Town program, as we have conceived
it, has a very high multiplier effect. One of the things we
have learned is that as you bring art and artists into the
center of town, it changes that town profoundly in every way,
but certainly in an economic way. You know that expression in
Field of Dreams: If you build it, they will come.
We are doing the reverse of that. We are saying that if you
come, they will build it; that if you bring art and artists
into town, businesses will follow, because people don't follow
businesses; businesses follow people. And businesses are
looking for an educated, committed, enlightened workforce. And
that kind of workforce, if you poll them about where they want
to be, they cite two things again and again: education and
culture. Where you have culture in a community, you attract
people, and those people attract businesses, and those
communities start to change. We believe passionately that the
arts revitalize neighborhoods and communities. And we are very
committed to that.
Mr. Moran. That is a compelling argument. Mr. Simpson.
Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thanks for the
Mr. Moran. You are welcome.
Mr. Simpson. Now I owe you one. Geez, I am sure you are
going to get even at some point in time.
Mr. Moran. There will be opportunities.
``OUR TOWN'' INITIATIVE
Mr. Simpson. As I said, thanks for being here today.
Let us talk a little bit about Our Town. Five million
bucks. What can you do with $5 million dollars in terms of, I
think you said, planning and design? Give me an example of what
you might do. Grants are going to go out for a quarter of a
million dollars, up to a quarter of a million dollars, I think.
I guess the reason I ask this is I agree with what you say
and what you are trying to do. I wonder what you can do with
such a limited amount of money in terms of such a big scope of
planning and designing, especially when I look within the
budget request. And not for the NEA but for the National Park
Service, there was a program that has gone on for years called
``Save America's Treasures.'' We have used that funding for
seed money to restore theaters in communities, a place where
you go to watch plays and movies, those kind of things.
I seem to have lost my train of thought here. But the
problem is, we are reducing the budget here for that, and I
have seen the great work that it does. Reducing the budget over
here, the proposal to eliminate that, and now we are starting a
new program over here--which I am not opposed to--I am just
wondering how it is different, what it is going to do to
promote the arts in communities.
Mr. Landesman. The three components will be planning, which
might be the mapping of cultural assets in an area.
Mr. Simpson. Give me an example. What do you mean, mapping
of cultural assets?
Mr. Landesman. Finding out what is there, where they are,
what their needs are, how they relate to the communities and
each other. Basically to take stock of what is there.
Another element is design. That is a big component of this,
which is encouraging partnerships that link compelling
architecture, energetic streetscape, sustainable parks and
There is a great example of that in my hometown of St.
Louis, Missouri, where it used to be people would come down
from the suburbs to see a ball game at Busch Stadium, park in
the parking lot, drive right back to the suburbs. Now there is
something there called City Garden, which is an open, public
sculpture garden. The people now take time to mill through, to
visit and enjoy. And what happens is they end up milling around
downtown and engaging the rest of the city. They are not just
making a one-shot to the ballpark.
A lot of this involves preservation and creative reuse of
buildings. Boy, did I see that in Boise. The Egyptian Theater
is almost a poster child for this and its effect on the economy
of downtown. Look at the past development in that block which
is both preservation and creative reuse involved. This has a
direct, demonstrable effect on local economies.
In Old Town, taking a torpedo factory and making it into
one of the most engaging collections of art galleries that you
could possibly imagine. This is exactly what we are talking
about with Our Town. To me, it is not only wonderful for the
arts, but it is wonderful for the economies of every community
that we bring it to. And I feel very strongly about this.
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF ARTS FUNDING
Mr. Simpson. Are we being counterproductive in your
opinion--and maybe you do not want to answer this because it
deals with other areas of the budget--in eliminating a program
over here that I think is very important in terms of saving
historic treasures in this country, on the one hand, and
starting a program to do maybe the same thing but more broadly,
on the other hand?
Mr. Landesman. The historical treasures, that is out of my
Mr. Simpson. That would probably be a good thing not to
Mr. Landesman. That would be out of my league, I think. I
do know that these funds leverage very powerfully into the
economy. One great example is in Detroit where you have the old
General Motors Design Center that has fallen into disuse. It
has now been reborn as the Taubman Center where they are
training kids. There is an arts charter school and a college
there to train kids in the new economy. They are training them
in industrial design for the present day. It is the reuse of a
building, and it is the training for the new economy in
Mr. Simpson. Would it be like in Idaho Falls, where I am
from? Right along the river, by the falls, there is a nice
parking area and there is a road that goes by it, one of the
main roads. And the city is considering closing it down. They
have some nice artwork, outdoor artwork all along there, and
they are thinking about closing down the road, making it a
walking area, and connecting it with the Willard Theater which
is a performance arts center downtown. And they are looking to
do that to revitalize the downtown, the old downtown historic
Mr. Landesman. That is exactly right. I think the good news
is that the administration gets this, how these engagements go
across the typical Federal agency guidelines. The Secretary of
Transportation, Ray LaHood, doesn't view the Department of
Transportation just as an engineering and road building agency.
He views it directly related to the quality of life in a
So things like you have just described are very much in the
wheelhouse of the Department of Transportation and I think that
is a very exciting development.
THE BIG READ
Mr. Simpson. On another subject, just one more question
before we go on to Steve. The Big Read program, as we talked
about when you were out in Idaho, the program is very popular
throughout--Congress with Members of Congress throughout the
We had looked at, I guess, the goal at the time when it was
started as 10 pilot programs, and our goal was to reach 334
communities and stuff. With the $1.5 million we have, it has
been substantially reduced. You are looking at 75 communities
to do The Big Read in this year's budget. A substantial
reduction, refocusing. And I understand a new administration
has come in, they have different priorities, things they would
like to do a little differently, and you have every right to do
that, to put your emphasis on things that you think are
important like Our Town. But successful programs are successful
programs. And I think we all understand that The Big Read has
been a very successful program. Talk about what is going to
happen with that, if you would.
Mr. Landesman. The Big Read is a very, very popular NEA
program and it is popular with me. If I wasn't committed to The
Big Read, I would abolish it. We are maintaining it as the
largest funded NEA program.
What typically happens with these programs is they get
started up at a small level with seed money and maybe a few
pilot programs at first. An example of this would be
Shakespeare in American Communities or the Jazz Masters
Program. The Big Read is another example. They get ratcheted up
to a very high level as you are building awareness of it
throughout the country and you do a build-out to scale. And
then they tend to go to a maintenance level where you feel you
can have strong presence throughout the country at a very high
level on more of a maintenance commitment. And our $1.5 million
is dedicated to that. And I think it is going to maintain The
Big Read as a very, very strong program throughout this
Mr. Simpson. Do you expect, with the reduction that is
going on, communities seeing that this is a successful program,
to pick up the slack and move this program forward in other
communities without necessarily having the NEA involved in it,
just by seeing that it has been a successful program?
Mr. Landesman. That is the hope with every NEA program. If
the programs are that good, they are going to be sustained one
way or another. Certainly with our help, we have a major
commitment to it. But I think The Big Read is a program that
has been taken on by local communities everywhere and I am very
hopeful about its future.
Mr. Simpson. Thank you.
Mr. Moran. Mr. LaTourette.
Mr. LaTourette. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Landesman, nice to see you. I very much appreciated the
courtesy you provided by coming to see me a little while ago. I
didn't know you were a Trifecta winner. You hid that from me,
and maybe a little bit later if you are thinking of any lottery
numbers, you can share that with us.
I would like to pick up where Mr. Simpson dropped off. I am
a big fan of The Big Read program as well. Could you just--
because I don't know--tell me things like how often you swap
out the books, and how are the new books selected?
Mr. Landesman. We would have to get back with some staff
input on that. I am not familiar enough with the actual
mechanics of the program to be very enlightened. But we can get
some information for the record for sure.
[The information follows:]
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] T6647B.055
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] T6647B.056
Mr. LaTourette. I appreciate that.
Over my spring break I toured a company called ``Play
Away'' and I was blown away. They basically have developed the
technology where they have an MP-3 player that plays on a AAA
battery that is completely dedicated to a book. So they have an
agreement with the publisher, and it is very popular with
libraries and it is also very popular with the troops. Because
if you think about it, you can take it in a little thing like
this, a little tin, and you get one entire audio book with a
Mr. Landesman. I am a theater guy. I love literature. So
did my predecessor. I think literature is going to have a very,
very strong place in the NEA going forward.
CONTROVERSY AND NEA
Mr. LaTourette. Good. I appreciate that.
Mr. Simpson in his opening remarks talked a little bit
about some of the controversy at the NEA in the 1990s and so
on. And I am real familiar with that. And I said at last year's
hearing--and it is worth repeating--that there wouldn't be an
NEA if my mentor, Ralph Regula, hadn't stood up in the 1990s,
in the face of some pretty serious pressure on my side of the
aisle to defund it.
I can remember running for the first time in 1994, and you
would go to these very conservative groups that wanted to be
supportive. And they would say, the first thing you have to do
is eliminate the NEA, the NEH, and Public Broadcasting and
defund them. And there were certainly voices in the United
States Congress in 1995 that were on that track. And I fully
believe that Ralph Regula would have been the chairman of the
full committee if he had not taken that position back in the
1990s. I know that you know that, and I know you appreciate it.
But the purpose of that long introduction, because I really
don't want to suck up too much to Ralph because he is not
here--when he is here, I am really going to give a whole big
presentation. After last year's hearing there was, in fact, a
little dust-up going on.
We had a hearing, and I can remember hearing some of the
same voices. You go to a town hall meeting and say, wait a
minute, there is somebody at the NEA that is sending e-mails
around saying that the NEA should be there to support President
Obama and his policy. I don't know how you have a play about
cap and trade, but I suppose you could do that. But I am just
wondering what the status of that is relative to mission, and
what happened to that employee, and anything you want to tell
HATCH ACT AND ETHICS TRAINING
Mr. Landesman. Well, the fact is that it is my own personal
view that the arts should not be politicized in any way, shape
or form, particularly the NEA. And in fact, there was a period
before the time when I was confirmed, when I sent a very sharp
e-mail to a staff member that I knew at the NEA, expressing
alarm that there had been a meeting that seemed to have a
political purpose. The reference that you are making is to some
conference calls that the communication director of the NEA
attended without the authorization of the then-acting NEA
Chair. In fact, she had specifically instructed him not to go.
He went anyway, and the result is the dust-up that you are
There are a couple of things I can report. Number one, that
individual no longer works at the NEA. This occurred just
before I arrived, and I dealt with that after I got there. And
more specifically, I have instructed our general counsel to
conduct training sessions about the Hatch Act with all of our
staff at the NEA, including the senior staff and including
myself. That session was held in October and that is going to
be an annual thing, along with continual ethics instruction
from the general counsel. Ethics training is going to be part
of what you do when you get to the NEA, and I am going to do
everything to make sure nothing like that happens on my watch.
Mr. LaTourette. I really appreciate that answer. And I
think that that answer and that kind of attitude will make it a
lot easier for people on this side of the aisle to be
supportive of what it is you are doing. If any agency is seen
as an extension of either political party, it is not good for
the agency, and it is not good for the arts and so on and so
on. So I appreciate that answer. I wish you good luck.
Did you say you went to Twin Peaks, Idaho?
Mr. Landesman. Pardon?
Mr. LaTourette. Did you go to Twin Peaks, Idaho?
Mr. Landesman. I did.
Mr. LaTourette. Is that the TV show?
Mr. Landesman. Twin Falls. Twin Peaks is a TV show.
Mr. LaTourette. That is what I thought. I was just
wondering. And Twin Falls----
Mr. Landesman. I can say this about Twin Falls. It is far.
They are very good at distances there.
Mr. LaTourette. And they apparently have a theater there as
Mr. Landesman. There is a new theater and arts center being
built there, with one of the most amazing views of the Snake
River you are ever going to see.
Mr. LaTourette. I appreciate it. Thank you for being here.
And I wish you good luck in what you are doing.
Mr. Simpson. If I might respond, Mr. Chairman. I went down
to the Smithsonian the other day--and have any of you seen the
art collection down there; the framing of the West, of the
early photographs taken of the geological expeditions that were
done? The most photographs of any one site are of Twin Falls,
Idaho, and Shoshone Falls, and their beautiful theater.
Mr. LaTourette. I actually have that--the Librarian of
Congress gave me that book. It is on my coffee table and I will
look at that this week.
Mr. Simpson. Do that.
STATE ARTS COUNCILS
Mr. Moran. I am glad we have pursued that and clarified it.
Thank you, Mr. LaTourette and Mr. Simpson.
Let me just ask a couple of things. First of all, the State
Arts Councils are sort of disparaged in the way they are
dealing with the current recession. Some are maintaining their
budget. Others are cutting back on their budget. As far as I am
concerned, since this is very much a matter of leveraging, it
would be unfortunate to enable the States to supplant their own
contribution with Federal funds, so I would hope that not be
In other words, if a State is willing to hang in there and
provide its own resources, then it should be more likely to get
support. And those States that don't make it a priority,
perhaps the NEA ought to be going around the States to the
local levels that do understand how important art is to their
communities. That is just a comment.
RECOVERY ACT FUNDS
I have one question that I think is useful for the record.
Mr. Simpson, Mr. LaTourette, being enlightened people, they are
not going to raise these kinds of questions. But there will be
Mr. Landesman. You will.
Mr. Moran. No. No, I am probably not going to, to be honest
with you. But I want to be prepared to respond to those who
bring up questions that are unsubstantiated by the facts. And
one issue that they might raise is some of the performances or
shows or whatever that were funded by the Recovery Act funds,
the $50 million that was in the Recovery Act, you can't and
don't try to control those. And I want to make it clear for the
record, what you did was to enable people who are currently
employed in large part to be sustained in their efforts to
maintain artistic activities. So you were providing jobs, not
funding specific projects or shows or whatever. That was up to
the discretion of the individuals.
You might want to elaborate on that for just a moment, Mr.
Mr. Landesman. Yes indeed, and thank you. The process for
our grants was similar to the normal grant-making process.
There is a panel review submitted to the council and to the
chairman, except in this case it was somewhat accelerated. We
had readers, because there was a very condensed time frame that
we had to get these grants out. But the criteria were
different. What the panelists were looking at in terms of the
ARRA-related proposals was one thing--job preservation and
creation. That was the evaluation metric. If it preserved a job
or created a job and it could be proven and established, that
proposal would get a high mark. If not, not. That was the sole
criteria. This was about jobs.
Mr. Moran. Good for you. Well, that is what it was intended
to do. And I am glad you clarified that so that any criticism
of activities that were funded would be misdirected at the NEA.
If the criticism is proper, then it should be at those local
activities and the judgment of individuals that were not under
your control, of course.
With that, Mr. Simpson did you have any further questions?
Mr. Simpson. Yeah, I do. Let me follow up on what you just
said, though. The American taxpayer looks at it as their tax
dollars. They don't care if it goes to the NEA, the local
people, or who it goes to. They look at it as my taxdollar
going to something that they think might be inappropriate.
So the NEA has to be--even though you put it out as a grant
and the grantee makes the final decision, et cetera, that
doesn't sell with the American public that might be opposed to
some of the stuff. And I think that is how we get ourselves
into the situation that occurred in the 1990s.
So the NEA has to be responsible for those grants by
putting some type of, I don't know, guidelines on what some of
this stuff can be done. Because what I don't want to do, I
don't want to go through the 1990s again, and I am sure you
don't either. We want to move the arts forward in the country.
Tell me about where our country stands in terms of public
support for the arts versus other countries, if you would.
Because I know you have had some comments on that in the past,
and, fortunately or unfortunately for you, your comments always
Mr. Landesman. Well, there are really two questions there.
One is, as you know, we have a very thorough review process for
our normal grant-making efforts that have a lot to do with the
proprietary quality of the individual grants and the
appropriateness of them. And I think we do a very good job of
monitoring that. The ARRA grants were specifically about jobs
and were in a different category, really.
Mr. Simpson. They are in a different category. But the
public is going--if they think something is inappropriate and
they are funded with their tax dollars, they don't care what
category it is in or whether it is about jobs or anything else.
They are going, ``What the hell is going on with my tax
dollars?'' And ultimately we have to be responsible for it.
Ultimately we are responsible in Congress.
Mr. Landesman. But going forward, the NEA grants with the
budget that we have been given are going to be given according
to the processes that we have been using all along. I think you
have seen in recent years those have been very effective.
Mr. Simpson. Before you answer the second question on that,
are you going to recommend changes to the guidelines that
Congress has put in place? You suggested that before, because
supporting the arts is supporting artists, and, of course, we
have gone a different direction in years since the 1990s. And
you suggested maybe that we need to be changing direction a
AMERICAN PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR THE ARTS
Mr. Landesman. That is not part of my agenda this year.
The other question is an interesting one--and I have to be
a little careful how I answer, because I am here to defend the
present submitted budget, which I very much believe in. If you
are talking about the United States and how it compares to the
rest of the developed world, there is a sharp contrast in the
level of public arts support. There is no question. England is
the country in Europe that is the worst supporter of the arts
in terms of public dollars and their budget for the arts is
$900 million. That would translate in the United States to $4.6
billion alone per capita basis. We are not going to see that in
my lifetime or yours. And we are not exactly comparing apples
and apples here, because we have a much stronger private sector
engagement with the arts and support of the arts in the United
States than they do in Europe. But from a purely public
perspective, there is no question that support of the arts is
much greater in Europe.
Mr. Simpson. Does Europe have, or other countries have the
same type of tax benefits that we have in this country for----
Mr. Landesman. Not always. We have a system that encourages
private giving, and that is one of the reasons we have such
strong private participation and support for the arts, no
Mr. Simpson [continuing]. Well, thank you. And thanks for
being here today. I look forward to working with you to try to
advance the arts in this country. You do an important job.
Mr. Landesman. Thank you very much.
Mr. Moran. Thank you, Mr. Simpson.
Mr. LaTourette, did you have anything? Okay.
Very well done, Mr. Chairman, in your first appearance. I
hope there are going to be many, and we look forward to seeing
the impact that you are going to have on this country. We fully
understand that there is no finer person with more
qualifications, but, more importantly, more motivation and
insight into how to make the arts defining of our civilization
than you, Mr. Chairman. So, Mr. Landesman, thank you very, very
Mr. Landesman. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Moran. Thank you. Very good.
We are going to recess for just a few moments. I think that
what we will do is wait for Chairwoman Slaughter. As soon as
Chairwoman Slaughter arrives, we will begin hearing from her,
and then we will hear from the Arts Advocacy Council. Very
good. Thank you very much.
[Questions for the record begin on page 659.]
Tuesday, April 13, 2010.
CONGRESSIONAL ARTS CAUCUS
CONGRESSWOMAN LOUISE M. SLAUGHTER, CO-CHAIR, CONGRESSIONAL ARTS CAUCUS
Opening Statement: Chairman Moran
Mr. Moran. Chairman Slaughter, it is nice to have you with
Ms. Slaughter. Thank you very much. Are you----
Mr. Moran. Waiting for you, yes.
Ms. Slaughter [continuing]. If I could find my way into the
chair, that would be impressive, wouldn't it?
Mr. Moran. Which chair do you want?
Ms. Slaughter. I should have brought one with me, it looks
like. Okay, are you ready for me?
Mr. Moran. We have been waiting for you.
Ms. Slaughter. Well, that is not good. I hope you don't
hold that against me.
Mr. Moran. You are well worth the wait.
Ms. Slaughter. Thank you so much.
Mr. Moran. It is a privilege to have you here today as the
cochair of the Congressional Arts Caucus. You have been a
tireless champion of the arts. Even during the dark days, you
Ms. Slaughter. Especially those days, yes.
Mr. Moran. Yes. But we are not going to focus on those
days. We are going to focus on the future. And we want to thank
you for your ongoing support, your leadership among our
colleagues. And we look forward to hearing your remarks.
But before that I would like to call on Mr. Simpson, the
ranking member of the subcommittee. Mike.
Mr. Simpson. Thank you for being here today. We look
forward to your testimony.
Ms. Slaughter. Thank you very much.
Mr. Moran. Very good. Louise, it is all yours.
Testimony of Ms. Louise Slaughter
Ms. Slaughter. I appreciate that. Thank you, Chairman
Moran, Ranking Member Simpson, for the opportunity to testify
before the subcommittee today on an issue that everybody in the
House I think knows is very important to me: the promotion of
arts and culture through the support of the National Endowment
for the Arts.
Mr. Chairman, it is a pleasure to work with you and Mr.
Simpson, and we appreciate all the support that you have given
us. And I also want to thank Congressman Todd Platts for
joining me in leading the Congressional Caucus in the 111th
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE ARTS
Our creative industries have not been immune to the ongoing
economic crisis. In fact, they have been particularly hard hit
as corporate donations decrease, consumer spending on arts and
culture activities dwindle, organizations struggle to maintain
their budgets, and arts and humanities funding decline as
States struggle to manage their own fiscal challenges.
As our Nation continues to shift from an industrial
manufacturing economy to one based on ideas and information,
cities and States increasingly recognize that arts and culture
are important economic assets. These industries create jobs,
attract investment, generate tax revenues, and stimulate local
economies through tourism and urban renewal. And that is why
both the National Governors Association and U.S. Conference of
Mayors agree that investing in art and culture and related
industries provides important economic benefits to local and
It is also no surprise that America's overall nonprofit
arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion--that is
with a ``b''--in economic activity every year. The national
impact of this activity is significant. It supports 5.7 million
jobs and generates $29.6 billion in government revenue. And
gentlemen, it is my belief that we do not invest in anything in
the House or the Congress that brings back that kind of return
into the national Treasury.
Moreover, in fiscal year 2009, the NEA awarded more than
$110 million through almost 2,400 grants, reaching all 435
While the NEA's budget represents less than 1 percent of
total arts philanthropy in the United States, the NEA grants
have a powerful multiplying effect. And each grant dollar
typically generates seven to eight times more money in the
matching grants. And, again, no other Federal agency or private
organization facilitates the nationwide access to exceptional
art to this extent.
As you know, NEA's funding was slashed by 40 percent in
1995, in 1996, and we have never recovered from the cuts that
were sustained. We appreciate the $10 million increase for the
NEA in fiscal year 2009 and the $12.5 million increase in
fiscal year 2010. Nevertheless, its invaluable programs remain
seriously underfunded and the agency continues to struggle to
meet the growing demand for its popular programs.
From the work of nonprofit art agencies to the impact of
cultural tourism, the creative sector is important to State
economies all across this country. Federal support for
America's nonprofit cultural organizations must go on if we
hope to continue to enjoy the substantial benefits that they
In addition to the economic benefits, we must continue to
expose our children to the arts. This is essential if we ever
hope for them to reach their fullest potential. We know from
studies--that have been quite surprising to numbers of us--the
great benefits of the arts, but the exposure to the arts
fosters learning, discovery, and achievement in the country.
Research has proven that participation in arts education
programs stimulates the creative, holistic, subjective, and
intuitive portions of the human brain. Now employers today,
both in America and abroad, are looking for creative and
dynamic young men and women to fill their rosters. Learning
through the arts reinforces crucial academic skills in reading,
language arts, and especially math which is a fascinating
thing, the connection between the mind and the keyboard. But
just as important, learning through the arts gives young people
the skills that they need to analyze and to synthesize
information and to solve complex problems. Educating children
early and continuously in the arts will prepare them for work
in today's innovative and creative post-industrial society.
BENEFITS OF THE ARTS
But these benefits are not what ultimately draw people to
the arts. People seek experiences with arts for emotional and
cognitive stimulation. We know the transformative power of a
great book, a painting, or a song. You only have to mention
``Amazing Grace'' to me and I start to blubber. A work of art
can evoke extraordinary feelings of captivation, deep
involvement, amazement, and wonder. This evocative power is so
rare in a world where we tend to grasp things almost
exclusively in terms of their relationship to practical needs
Stimulating this mental and intellectual activity not only
enhances our creativity and imagination but also strengthens
our ability to empathize with others, deepens our understanding
of the human spirit. In today's globalized world, these factors
must not be ignored. We cannot assign a price tag to the
intrinsic benefits the arts bestow on both individuals and
across communities and society as a whole.
I know that there are lots of important requests for money
before your subcommittee this year, and I know that many
Federal agencies are struggling to overcome funding shortages.
But I am compelled today to ask that you take into
consideration the returns we get on our investment in the arts.
American artists share with us a piece of their spirit and
their soul with every creation. It is a labor of love for
artists and it brightens the life of each of us, bringing us
joy and comfort and enlightenment and understanding in ways
impossible to find otherwise. The arts and artists of America
are a national treasure and we should revere them. They and
they alone tell us who we are, who we were, and who we aspire
to be. This great Nation needs, deserves, and must support art
as do other nations around the globe.
Again I thank you for the opportunity to testify before you
today and urge you to continue the support for the NEA funding.
Mr. Moran. Thank you very much, Madam Chairwoman. That was
a superb statement and consistent with the insight that you
have provided us for years.
I don't know whether the audience is aware of this, but Ms.
Slaughter is the chairperson of the Rules Committee, which
means everything that gets to the floor has to go through her.
She has enormous responsibility, particularly with regard to
the health-care bill that was just passed. It really had to
come out of her committee. But with all that she has to do,
this is and has been and will continue to be a priority, and we
really appreciate that, Ms. Slaughter.
I have asked Mr. Landesman to, as long as he can afford the
time this morning, to sit at the table, because it is the
National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Endowment for
the Humanities which is the opportunity the Congress has to put
its money where its mouth is. And Mr. Landesman provided just
superb testimony and responses to our questions today.
Ms. Slaughter. He is so remarkable. Yes, he is. I think we
are so lucky to have him. We look forward to some really quite
remarkable things under his leadership.
Mr. Moran. We could not find anyone finer for this position
Mr. Simpson. Thank you for your statement. Everyone should
know that it is not because you are Chairman of the Rules
Committee and everything has to go through you that we treat
you with such respect. It is because you are a great Member.
Ms. Slaughter. Oh, no. I understand that Rules has nothing
to do with that.
Mr. Simpson. It is because you are a great Member of
Ms. Slaughter. Sure.
Mr. Simpson. And I appreciate your opening statement and
your support for the arts. Thank you for being here.
Ms. Slaughter. Thank very much.
Mr. Moran. And Ms. Slaughter, one more thing. Not to be
crude here, but do you think you could open your jacket a
little to show your ``Will Power Shirt''? It is all by Will
I love it. And all color coordinated.
Ms. Slaughter. Thank you.
Mr. Moran. Well done. Thank you, Madam.
And I know you, too, Mr. Lynch, would want to be
accompanied by Mr. Landesman at the table.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Lynch. Absolutely.
Mr. Moran. And then for logistical purposes, each
subsequent speaker, if you don't mind, would sit between you
and Mr. Landesman while they give their testimony.
Mr. Lynch. That is perfect.
Mr. Moran. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Lynch. Please proceed.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010.
PUBLIC WITNESS HEARING: AMERICAN ADVOCATES FOR THE ARTS
ROBERT L. LYNCH, PRESIDENT AND CEO, AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS
MICHAEL NUTTER, MAYOR OF PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
KYLE MacLACHLAN, EMMY-NOMINATED TV, FILM, AND STAGE ACTOR
TERRI ALDRICH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MINOT AREA COUNCIL OF THE ARTS
BRIGADIER GENERAL NOLEN V. BIVENS, U.S. ARMY (RET.)
CHARLES SEGARS, CEO, OVATION TV
JEFF DANIELS, GOLDEN GLOBE-NOMINATED FILM AND STAGE ACTOR
Testimony of Robert Lynch
Mr. Lynch. Well, first of all, I want to just say it is an
honor to follow Louise Slaughter, the great leader of the
Congressional Arts Caucus, the co-chair.
And it is wonderful to be sitting with Rocco Landesman.
What a wonderful choice as the new chair for the National
Endowment for the Arts. And I am very much impressed with his
energy and ideas, coming faster than a lot of us can actually
anticipate them, and I love that. I think that is exactly what
I want to say congratulations, first of all, to Chairman
Moran as the new committee chair. We have had the wonderful
opportunity to work together for years, but it is great to have
you in this role. And, also, I don't see Congressman Dicks, but
convey our thanks to him for his great work. Also, to be able
to work again with Ranking Member Simpson. Thank you so much
for all that you have done. And all the other honorable Members
I have a unique privilege in that I have actually been to
every one of the congressional districts in my work and had a
chance to see the artwork, the arts organizations in each one
of the congressional districts of each one of the committee
members. I have some favorites, but I am not going to say what
What I want to say also, if this is okay with you, is that
I have given written testimony, and rather than read from
Mr. Moran. It will be included in the record, and if you
wouldn't mind summarizing, that would be great, Mr. Lynch.
Mr. Lynch. Thank you.
So, in the written testimony, the main point is that we are
hoping that the committee would consider an increase for the
National Endowment for the Arts, and the figure that we put
forward is $180 million for fiscal year 2011 for the National
Endowment for the Arts.
There are a few key points that I would make, and then I
will amplify them, but they are this. The first is that I thank
you and we thank you, and those two words are not said enough,
but we thank you on behalf of 100,000 nonprofit arts
organizations in America for what you have done. Because money
that is given to the National Endowment for the Arts is the
fulcrum that leverages all the rest of the money in a $63
billion nonprofit arts industry.
The second point that I would make is that the arts today
are more important and necessary than ever in the United
States. And we have submitted creative industries data for each
congressperson here to show exactly what is going on in each of
your districts in terms of numbers.
The third point for me is that support for the arts in
America, particularly right now, last year, this year and going
into next year, is at risk. It is not anyone's fault; it is the
economy. But that economy, just like every other industry,
affects our industry--public-sector dollars, private-sector
dollars, even earned income, ticket sales. It is a great
industry, it has had huge growth, but, like any other industry,
it needs a little bit of a boost. You gave it last year with
increases in the last three years, and you gave it with the
economy recovery money, as well.
And then, finally, I just want to point out that you, this
committee in particular and Congress as a whole, can make a big
difference with a modest addition. Sometimes I don't think that
the committee understands the power of what it has done over
the last 50 years--45 years, actually. When the National
Endowment for the Arts began 45 years ago, there were only
7,000 nonprofit arts organizations in America. The essential
leveraging money that you have put in over those years and the
ability to create a network, a web all across the Nation has
resulted in 100,000 nonprofit arts organizations. That is a
growth statistic that any industry would find wonderful.
And that does not include the fact that, if you add in the
for-profit businesses in America, it is--according to Dun &
Bradstreet, not Americans for the Arts, that is 668,000
businesses, nonprofit and for-profit, that are arts-centric in
the United States of America.
So my ``thank you'' to you is on behalf of 86 national
organizations representing literature and folk arts and visual
arts, performing arts, ethnic diversity, that are all assembled
today for National Arts Advocacy Day. And the theme is, ``The
arts build communities''--the arts at the core as something
that can actually advance community development. And I am
certainly seeing that as some of the things that Chairman
Landesman and the NEA are talking about, as well.
Our witnesses today, who I will call up one at a time,
rural communities are represented, like Chelsea, Michigan, and
Minot, North Dakota; urban areas like the great city of
Philadelphia; the global community, with a discussion about the
use of the arts as a diplomatic strategy; and corporate
support, how corporate support works with government to enrich
the cultural life for all.
What you did three years ago was to increase the budget by
$20 million; two years ago, $10.3 million; last year, $12.5
million; which brought it up to $167.5 million, almost to where
it was when it was slashed over a decade ago. Our hope is that,
this year, with a $12.5 increase it goes to figure that
represents, again, reaching that goal and just slightly
RECOVERY ACT FUNDING
Last year, also, the $50 million economic recovery money
was something that helped save jobs all across the country in
the nonprofit arts sector. I think that you need to know that
it worked. It worked dramatically. It is a story that I have
seen told a number of times throughout the country in
newspapers, where the NEA money which was administered quickly
and effectively got out there: helped save jobs at the Idaho
Shakespeare Theater; helped save jobs at Signature Theater in
Arlington; helped save 22 arts organization jobs in Seattle; 16
nonprofit arts organizations across the State of Oklahoma;
Broward County, jazz musicians there; and in Ohio, the Great
Lakes Theater Festival, just to mention a few that happen to
have connections to committee members.
Real people, real jobs, real bills paid. Sometimes it is
funny, people kind of think that the arts and jobs in the arts
are not the same thing, that this happens by magic or this
happens--it is magic, but these people still have to go home
and pay the mortgage and pay the bills. And you helped make
All 50 States were affected, and I think that that is
something that I saw go out with $16.8 million through the
States, $4.8 million through the locals, and $25 million
direct. Congratulations to the United States Congress for
having done that.
STATES AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES
The arts are more important than ever. Last night Mayor Joe
Riley, who a number of the committee members know, 35 years the
mayor of Charleston, spoke for our annual Nancy Hanks lecture.
We had about 1,500 people in the audience. And he talked about
investment in the arts and investment in design as something
that he saw, throughout the country, with 800 other mayors,
create a better city for all citizens, create a better America
for all Americans. Cost-effective solution through the arts to
a lot of problems, or at least a partner in the solution to
problems: jobs, economic development, community development,
youth at risk, and so on.
That is why the United States Conference of Mayors talks
about the arts as one of the ten things that they hope this
administration will do to make for a better America and better
cities in America. That is why the National Governors
Association has a report out that talks about the importance of
the creative sector for the competitive global economy. That is
why the Conference Board of CEOs all across Fortune 500
companies in America has a study that says the arts equal
creativity, and creative workers in the 21st century is what
businesses want in America, the arts as part of the solution.
The NEA plays a hugely important leveraging role in this,
not only directly. Indirectly, the Federal Government has many
resources that help the arts: HUD, Education, Transportation.
And, often, the NEA impetus is what leads to leveraging dollars
in those areas, as well.
At the State and local level, we have seen the great
matching power of the NEA create almost $300 million worth of
annual State appropriations. And that will be better when taxes
are higher. And at the local level, we see that the previous
LAA program, with a two-to-one match, was the great engine that
leveraged almost a billion dollars of local government support
for the arts that still continues today. That program does not,
and we encourage the subcommittee to work again on a formal
regranting partnership program to help arts organizations of
all sizes in all communities.
I could go on about all the other leveraging impacts, but
you get the picture.
DIMINISHING FUNDING REASONS
The support is at risk. And it is at risk because nonprofit
organizations get their money three ways: They sell things.
Disposable income is down, so that is a little bit harder. They
get private donations, 40 percent of their money. That has seen
a slippage over the last decade and, in the last year, down 6.5
percent. And they get government money, 10 percent of their
money, most of it from locals and States, but we have seen an
overall diminishment by $1 billion.
So, finally, my point is: You can make a difference. Thirty
years ago, the NEA received 12 cents per $100 of non-military
discretionary spending. Today, it is 3 cents per $100. And,
yes, today we are in the middle of a creative industries
economy. We are at the start of recovery right now, and it
makes sense to me to invest in this great engine of
One interesting thing for me, at Americans for the Arts
here in Washington, D.C., we are seeing a foreign delegation
every 2 weeks, from China, from Brazil, from the Netherlands,
from Russia, all in the last month. What are they here to learn
from us? How does this great American system work, and how can
they beat it to attract people to those countries to see their
It is a time for us to make a small investment and have
really big dividends. I want to simply say thank you for all
that you have done.
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Mr. Moran. Thanks very much, Mr. Lynch.
INCREASES TO NEA BUDGET
Mr. Simpson. Just a quick question.
Thank you for your testimony, Robert. I appreciate that
The question is actually for Rocco. This is the danger of
staying around after your testimony.
Mr. Landesman. My mistake.
Mr. Simpson. We know you support the President's budget
request. OMB says that is what you have to do. We are not bound
by that. What if this committee were able to increase the
budget? The proposal now is, what, a decrease of $6 million.
What if we were able to find the money to provide the $180
million that was requested by Robert. Do you have plans for
that? Do you have a place where that would go? Where would it
Mr. Landesman. I think the Our Town Initiative would make
that money powerfully leveraged. There is no question. We could
roll it out to more places. We could do a lot more with that
money, there is no doubt about it.
Mr. Simpson. Would some of it go into Big Read?
Mr. Landesman. It could.
Mr. Simpson. That tells you where I am coming from.
Mr. Moran. Very good. Thank you.
Mr. Lynch, thank you very much.
And now we will hear from the mayor of the great city of
Philadelphia, Michael Nutter.
Testimony of Mayor Michael Nutter
Mr. Lynch. It gives me a lot of pleasure to introduce our
first witness. And before being elected mayor in 2007, Michael
Nutter served as city councilman for nearly 15 years,
representing Philadelphia's fourth district, one of the city's
largest. He is a longtime friend of the arts and can speak
about the social, civic, and economic benefits of the arts and
the economic impact, because we brought our conference there
two years ago, and it was a great several days.
Mr. Moran. Mayor, you are on. Thank you for being here.
Mr. Nutter. Mr. Chairman, thank you very, very much, and
Ranking Member Simpson, members of this House Appropriations
subcommittee. Thank you for providing me the opportunity to
testify before you today.
My name is Michael A. Nutter. I am mayor of the city of
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am delighted to be here on Arts
Advocacy Day representing the United States Conference of
Mayors in cities all across America. I am also pleased and
honored, as well, to be in support of Rocco Landesman at the
NEA, Robert Lynch at Americans for the Arts, and of course our
great president, Mayor Kautz, and our executive director, Tom
Cochran, at the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
I am here to ask the subcommittee to approve a budget
request of $180 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
for the creation, preservation, and presentation of the arts in
ARTS IN PHILADELPHIA
Philadelphia is truly a city of neighborhoods, and I can
assure you that in every neighborhood in our city you can see
the presence and feel the impact of the arts. The arts anchor
our neighborhoods. They are an integral part of our civic
identity, a vital part of the fabric of the Philadelphia
community life, and a key ingredient in the education and
enrichment of our children, and a major sector of our economy.
There are millions of dollars spent on the arts in the
Philadelphia region, supporting thousands of jobs. It is a
major sector of our economy. And, with the new arrival of
institutions like the Barnes Foundation, it will grow larger
still. To give you some context, more than 40,000 people in
Philadelphia depend on art and culture for their livelihoods in
Shortly after taking office in 2008, I demonstrated my
commitment to the arts by reestablishing, as I had committed as
a candidate, reestablishing the Office of Arts, Culture, and
the Creative Economy and by creating the position of chief
cultural officer. I am joined here today by my chief cultural
officer, Gary Steuer, and his deputy, Moira Baylson. The office
gives the public a single point of contact for the arts and
creative industries and an enthusiastic partner in creative
As a city, we seek to employ the arts to strengthen city
services and improve the lives of Philadelphians. I increased
the allocation to the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the city's
arts grant-making body, from $2.2 million to $3.2 million in my
first year. Even in tough times, cultural organizations can be
a catalyst to population growth, workforce development, and a
Furthermore, I established the Mayor's Cultural Advisory
Council and appointed a distinguished group of cultural
leaders, who are an incredible resource to me and to this newly
created office. The council's role is to make sure we are truly
representing and addressing the needs of the arts community and
In addition to supporting and nurturing the arts community
in Philadelphia, I am always looking for creative ways the arts
can help us achieve our larger visionary goals. I applaud NEA
Chairman Rocco Landesman for his commitment to working across
agencies at the Federal level. Likewise, we in Philadelphia see
the value and we have been looking to the arts as a tool to
strengthen programs in services across our city departments,
especially in the areas of health, housing, prisons, planning
and economic development, transportation, and education.
Just last Friday, our Philadelphia Streets Department
organized an event to promote our new anti-litter campaign
called UnLitter Us, a movement to clean up Philadelphia. And it
featured the talents of spoken-word poets and musicians.
Through our internationally renowned Mural Arts Program,
Philadelphia uses art to improve public safety, education, and
youth development. Mural Arts works with our court system, our
prisoner reentry program, and other groups to build healthy,
sustainable neighborhoods, using community-based public art
projects. Each year, the Mural Arts Program works with more
than 100 communities and employs more than 300 artists,
revitalizing open spaces and remediating blight with colorful
and innovative public arts projects. To date, Philadelphia has
nearly 3,000 public murals throughout our city. The city has
truly earned the nickname ``the city of murals.''
Arts education is critical to the success of our education
goals. This year, the city's Philadelphia Cultural Fund
launched a new program, the Youth Arts Enrichment Program, to
foster youth engagement in the arts. The program will
distribute $350,000 in grants to exemplary arts education
programs. Also, through a newly created organization, Arts
Rising, there is a commitment to improving and expanding
equitable access to arts education for all children in the
greater Philadelphia region.
RECOVERY ACT FUNDING
Several weeks ago, I announced the recipients of the
Creative Industry Workforce Grants, a new and groundbreaking
program funded through the Community Development Block Grant,
CDBG, from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This
program is a partnership among Philadelphia's Office of Arts,
Culture, and the Creative Economy and our Philadelphia
Department of Commerce and other city agencies. Eight creative
businesses received grants, ranging from $20,000 to $100,000,
for construction or renovation of affordable artist workspaces,
performance spaces, and creative multi-tenant spaces. From a
pool of $500,000 of our CDBG money, grants for capital
improvements will stimulate our economy. Businesses were
selected based on their ability to serve low- and moderate-
income neighborhoods and to create permanent jobs. This
exciting new program is already serving as a national model for
the use of CDBG funds for the arts and creative sectors.
Many of Philadelphia's acclaimed museums, visual arts,
historic sites, theaters, dance companies, music organizations,
universities, and arts education organizations are the
recipients of NEA funding. This funding supports the creation
of new works of art, both visual and performance. It fosters
collaborations between organizations, supports education
programming, funds research and marketing efforts, the creation
of public art, and free and low-cost access to museums and
theaters. In the case of ARRA funding, NEA funds saved jobs.
This year, Philadelphia organizations also received funding
through a $50 million allocation to NEA from the ARRA.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the largest museums
in the country, with a remarkable collection, notable exhibit
programs, and exemplary arts education programs, received some
of these. Its free and low-cost programs are accessible to all
Philadelphians, made possible with your support.
The internationally acclaimed Philadelphia Orchestra
produces Arts in the Park, a series of performances in
Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, our Mann Center for the
Performing Arts, as well as free neighborhood concerts
throughout the city. Both organizations are funded by the NEA.
The Kimmel Center and its many resident companies, located
in the heart of our downtown arts district, is also funded by
the NEA. One of the resident companies, Philadanco, hosted the
22nd annual International Conference of Blacks in Dance in
partnership with the University of the Arts in Philadelphia,
again funded by a grant through the NEA. This conference
brought together dance professionals from all across the United
States, Canada, and the Caribbean to network, strategize, and
share their artistic experiences.
And while there has been some criticism about the use of
recovery funding for arts organizations, I cannot more strongly
emphasize and reiterate my support for organizations and
initiatives funded through the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act. Philadelphia organizations such as Pig Iron
Theatre Company and Spiral Q Puppet Theater are award-winning,
highly regarded, and successful businesses that are important
members of Philadelphia's economy. These organizations receive
grants directly through NEA for the purpose of saving real jobs
for real Philadelphians.
The city's Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative
Economy also partnered with the Greater Philadelphia Cultural
Alliance to distribute $225,000 to organizations as job-
retention grants. Ten organizations received grants, and ten
jobs were saved as a result.
There has been overwhelming support from Philadelphia's
civic leaders and residents for these investments in the arts.
The recovery funding provided by the NEA was spent efficiently
and made an immediate impact in Philadelphia. There is just no
question that this money was spent well. And I believe that
annual funding from NEA is essential to strengthening and
transforming our communities.
MAYORS' INSTITUTE ON CITY DESIGN
Lastly, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the Mayors'
Institute on City Design, a program of the United States
Conference of Mayors, the National Endowment for the Arts, and
the American Architectural Foundation. We are very excited
about NEA's grant program, the MICD 25, which will provide up
to $250,000 to cities using the arts as part of the plan to
create and sustain livable communities.
On his recent visit to Philadelphia, Chairman Landesman
toured the Crane Arts Building, a 120,000-square-foot multi-
tenant arts facility in a former plumbing supplies building.
Chairman Landesman called Philadelphia a leader in reshaping
our post-industrial communities into arts communities. I am, of
course, honored by this statement.
But we are also challenged, and now we must continue our
progress forward in this area. We look forward to our Federal
partner, the NEA, as not just a funder but also as a policy-
maker in recognizing how these and other initiatives can impact
the health and vitality of cities all across America. Through
my work with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, I know that mayors
all across the country share a mutual support for the NEA.
The NEA is at work in Philadelphia and many other
communities across America. Its programs have tremendous impact
on our citizens' lives and on our local economy. The NEA is
critical for the continued development of American cities as
centers of art and culture. When properly funded, NEA can
foster artistic excellence for generations to come.
It is a great honor for the city of Philadelphia that I
would have this opportunity to give testimony today. Thank you
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Mr. Moran. So I guess we don't have to worry about Brady's
or Chaka's votes on the arts, right, Mayor? You will take care
of that for us?
Mr. Nutter. Mr. Chairman, I work on those every day.
Mr. Moran. That is the spirit. We don't envy you.
Mike, do you have anything?
Mr. Simpson. No questions.
Thank you for being here.
Mr. Moran. Okay. Thanks very much.
Mr. Nutter. Thank you very much.
Testimony of Kyle MacLachlan
Mr. Moran. I may usurp your role for a moment in
introducing the next witness, Bob, because I really enjoyed
talking with him this morning.
Kyle MacLachlan--he started out in Washington State with
repertory theater when he was still in high school. That got
him turned--come on up here, Kyle. He has played some
tremendous roles in David Lynch's almost surreal films, ``Blue
Velvet'' and ``Dune.'' And then Jim Morrison's band, The Doors,
changed people's perspective on music. There was this
phenomenal keyboardist, and you played him perfectly in that
Oliver Stone movie.
And then, of course, I feel as though I know you because my
wife and I try to get home early enough on Sunday so we can
watch ``Desperate Housewives.'' You do a great job as Orson
Hodge. And then in ``Sex and the City''--and, of course, you
were terrific in ``Twin Peaks,'' winning a Golden Globe.
Now, Bob, did you have anything else you wanted to say
Mr. Lynch. I think you have covered it, sir.
Mr. Simpson. Well, Mr. Chairman, I have something I would
like to say.
Mr. Moran. Please, Mr. Simpson.
Mr. Simpson. I found out when looking at this that we have
something in common. I am a dog lover. My wife and I have two
dogs at home, Snickers and Nibs. And you have, what is it,
Mookie and Sam?
Mr. MacLachlan. Mookie and Sam.
Mr. Simpson. And you have created a Web site,
mookieandsam.com, and that these dogs talk?
Mr. MacLachlan. Yeah. Well, I----
Mr. Simpson. Somebody needs to see this, if you haven't
seen it yet. It is----
Mr. MacLachlan. Actually, it is partly responsible--my wife
is in the audience here, and----
Mr. Moran. Oh, stand up. There you go. Thank you.
Mrs. MacLachlan. We are dog-obsessed, it is true.
Mr. MacLachlan. Yes, it is true.
Mr. Simpson. Me and my wife are dog-obsessed, too. Thanks
for being here today.
Mr. MacLachlan. Well, we come from the same part of the
country, so maybe----
Mr. Moran. I trust they are not Portuguese water dogs.
Mr. Simpson. Have you got something against Portuguese
Mr. Moran. Ted Kennedy unloaded one of his on----
Mr. Simpson. You don't unload a dog.
Mr. Moran. Well, no. I mean, it is wonderful, but she
insists on sleeping with us, with the head on the pillow and--
Mr. Simpson. That is what dogs do.
Mr. Moran. I know they do. But, they are wonderful.
Anyways, I think we are digressing a bit, and you may have
wanted to talk about the arts, perhaps. So, Mr. MacLachlan, you
Mr. MacLachlan. Well, good morning, Chairman Moran and
Ranking Member Simpson, members of the subcommittee. Let me
express what an incredible honor it is for me to be here to
testify in front of you. This is well outside my wheelhouse,
but I am very happy to be here. And it is an issue that I am
passionate about, and it also happens to concern my job.
So, as you said, my name is Kyle MacLachlan. I am an actor
and member of the Americans for the Arts Artists Committee.
One sidebar: I did think your appearance on ``Hardball''
was pretty special last week. Just wanted to----
Mr. Moran. Thank you.
Mr. MacLachlan. Well done.
Mr. Moran. Well, that makes me feel good.
I am not sure would you agree with the--well, I think you
probably would have, Mike. Actually, I think you would have on
that one, yeah, absolutely.
Mr. MacLachlan. Yeah. It was a good job.
Mr. Moran. Thank you.
Mr. MacLachlan. You are welcome.
I am here today to speak about how the arts have not only
enriched this country but also served as public support for my
As we all struggle with the current economic downturn,
congressional leaders such as yourselves face the enormous
challenge of getting people back to work. It is especially
important to me to underscore the struggles of those in the
creative community who are facing the same demands on their
When Bob asked me to participate in this event, I started
to think about my roots and the opportunities that I had had
growing up, and realized that I took many of these for granted
simply because they were available to me.
My first significant relationship with the theater was when
I was about 10 and my mom volunteered me and my brothers to
help out at the local community theatre in Yakima, Washington,
my hometown. Our theatre was a converted apple storage
warehouse and had been turned into a vibrant nonprofit
performance stage theatre and community resource. And my
brothers and I would help out during the summer musical and the
Our little theatre was a real good example of how the arts
can have a positive economic and civic effect on a small
community. It was a lot of work, as you can imagine. The
audiences absolutely loved it. It gave my mom and many others
like her a tremendous source of pride in serving her community.
And because it was a town hub, it generated a lot of buzz,
whether it was the plays or the musicals we did. And during the
afternoons they would have art displays on in the lobby. And it
was this type of thing that just really made the difference and
impacted Yakima in a very positive way.
Ultimately, it was my involvement in the community theatre
that gave me a foundation in something that would later
resonate with my academic pursuits and much later into my
During high school, I was very involved in the music
programs, the drama group, the after-school plays, but I never
really thought the theatre was something I could do as a
career. It was, however, a great place to meet girls, as you
can imagine, and that was a pretty good selling point. But----
Mr. Moran. She is beaming.
Mr. MacLachlan. Yes. Yes. That came later.
But when I look back, I realize that by doing the
performances--I was in ``Oklahoma'' and ``My Fair Lady''--it
gave me confidence that I would draw on later when I seriously
began to consider acting as a career.
I was very fortunate to have those kind of outlets and
programs in my junior high and high school, as a lot of kids
don't have that kind of opportunity to find their voice in
something outside a standard curriculum.
I know he is not here, but 1960 football national champion,
number 63, Mr. Norm Dicks, also went to the U, and that is
where I went to continue my education. And, to borrow a
football analogy, I kind of fumbled around college for a few
years before finally landing on my feet. They had a training
program there called the Professional Actor Training Program.
This was an esteemed program, rivaling schools like Juilliard
and Yale. And I set my sights on getting into this program and
was accepted in 1979.
The main thrust of the program, apart from training us to
be actors, was that the instructor, the main instructor, his
expectation was nothing more than to make us become working
actors. We were there to learn about acting, but, really, he
wanted us to enter the workforce, and that was a main part of
And each year, leading to that, each year, as an extension
of this training, we were expected to go out and do summer
theater. So I had summer theater apprentices in a lot of
nonprofit theaters around the country: Flat Rock Playhouse,
North Carolina; Millbrook, Pennsylvania, which is really in the
middle of nowhere, but it is beautiful and they have great
corn. I worked at the Lyric Repertory Theatre in Logan, Utah.
These little theaters were fantastic training grounds for
honing my craft, but the communities would also benefit. They
cherished these summer theatre productions, as you can imagine,
and they drew visitors from across the region.
So it was during my last year of school I auditioned, I got
a job at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. The
Shakespeare Festival is a repertory company, which means I did
three different roles, in rotation, doing a different play each
night, five to six performances a week, on an outdoor stage,
battling the elements, May through October, while earning the
vast sum of $550 a month. It didn't matter; I was doing what I
loved. I was putting into practice skills that I had acquired
through the training program at the University of Washington.
And, believe it or not, this opportunity to work at the
festival was due, in part, to the work of this subcommittee.
Many of these nonprofit theatres that shaped my early career
were recipients of NEA grants, either directly or indirectly
through State and local arts councils. The universally praised
Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland is a consistent grant
awardee. So it is not farfetched to say that your belief in
this incredible festival helped me enter society as a
productive member and pursue my passion.
This year, your funding of the NEA will help bring
``Hamlet'' again to the 2010 Shakespeare Festival season. And I
am sure that the working actors, sound techs, stage managers,
wardrobe staff, electricians, carpenters, and vendors will feel
the impact of those Federal funds as they work to bring high-
quality performances to the hundreds of thousands of people who
travel to Ashland each year. I am proud to have been a part of
So I was up in Seattle doing theatre, I got a call to meet
and read for the movie ``Dune'' by David Lynch. They were
looking for an unknown to play the lead. You couldn't get much
more unknown than me, at that time. And I read for a casting
agent in downtown Seattle. Turns out she had come across my
name by contacting many of the mentors of mine in the Seattle-
area stage community.
And I have been fortunate, as Chairman Moran said, to work
in a lot of film and successful television series. And I
continually draw back on my education and experiences in
Seattle, Ashland, and, yes, even Yakima. I look at those
experiences as fundamental to my success, allowing me to pursue
my life's work.
So let me conclude by saying a heartfelt ``thank you'' to
the subcommittee for their work on behalf of the NEA. You are
our champions here in the halls of Congress. And for many of
us, you hold our livelihoods in your hands. Much of my success
has to do with the opportunities that were present because of
the support from this subcommittee for the NEA to give grants
directly to theaters and through State and local arts councils.
I know that recent years have seen increases in funding,
and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has helped save
jobs in the creative workforce. Thank you for that. I am
living, walking proof of the tangible difference supporting
these types of programs can make.
And I join with my colleagues here today in respectfully
requesting that this committee allocate $180 million to the
National Endowment for the Arts so that the arts and arts
education remain pillars in the communities they serve.
Thank you so much for allowing me to testify before you,
and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
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Mr. Moran. Excellent testimony.
Mr. Simpson. No, no questions.
I appreciate hearing your story. Rocco and I, this past
week, went to the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. And their winter
program, where they go around to--``Shakespearians'' is what
they call it--around to high schools. And we sat and talked to
some of the actors afterwards for a while, and you are right,
you know, they struggle to get by and then hope that they get
on with the summer production of the Shakespeare Festival.
But it is a tremendous opportunity for these schools,
because these drama students and other students that were
there, these artists spend time with them and talk to them
about what it is like and what they go through and how to act.
And it is an experience they wouldn't have without the support
of the NEA and what they are able to do to get those programs
out to those schools.
So it is interesting to hear that you have gone through
Mr. MacLachlan. Well, you know, it reminds me of when I was
in high school, it is the same thing you are talking about.
From the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, they had touring groups
that would go out, and they came to my school, they came to
Eisenhower, and they did monologues for us. And that was
really--I mean, I still remember it. I got chills. As a matter
of fact, I stole that guy's monologue to audition to get into
this program. Maybe I shouldn't admit that. I guess it is in
the record now, isn't it? Okay, doesn't matter.
But it had a tremendous impact on me, just them visiting
the school, and it was because of these grants. So they really
do make a difference, a tangible difference.
Mr. Simpson. Thank you.
Mr. Moran. It is amazing, the number of people for whom the
NEA has given a kick-start that they could sustain through
their career, and how much all of us have benefited from that.
So, Mr. MacLachlan, thank you so much.
Mr. MacLachlan. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.
Mr. Moran. Thank you.
Mr. Lynch, who do you have?
Testimony of Terri Aldrich
Mr. Lynch. Well, I would like to call up Terri Aldrich.
And, last year, Congressman Simpson asked some questions
that had to do with the impact of the arts, the impact of the
National Endowment for the Arts on rural areas and other parts
of the country. And so, Terri Aldrich is executive director of
the Minot Area Council of the Arts in Minot, North Dakota.
Her organization is a nonprofit local arts agency that
provides services to member organizations, including symphony
orchestra, opera company, art museum, ballet theater company,
contemporary dance companies, community theater companies, as
Kyle just spoke about, in a geographically broad and
challenging area. Nearly 40 arts and cultural organizations
call Minot home, and she has been there to support them with
support locally and from the Federal dollars and a lot of
traveling support by her.
Mr. Moran. Very good.
Please, share with us your testimony. If you would like to
summarize it, Ms. Aldrich, that would be fine.
Ms. Aldrich. Good morning, Chairman Moran, Ranking Member
Simpson, and distinguished committee members. It is an honor to
be here and to have the opportunity to speak to you on behalf
of local arts agencies in rural communities.
And my name is Terri Aldrich. I am the executive director
of the Minot Area Council of the Arts in Minot, North Dakota.
And I have served in that capacity for the past ten years, and
I am here because I am passionate about the arts.
Minot is the smallest community in the Nation to have a
full-scale symphony orchestra. We have an opera company. We
have five dance companies. We have theater companies. We have a
multitude of performing arts organizations and art galleries.
And I know the positive impact that the arts have on the
economy and on the quality of life in rural communities. So,
arts organizations truly help to build vibrant communities
because they are good stewards of the funds that are entrusted
Minot is a community of approximately 36,000 people, and it
is the geographic, the cultural, and the economic hub of the
northwest quadrant of North Dakota, as you think of that
square. And we are located between two Native American
reservations; there is Fort Berthold and Fort Totten.
And then we are defined by vast space. So you can travel
100 miles in any direction from that hub of that quadrant and
for a hundred miles you won't come across another community of
15,000 people. And, as you travel across that vast space, you
will encounter very, very few vehicles. And you might go
through a few communities of maybe 250 to a thousand
individuals, where the median income is about $26,348.
So, arts events in rural communities are generally
accomplished without paid staff and with shockingly small
budgets. Even the Minot Symphony Orchestra operates with just a
part-time executive director. So there are very, very few rural
arts organizations that can meet the requirements that are
necessary to qualify for a grant that comes directly to us from
the National Endowment for the Arts.
However, the Minot Area Council of the Arts did receive a
grant from the NEA ten years ago. That $12,000 that I received
allowed me to hire a part-time arts education coordinator and
to bring working artists into schools that could not otherwise
afford to hire an art teacher.
Now, that investment has gone on to impact the community
because the coordinator's position has been sustained. The
number of working artists continues because we continue to hire
artists on a contract basis. And the number of students that is
impacted by that arts education program has increased 200
percent in 10 years. So the impact of that program and that
$12,000 is felt today through arts instruction that meets our
State's fine arts education standards and it touches our local
I could tell you all those wonderful statistics about how
students who are involved in the arts are four times more
likely to win an award in science, but I would rather tell you
a story about someone who is very precious to me.
My son married a beautiful young woman, and she is in her
first year of medical school. And while she was pursuing her
undergraduate degree, she received national recognition for
cancer research related to the breakpoint clusters of acute
myeloid leukemia. Now, I don't understand those words that I
just spoke, but she does.
But the amazing thing is, her background in music allowed
her to be able to have critical thinking skills and analytical
skills that put her ahead of others, and it allowed her to do
great things in the research. And the ability to see patterns
and to look at things with an artistic eye are key parts of
arts education that are just so crucial.
RURAL ARTS FUNDING
So those funds that reach us are so important. NEA funds
reach rural arts organizations mainly through our State arts
agency, and that is the North Dakota Council on the Arts. And
about roughly 25 percent of the arts organizations that I
represent receive those funds. And our State arts agency is not
just a bureaucratic cliche. They are comprised of a great
staff, and they provide assistance not only to arts
organizations but to schools and to individual artists, and
they provide great assistance and advice. So the State agencies
are a tremendous resource for our rural communities.
And it was exciting to me as I began to think about the
impact of the arts across rural communities and how those
things touch our region. I was in Canada at a petroleum
conference, and individuals talked to me about how important
the arts are to their business and how those things that impact
the quality of life just are important to attracting and to
retaining their quality employees.
A development director in Garrison, North Dakota, a
community of 1,700 people, told me that she could never have
accomplished what she did without a vibrant, active arts
council. They have created the Dickens Festival that draws
thousands of people to their community. They have created a
holiday destination that brings people into their community to
shop in the stores, to patronize the restaurants, to attend
performances. And so, in that community, the arts have had a
profound impact on what is North Dakota's number-two industry:
That is tourism.
And then in Stanley, North Dakota, a small group of people
got together and they decided that they wanted to renovate a
historic building, a church. It has become a tremendous arts
and performance center. And while I was there at a standing-
room-only performance, we began to talk about, ``Have you ever
had a Whirlawhip? Do you know what a Whirlawhip is?'' Well, we
left the performance and we went to the local drugstore, we had
a confection called a Whirlawhip, and we went to the cafe. And
it was the arts that drew the people to that tiny little
community, but it was the downtown business that reaped the
Arts organizations impact rural communities, and individual
artists help to build communities in a myriad of ways. A potter
in Burlington, North Dakota, a community of a thousand people,
sells her work on a national scale in exclusive shops, but the
revenue comes right back to our community to benefit us.
A young North Dakota artist bought an abandoned church; he
renovated it. It is where his home is now, where his studio is.
So a community gained a renovated building, so what would have
been lost has been saved. The community also gained a
destination point, and the revenue that comes from the sale of
his beautiful glasswork comes right back to that community.
And, of course, you cannot discount the valuable skills
that come into a community because of the artists themselves
when they work in fields outside of the arts. Right in my own
office, I have a jazz musician. And, every single day, I see
the way that his musical training impacts in a creative way the
way problems are solved and the way problems are isolated and
taken care of.
So it is an exciting thing, to think about how the arts
impact and build our communities in rural areas. The Arts and
Economic Prosperity Study that was accomplished through
Americans for the Arts revealed that the nonprofit arts
industry in Minot, North Dakota, is an $8.6 million industry
that generates $476,000 to State government and $363,000 to our
local government while supporting 188 jobs.
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Mr. Moran. Thank you, Ms. Aldrich. Very excellent
Mr. Simpson. I appreciate your testimony. And the reason I
asked questions last year and continue to ask them--and Rocco
and I have talked about this--is, when you described North
Dakota, you could have been describing Idaho. If you look at
that map over there, that is my district, and the dots along
the line, that is the Snake River. But the rest of that is--if
you go north of those dots, that is mountains, big mountains.
But there are communities throughout that.
And what I have been trying to emphasize is that the arts
are not just for urban areas; they are for those small towns
out in rural Idaho and rural North Dakota. And how do you get
the arts out there, and how do you maintain those efforts to
get those arts out to those small communities? And the NEA does
a great job of that.
Ms. Aldrich. Yes, sir. You certainly know, then, how the
arts can impact those communities and help them to keep from
being ghost towns.
Mr. Simpson. Yep.
Mr. Moran. Good for you. Well, thanks for all that you have
done for the State of North Dakota, particularly Minot. But
really throughout the State, I am sure they are inspired by
your efforts. Not a whole lot of money at all, but it sure had
a whole lot of impact. So thank you very much, Ms. Aldrich.
Ms. Aldrich. Thank you.
Mr. Moran. Mr. Lynch.
Testimony of Brig. General Nolan Bivens
Mr. Lynch. A few years ago, I was able to bring a witness
here who was the CEO of the Conference Board, the business
community. And, in addition to great testimony, he introduced
me to a program with the United States Army where leadership
skills between the business community, the nonprofit community,
and the military were shared and discussed.
And, through that program, I got a chance to meet U.S. Army
Brigadier General Nolan Bivens, retired. He entered the United
States Army in 1976 and was commissioned as an infantry second
lieutenant. In Army uniform for more than three decades,
General Bivens worked his way through the ranks at home and
abroad, serving in capacities of increasing responsibility.
This is a real American patriot who can bring a truly
unique perspective of the arts role for our returning troops
and this country's diplomatic endeavors in a challenging world.
And we have invited him and he has accepted to sit on the
Americans for the Arts Board of Directors, as well, so we are
Mr. Moran. Very good.
Thank you, General. And please share with us how we can
take advantage of the half a trillion dollars we have put in to
the defense budget every year, which has to struggle far less
than the poor NEA to get a tiny fraction of what goes into the
defense budget, as Mike well knows. But maybe we can civilize
some of our military commanders, perhaps, a little more in
terms of their strategy of winning over hearts and minds and
the morale of the troops, as well as using those resources. So
I am glad you are here. Thank you. General Bivens?
General Bivens. Well, thank you so very much. And your
opening remarks couldn't be more, I think, appropriate to the
comments I would like to make today. It goes right to the heart
of the issue, in terms of what my experiences have shown me
So, first of all, Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of
the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to be here and
also to make comments on behalf of supporting the $180 million
appropriation for the National Endowment for the Arts for
fiscal year 2011.
As stated, my name is Nolen Bivens. I am a U.S. Army
brigadier general, retired recently after 32 years of service.
And I am here to present really three policy areas in which my
experience in the military has shown me that support for the
arts and culture can improve our national security needs--that
is one; provide a pathway to stronger cultural diplomacy; and
also improve the quality of life for our wounded warriors and
veterans returning to civilian life.
First of all, as you said in your introduction, I am
perhaps not like a lot of individuals in the background that
are speaking to you today or have spoken to you in the past.
But I do assure you that I am not Malcolm Gladwell's new
outlier either. I think that what I would like to make sure is
understood as a result of this is that, like a mayor of a city,
like an arts administrator in any town or city, or any
corporate leader, I have come to understand the importance and
the value of the arts, having come up in one aspect of another
profession, but seeing another government agency be very
critical to our ability to do those three things that I
mentioned in my introduction.
The American art community is a national asset and treasure
with tremendous potential to contribute to the United States
Government's ability to deal with the national security
challenges it faces. Its arsenal of art forms and capabilities
can be shared and exchanged as part of a larger government and
interagency activity designed to increase cultural
understanding between all nations. The arts community can do
this in a way other instruments of national power cannot. I
always remind myself that the universal language is music.
In human history, there are three great revolutions:
agricultural, industrial, and now the current information
revolution. All three have shaped generations of warfare and
how militaries protect their country's national security
interests. In our information age, the kindling for conflicts
includes such issues as globalization, urbanization, climate
change, population growth, and the depletion of natural
WARFARE AND THE ARTS
And this gets to one of my first points. The asymmetrical
warfare has reemerged as our adversaries' preferred method for
protecting or advancing their interests. According to the
Secretary of Defense, we expect that asymmetrical warfare will
maintain the mainstay of the contemporary battlefield for some
time. These conflicts will be fundamentally political in nature
and require the application of all elements of national power.
From my experience, asymmetrical warfare requires creative
solutions and innovative thinking. And it is on this very point
that the arts community can contribute to meeting our security
And, by way of example, as the U.S. forces drove to Baghdad
and transitioned from decisive combat phase into the security
and stability phase, it faced many problems that had been
created by the vacuum in government that were largely created
by asymmetrical and irregular means of the enemy. And one
example I would like to highlight is the looting of Iraq's
Newspaper headlines announced, ``Iraqi Looters Tearing Up
Archeological Sites.'' Their commentary included such comments
as, ``After two days of looting, almost all of the museum's
170,000 artifacts were either stolen or damaged.'' In the words
of one Iraqi man, he says, ``It is a catastrophe. It is like a
lobotomy. The deep memory of an entire culture has been
removed. It is an incredible crime.''
It took members of the Archeological Institute of America,
Iraq's Cultural Ministry, and the U.S. Army Reserve soldiers
with experience as curators to help the Department of Defense
and Department of State to address this issue.
As stated, asymmetrical warfare requires creative
solutions, and the arts can contribute new ways to address this
form of warfare before, during, and after combat and/or crisis.
I think it is important to point out that art is key to
contributing and understanding culture. And culture is critical
to understanding, and for our young soldiers, airmen, and
Marines in what they do today, understanding that culture is
critical to their solutions to the problems they face.
I am reminded of a story; many of you probably heard about
it. A young Marine squad was in Iraq, and it was coming up on a
procession. And that procession was a funeral. And this was in
the first days of the stability. And not knowing what to do,
because you had a procession coming, a very large crowd, and he
was moving forward to do his job, ``What do I do in order to
show respect for this aspect of this country's culture?'' And
the only thing he knew to do was to tell his men to take a
knee. And, as a result of that, he was able to then defuse a
lot of other issues in that community because of the aspect of
what he drew from his culture, understanding the need to
respect that of others.
I am also here to tell you that frenetic practitioners of
asymmetric warfare do not restrict its use to active combat
operations. They use the information age of global
communications architecture as a means to continuously
influence the hearts and minds of populations in favor of their
INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMACY THROUGH ARTS
To respond to that, increased public diplomacy is greatly
needed. Exchanges of artists between countries, performances by
groups like the Iraqi Philharmonic Orchestra at home and
abroad, and cultural figures that connect to youth are all
elements of this strategy. Support for arts through the NEA
will help to strengthen our cultural assets in the pursuit of
greater cultural understanding worldwide.
Through cooperative initiatives, the National Endowment for
the Arts brings the benefits of international exchange to arts
organizations, artists, and audiences nationwide and fosters
international creative collaboration. Support for the arts and
artists can help bridge many common values that lead to
peaceful resolution of disagreements as well as the sustainment
of cordial international relations.
Whether it is in combat operations in the CENTCOM's area of
command and responsibility or conducting security cooperation,
what we call Phase Zero humanitarian activities in either of
the other four combatant command's regions, the U.S. military,
other departments and agencies have increasingly recognized
that we need a whole-of-government approach in addressing the
issues. The American arts community can best contribute towards
this cultural diplomacy during the Phase Zero operations. These
activities are so valuable because they impact the lives of
people, which, in turn, affect their attitudes and perceptions
about other countries positively.
Not only can the arts leaders and organizations collaborate
with the Department of Defense security operations and cultural
diplomacy, but they can also partner with the Federal
Government to assist our wounded warriors as they transition
back into civilian life.
As I am sure this subcommittee has heard in previous years,
the National Endowment for the Arts began in 2004 what is
called Operation Homecoming to help U.S. troops and their
families write about their wartime experiences. Also, NEA's
Great American Voices featured 24 professional opera companies
performing on 39 of our military bases across the country. Both
of these initiatives were designed to connect high-quality arts
experiences with our servicemen and their families and provide
a sense of the community.
I had a firsthand experience of this when I was a young
general there at Fort Hood, Texas and just getting back from
Iraq, and I was going to take one of those annual hearing tests
you have to take so my wife could be confirmed that I do hear
all the time. But as I was sitting in there doing this, the
young lieutenant that was giving me my hearing test, she
started to talk with me. She said, ``hey, sir, can I talk to
you about something.'' We were filling a little time between
the hearing booth and I said sure. She said ``I sit in here all
day long and as I conduct hearing tests for individuals coming
back from the conflict, sometimes it gets real quiet and I
don't know if they are hearing what I am doing.''
``But one day I went to look inside the hearing booth and I
saw the young man and he was in there crying.'' That got my
attention as a general. I said, oh, okay. I said, what is going
on? She said, ``well, what I did is I opened the door and we
started talking and he was really, for the first time, in that
quiet chamber away from all of the distractions. Everything
that he had experienced had begun to come back to him.'' And
she said, ``I see that oftentimes and I don't really know what
to do. So I am asking you what should I do?''
I said here is what you do, you refer them to the right
medical organization. So what started as a dinner as I was
transitioning out of the military with Bob here, I began to
understand that there was a connection because the professional
music therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center helps wounded
soldiers heal both emotional and physically. In addition, the
NEA programs and other elements of the government are doing
things to support that. The Federal Veterans Affairs Department
coordinates the Annual National Veterans Creative Arts
Festival, which is really a culmination of talent, competitions
in art, creative writing, dance, drama and music for veterans
treated in VA's national health care system.
Providing support through local community arts and cultural
institutions sustain returning soldiers and veterans as they
transition back into their family and community life. And by
the way, artists are also in that community as well. So in
conclusion, I presented three areas in which my experience in
the military has shown that support for the arts and quality
can improve our national security needs and the quality for our
wounded warriors and veterans transitions into civilian life as
well as our cultural diplomacy. Our forces are adjusting to a
new state of warfare, an asymmetrical threat that demands new
and innovative approaches in responding.
Protection of valuable and cultural resources such as those
looted in Baghdad museums can go a long way in helping our
forces maintain support among the citizens. Investment in
cultural diplomacy during peacetime or times of strife can help
prevent military intervention. Support for our veterans and
their healing in post service through creative outlets can help
support their path and transition to a civilian life. All of
these efforts can be aided by supporting our Nation's leading
cultural agency, the National Endowment for the Arts and the
investment it makes in developing skills and building
communities. Thank you so very much.
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Mr. Moran. General, thank you very much. Thank you for your
insight. Thank you for presenting a new and different and
important perspective. I appreciate the fact that you made
mention of those lapses in governance, one of course was the
American occupation of Iraq, where we allowed the looting of
170,000 artifacts dating back to the cradle of civilization,
the Tigris and Euphrates. That is where civilization started
from what many sources believe and yet we thought nothing of
it. We sent troops to protect the oil wells, which, of course,
was ineffective because they cut the lines anyway. But had we
shown any respect for the Iraqi culture, it might very well
have shortened that war and certainly improved our reputation
among the Iraqi people, both insurgents and those who were on
But hopefully we learn from our mistakes sometimes. I am
glad that you pointed that out and pointed out what we need to
be more fully aware of. It is our values and principles more
than our military might which, of course, will enhance our own
national security. That was very good testimony. We appreciate
it, General. Mr. Simpson.
Mr. Simpson. Yeah. First of all, thank you for your
testimony, but more importantly, thank you for your service to
our country. I appreciate it very much. Operation Homecoming
has been a very interesting program and very valuable. I have
spent time at VA hospitals with veterans from World War II and
so forth. And we are losing their stories when we lose these
individuals that are dying off. And it is important that we
learn from those stories and keep those stories. So Operation
Homecoming is a very important program. It is in your budget
this year. We are going to continue that?
Mr. Landesman. Yes.
Mr. Simpson. Thanks. Thanks for being here today.
Mr. Moran. We are building a couple of world class military
medical facilities, particularly in the Washington area, Walter
Reed, over at Bethesda and Fort Belvoir and they are
increasingly looking at aesthetics and music and so on in terms
of the healing of returning wounded warriors. Thank you very
much. Mr. Lynch.
Testimony of Charles Segars
Mr. Lynch. From the business perspective, we are very
pleased to have as a witness, Mr. Charles Segars. He is the CEO
of Ovation TV, a television channel entirely dedicated to art,
performance and creativity. Charles also is a movie producer
and a TV and film executive having produced, for one thing, the
movie ``National Treasure,'' and its successful sequel. Ovation
is a prime provider of arts programming as demonstrated by
giving $5 million in sponsorship grants and in-kind media in
support of local arts education and cultural institutions.
Mr. Segars. Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. These bios
make me sound like I cannot hold a job, but I promise I can.
Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, thank you for the
opportunity to speak with all of you today. My name is Charles
Segars and I am CEO of Ovation, a television network devoted to
arts and contemporary culture. We believe and know arts
programming is good business, and so do many of the
corporations that support us through our advertising dollars as
well as our distributors. We have companies like Comcast Cable,
Direct TV, Time Warner, DISH Network, Verizon and Charter, who
have made our network available in over 40 million households
across our Nation, and we are growing every day.
I represent the private sector and someone who has made the
decision to invest millions of dollars into arts. I am here
today to urge you please to do the same. The most recent arts
and economic prosperity studies states that the nonprofit arts
and culture industry generates over $150 billion in economic
activity every year and employs over 3 million people. That
would not happen without the NEA.
Now, the impact can be seen in all 50 states and here in
the District of Columbia. Mr. Simpson, you spoke about Idaho.
In Congressman Mollohan's district alone, 4,000 people.
Congressman Price, 7,000 people. Our neighbor, Congressman
Calvert, has over 6,000 people in District 44. Los Angeles,
where Ovation is based, is a widely recognized city for the
driving force for America's estimated $300 billion of creative
exports. There, one in six jobs is directly related to the
creative economy. And creativity is prized as an asset and a
skill that every company actively seeks in their workforce. Our
Nation is a manufacturing-based economy and it is moving very
quickly to a software based one and it demands an educated,
creative and dynamic workforce. An investment in the arts, and
arts education is not only good business today, but it helps
create the next generation of competitive workers to rule the
global economy of tomorrow and make no mistake we are being
outspent in arts and arts education in the countries of the
European Union as well as countries like China and India. We
cannot allow ourselves to fall farther behind.
Now, in order to build a dynamic workforce, we have to
start young. The arts has the power to transform our children.
Students who have the arts as part of their curriculum greatly
increase their aptitude in literacy, science, and math. They
are far more likely to graduate high school, go to college and
secure full-time employment. In the formative years, arts
supplied as a core curriculum increase dramatically complex
problem solving, team dynamics and communications skills. That
sounds like a competitive workforce in development to me. This
development is magnified most importantly in at-risk youth.
Exposure to the arts and arts education reduces absenteeism and
dropout rates. It even reduces crime in both general and at
risk populations. And I have seen this firsthand. I am a 10-
year Los Angeles Reserve Deputy Sheriff assigned to our most
challenged communities. And I can tell you with complete
certainty, I have never arrested a child leaving an after-
school arts program.
Now, that being said, arts education budgets are under
siege across the country. Los Angeles unified school district,
which is the second largest in our country, is proposing to
eliminate all visual and performing arts teachers in their
elementary schools. Elementary schools represent the most
critical formative years for our children and the best case I
can tell you is a bad one. These children will miss out on the
transformative academic powers of the arts.
The worst case is unthinkable. Our at-risk youth will be
lost. This cut saves the school district less than three
percent of their budget, or $2 per child, yet the State of
California spends $200,000 a year for every child that is
incarcerated. So $2 per child for mandatory arts programs in
our schools is a much better investment. Unfortunately this
fight is happening in schools all over our Nation. If it wasn't
for the NEA and the exposure I had to field trips to the art
museum, to artists that supported those museums, to the after-
school programs I was involved, I would not have the
opportunity and the pleasure to shepherd the only arts network
in America. I would not have had the opportunity to create and
write ``National Treasure.'' I would not have had the
opportunity to spend $3 or $4 million of production in the
great city of Philadelphia. It was because of the NEA after-
school programs that inspired me to become part of the arts.
So I ask you for your leadership in sustaining arts funding
for our federal cultural agencies because what you do here sets
the stage for decisions that are made about the arts at every
level of our national, State and local governments. You
represent our commitment to the arts and that commitment is a
measure of the strength of this democracy. Thank you for your
time and thank you for allowing me to testify today.
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Mr. Moran. Good job. Thank you, Mr. Segars.
Mr. Simpson. No questions. Thank you.
Mr. Moran. All right. Well done. This is another important
element of the economic input of the arts. Who have you decided
should be our wrap-up, our clean-up hitter to leave the final
thoughts of the day with us, Mr. Lynch?
TESTIMONY OF JEFF DANIELS
Mr. Lynch. Our wrap-up thinker is a working artist who has
to actually go do his job tonight on Broadway and that is
Mr. Moran. He has to fly back this afternoon to act and he
came all the way here to share his thoughts? Okay. I am sure he
is going to have some great thoughts. I am looking forward to
Mr. Lynch. I will just say a word about Jeff Daniels----
Mr. Moran. It is a little on the spot.
Mr. Lynch [continuing]. Founder and executive director of
Michigan's Purple Rose Theater Company, which happened with
some of the proceeds from his great work. That is a
professional nonprofit, equity theater. He has also appeared in
more than 50 films, including the Squid and the Whale, Woody
Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo and Something Wild, all three
of which led to Golden Globe nominations.
Recently he was nominated for a Tony Award for the play he
is currently in on Broadway, God of Carnage. He is a writer, a
director, a playwright, an actor and a guy who is going to have
to catch a plane a little bit later, Jeff Daniels.
Mr. Daniels. Amtrak willing. Thank you, Bob. Chairman
Moran, Ranking Member Simpson and subcommittee and
distinguished members, thank you very much for having me. It is
a privilege to be here and Rocco, who came to Chelsea, Michigan
a month ago. It meant a lot that you came. And thank you, sir,
My name is Jeff Daniels. I am a product of the American
theatre. I was raised in Michigan. I began in high school
musicals, went on to community theater, summer stock, college.
At the age of 21, I moved to New York, worked on and off
Broadway and then on to Hollywood. 50 movies later, I am happy
to say I am back on Broadway and Amtrak willing, I will make
tonight's show. Without the American theatre, I would not have
had a career.
Mr. Moran. I hope you are taking the Acela then.
Mr. Daniels. Yeah, the first car. Without the American
theater, I would not have had a career. I would not have been
good enough to be cast in films such as Terms of Endearment,
the Purple Rose of Cairo, Gettysburg, and, yes, wait for it,
Dumb and Dumber.
Mr. Moran. One of my favorites.
Mr. Daniels. To many people, that is their Citizen Kane, I
am afraid. Anyway, because of my gratitude for what the
American theatre has done for me, I bought an abandoned
warehouse in my hometown of Chelsea, Michigan. Now, there in
what some consider the middle of nowhere, I had a dream of
creating a professional theatre company that produced new
American plays. And when word got out about what I was doing,
many in my own community thought I was an idiot and they told
me so. They said, Jeff, you are an idiot, this will never work.
If we want to see good theater, we will fly to New York. And my
favorite was you have to understand, to people like us, art is
somebody who lives north of town.
PURPLE ROSE THEATRE
Now, I am happy to say, art now has some company. In the
20-year history of the Purple Rose Theatre Company, over half a
million people have come to our little town, bought a ticket
and watched a play. Hundreds of actors, writers, designers,
directors, crew members and staff have cashed a Purple Rose
paycheck. And those are real paychecks for real jobs for real
people. Careers have begun in my building. Lives have been
changed. Dreams have come true. Now, I knew that there were
very talented theatre people in our part of the country. And if
I taught them what I had learned, in time, the Purple Rose
would have a national reputation. Not because of me, but
because of the quality of our artistic product. What I didn't
see coming was the economic impact that the Purple Rose would
have on my hometown.
When I opened our doors in 1991, if there were 25
businesses in town, half were empty or just getting by. Soon, a
town with two stoplights, about 5,000 people was suddenly
getting 40,000 new people a year walking down Main Street. It
didn't take long for our business community to realize that
every one of those people had a wallet or a purse. And very
quickly, restaurants replaced open store fronts, Mexican coffee
shops, art galleries, markets, jewelry shops. Seemingly
overnight, two hotels sprang up at our exit out by the highway.
Old Victorian homes turned into beds and breakfasts, bookings
catered to people with tickets to the Purple Rose. Owners of
established businesses told me how they now stayed open at
night because of all the foot traffic. Realtors use the Purple
Rose to sell homes. Corporations included us in attracting out-
of-state hires. Car buyers stopped by our local dealers and
And someone whose family is in the lumber business and has
a local lumber yard there, I am happy to report the
theatergoers also buy wood. Even the local funeral director
thanked me for two funerals he picked up from people who
happened to be in town to see a play.
Mr. Moran. They had heart attacks? They must have been
Mr. Daniels. I didn't ask for details. I just said you are
very welcome. With an average ticket price of just under $23,
making a play at the Purple Rose affordable for as many people
as possible and being the one and only reason that we are not
for profit, affordability. Theatregoers attend over 260
performances a year at the Purple Rose. Over 5,200 in our
history. Many have come back again and again, sustaining that
early trend and turning it into the status quo. Because of the
arts, my sleepy little hometown is now a destination. Where I
live, the arts are a fundamental American asset. They are an
essential element to our community's cultural and economic
success. Where I live, the arts are for everyone and everyone
is for the arts, including the guy who lives north of town. The
National Endowment for the Arts helps organizations such as the
Purple Rose create jobs, stimulate business and transform
communities. Mine is one.
With gratitude, I thank you for what you have done to help
the NEA help towns like mine. And with respect, I urge you to
continue to do that and more. Thank you.
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Mr. Moran. Terrific. Well, you came through. That was a
perfect cleanup to the entire morning. And that is what it is
about. It is not just about inspiration, but it is also about
the tough business of creating jobs and stimulating this
economy and the arts have got to play a vital role. If we are
smart about it, they will. Mr. Simpson.
Mr. Simpson. Mr. Chairman, I just want to thank you for
being here today and Mr. Chairman, I was going to say it
earlier, but I am shocked at all these cameras here facing the
wrong direction. I thought they were here for us. I guess I was
Mr. Moran. I wasn't under any such delusions.
Mr. Simpson. I guess I was wrong. But for those of you who
may not know how Congress works, the reason that you have the
Chairman and the Ranking Member here today and the other
members of the committee aren't here today is because this is
the first day back after the two-week break that we have had
and we don't have votes until 6:30 tonight.
So most members are returning to Washington today and it is
unfortunate that it worked out this way because I am sure that
all of the members of the committee would have been here, but
they will look at your testimony and that of yours, Rocco, as
we put together the budget. But I appreciate you being here
today. I don't know if you have any dogs or not----
Mr. Daniels. I do have two dogs. And, yes, they sleep on
Mr. Simpson. That is my guy. I appreciate you being here.
Mr. Daniels. Thank you very much.
Mr. Moran. Thank you very much, Mr. Daniels. It was
excellent testimony. Everyone's testimony was absolutely
superb. You made the point. You made it in an articulate and
compelling fashion. Mr. Lynch, thank you for assembling such a
terrific list of witnesses, and of course, Mr. Landesman, you
are the best. I still would like to know how you won the
Trifecta in the Kentucky Derby.
Mr. Landesman. Off the record, I will.
Mr. Moran. Okay. Thank you. This will conclude the
testimony. It has been a very productive and informative
morning. I hope it will be reflected in the appropriations
mark. Thank you all very much for your attendance.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010.
RECLAIMING ABANDONED MINES AND REGULATING SURFACE COAL MINING; OFFICE
OF SURFACE MINING FY2011 BUDGET REQUEST
JOSEPH G. PIZARCHIK, DIRECTOR
GLENDA H. OWENS, DEPUTY DIRECTOR
RUTH E. STOKES, BUDGET OFFICER
Opening Statement: Chairman Moran
Mr. Moran. We will now begin our next hearing, and we want
to welcome Director Pizarchik. Thank you very much for being
The Office of Surface Mining plays two different but
complementary roles, helping the States to oversee and regulate
current coal surface mining, and helping the States to reclaim
abandoned mine lands which are the legacy of 150 years of coal
mining. They are very important roles. They are built upon
partnerships with the States.
And when we look at your budget, we only see reductions, so
there will be some question as to whether the resources are
adequate. At $146 million, the Office of Surface Mining's
budget has been reduced by almost $17 million, 10 percent below
the enacted level. It includes an $11 million reduction in
grants to States to operate their regulatory programs, which
the Administration assumes States will cover with increased
fees at your urging. This is a different policy than what the
Administration proposed last year.
You are also proposing to eliminate $4.5 million to States
for emergency cleanups and federal high-priority projects. And
similar to last year, you have re-proposed to eliminate $115
million in mandatory funding to certified States.
As is true with the other bureaus within the Department of
the Interior, the Office of Surface Mining has to as well
absorb fixed costs. This amounts to nearly $1.5 million that
OSM will absorb this year. Again, that may be another concern
registered by the Committee. We will get into that as we get
But at this point I would like to hear from Ranking Member
Simpson and his observations. Mr. Simpson.
Opening Statement: Mr. Simpson
Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for
joining us this morning.
I think you probably have one of the most challenging jobs
in the Department of Interior. I say that because the coal
industry that you oversee is now at the center of a critical
national debate that will continue to occupy the attention of
Congress this year. I am very concerned about the potential
impact in terms of lost jobs and stifled economic growth if
cap-and-trade legislation and other costly regulatory actions
upon the coal industry and the rest of our national economy.
No one can dispute the coal mining industry has been at the
forefront in the development of our national economy and the
industrial heartland. It has provided jobs for generations of
Americans. This critical work, which now is the subject of much
criticism and debate in this age of cap and trade, has fueled
our economy for more than a century. Most people would be
surprised to know that coal remains our country's leading
source of domestic energy and provides over 50 percent of our
country's electricity. The fact remains that coal is part of
our past, our present and our future, and I believe it will
continue to play a pivotal role in fueling our economy and our
country along with domestic developments of oil and gas and
renewables and nuclear energy as part of America's long-term
I look forward to a candid conversation about your work and
appreciate your being with us today.
Mr. Moran. Thank you, Mr. Simpson.
We will now hear from Mr. Pizarchik, and you will explain
your budget and your priorities. Thank you for being here.
Testimony of Joseph G. Pizarchik
Mr. Pizarchik. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and congratulations
on your new position. I am happy to be here. Good morning to
you and the other members of the Committee. With me today, I
have my Deputy Director, Glenda Owens, on my right, and on my
left I have my Budget Officer, Ruth Stokes.
The Surface Mining Coal and Reclamation Act of 1977
established OSM, as you aptly pointed out, as having two basic
purposes, the first to assure the Nation's coal mines operate
in a responsible manner that protects our citizens as well as
our environment and restores the land to a beneficial use after
the mining has been completed, the second being the Abandoned
Mine Land program to address the hazards and environmental
problems created by the unregulated mining before the 1977 Act
was passed. Today, as in 1977, coal remains an important fuel
for our country, as was pointed out by Mr. Simpson. It provides
half or more of our electricity in this country and will
continue to be an important part of our energy needs for the
BALANCE BETWEEN ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY NEEDS
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act recognized
that there was a need to ensure that there was a good balance
between the protection of our environment and our people and
meeting our energy needs. Striking and maintaining that balance
has been a constant challenge for OSM. It has been a constant
challenge because as administrations change in States,
sometimes the policy priorities change. It has been a constant
challenge because of the economic circumstances and changes
that States and the Federal Government face. It has been a
constant challenge because the industry has evolved over the
last 30-plus years and it is a challenge today because of the
emerging science we are learning of things that are affecting
coal mining. With that emerging science, we are seeing issues
that today are being recognized as causing some water problems,
particularly in Appalachia, that were not recognized a decade
That is why, back in June of 2009, the Department of the
Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army
Corps of Engineers entered into a memorandum of understanding
on how to go about, and to commit those agencies to doing, a
better job of protecting the environment and minimizing the
adverse impacts of mining in Appalachia.
Our 2011 budget is a focused budget. It is fiscally
responsible and it provides support to States, 24 of whom have
approved regulatory programs where they have the primary
responsibility for regulating coal mining. It also provides
support to OSM for two federal program States, in Tennessee and
in Washington. And it provides support for OSM as we work with
the Navajo Nation, Hopi and Crow Tribes as they move forward to
try to obtain primary responsibility for regulating coal mining
on their lands.
The budget also includes, under the Abandoned Mine Land
portion, mandatory funding to support high-priority coal
problems. In fiscal year 2010, $369.1 million was provided to
25 States and three tribes for that particular work, and there
remains about $4 billion of priority one and two problems.
Those are the most dangerous sites from the historic
unregulated coal mining. That $4 billion estimate is only the
cost to do the actual work and does not include the cost for
the States to design, contract, and to oversee that work.
Our budget request totals $146.1 million in discretionary
spending. It is a decrease of $16.7 million from the 2010
enacted budget. The discretionary portion of the budget reduces
the grants provided to the state regulatory authorities by
about $11 million. It proposes to eliminate funding of State
and federal emergency programs. It proposes to eliminate
funding of federal high-priority projects that was in the 2010
budget at $1 million. It also proposes a $700,000 reduction
through efficiencies that we seek to attain in travel costs, in
information technology changes, how we manage our IT, and in
strategic sourcing of contracting for services and other
materials. It also reduces funding of $500,000 in an area where
we had conducted audits related to litigation on the
reclamation fee that was paid on exported coal. We have been
successful in defending that litigation and no longer need that
money to audit those companies. While that decision is being
appealed, we expect a favorable outcome.
In the mandatory portion of our budget, which deals with
the abandoned mine land areas, we are proposing the elimination
of funding to the certified States and tribes. That would
eliminate projected payments of about $167.3 million that would
be going to the States of Wyoming, Louisiana, Montana, and
Texas as well as to the Navajo Nation, Hopi and the Crow
Tribes. Unlike the 2010 budget proposal which had also proposed
to eliminate funding to certified States and tribes, this
budget includes $10 million to use for high-priority sites. In
the event that there is an abandoned mine land that is
identified in one of the certified States or tribes, we would
have the money available to take care of that problem.
The last point I would like to raise is that due to my
previous position with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I have
recused myself from certain items which would create a conflict
or an appearance of impropriety, so if any of your questions
today would go into that area, I will have them answered by my
Deputy Director, Glenda Owens.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify, and I have
submitted my formal statement for the record, and I am
available for any questions.
[The statement of Joseph G. Pizarchik follows:]
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STATE REGULATORY GRANTS
Mr. Moran. Thanks very much, Mr. Pizarchik. We appreciate
In last year's budget, you proposed and promoted fully
funding the 50 percent federal match for the States programs.
This was the first time ever. Now one year later, there is an
about-face with the Administration's approach, cutting $11
million from that grant program and again shifting the burden
for the cost of these programs onto the States. Do you want to
give further explanation as to the reason for that dramatic
Mr. Pizarchik. Yes, Mr. Chairman. We are in dramatically
different circumstances this year. There has been a
deterioration on an economic level. The budget issue has become
more important and more significant. There are many Members of
Congress and many members of the public, as well as the
Administration, who are concerned about the size of the
deficit, and we have looked at that and are doing our part to
try to address those concerns. We have made some very difficult
choices. I would have loved to have been able to be here
proposing that we would fully fund the States' share up to 50
percent. The law provides for up to 50 percent, but does not
mandate that, and we are not proposing to shift that reduction
to the States or those costs to the States. We are asking the
States, and will encourage and work with them, to have those
costs covered through a fee to the community who receives the
benefit of the services that the States provide. In essence,
the coal mining companies, the regulated industry, receive
substantial services from the State in the permits that are
issued, through oversight actions, et cetera. So our goal is to
have those fees passed on to the industry who receives the
benefit of the States' services.
FUNDING STATE REGULATORY PROGRAMS
Mr. Moran. Well, fair enough. But based on the historical
distribution of funds, it is likely that in Virginia we would
lose half a million dollars in federal funding for the
regulatory program. It would require that the Virginia General
Assembly approve a fee change.
If States find that increasing fees is not an acceptable
option for them, will the Office of Surface Mining provide
funds to ensure that States do have the resources they need to
operate strong regulatory programs, or would the OSM and the
Federal Government have to step in and run the coal mining
Mr. Pizarchik. In regards to the latter part of that
question, OSM's view, and my view, is that the States can do a
better job of running these programs than OSM can, and we think
they can do so more efficiently. Our plan is to work as closely
with the States as possible to maintain their primary
responsibility for running the program. There have been
instances in the past 30-plus years where States have not fully
implemented the responsibilities they undertook and there were
efforts that we engaged in at those times to address those
circumstances. It is an ongoing challenge to try to assure that
the States have the resources they need to fully implement the
program that they voluntarily have undertaken.
In our budget proposal, it does not include money for us to
step in to either take over the State programs, or to take over
part of the program, or to provide additional funds to the
States. We are cognizant of the fact that, for a number of the
States, it will be difficult or they would need statutory
amendments to implement the fee. That is one reason why we have
been talking to the States and encouraging them now to plan for
this. This budget will not take effect until October 1st, so
there is several months' time for the States to work on
implementing a fee. If there are things that we can do to help
facilitate that process, I have personally offered to do so
with the States.
We have also asked the States if they have ideas or
suggestions on how to address this proposal or if there are
things that we can do to help out. We have received some ideas,
and we intend to work closely with the States to implement this
Mr. Moran. Thank you, Mr. Pizarchik.
Mr. Simpson. How many States and tribes will be affected by
this, and which ones would be most significantly affected?
Mr. Pizarchik. There are 24 States that are receiving
funding through this program, up to about half of their cost.
The decision as to how to distribute the funds among the States
has not been made so I cannot tell you which ones would be most
affected by the reduction. One of our tasks is to incentivize,
or to create an incentive, for the States to pass this
reduction on to the service receivers, and we are still
evaluating how we will do that.
INCREASED FEES ON COAL INDUSTRY
Mr. Simpson. What would you say on a scale of almost
insignificant to very significant would be the impact on the
coal industry for the increased fees?
Mr. Pizarchik. There was about 1.2 billion tons of coal
mined last year and this $11 million is about a 15 percent
reduction to the States, but when the States are already
covering the other half, it is about a 7 percent cost of the
overall program for the States. Considering those facts, I
would not say that it is significant but it is not
insignificant either, and it would vary depending on how the
States would elect to pass on that cost. We have not specified
how to do that. We are giving the States the flexibility to
decide how they could best charge fees in their particular
State because there are variations as to how they fund their
Mr. Simpson. But if they increase the cost on the coal
companies, then since most of this goes into the production of
electricity, or a lot of it does, you would expect electricity
rates to go up to some degree?
Mr. Pizarchik. I would expect that whatever costs are
passed on to the regulated community for the services they
receive, it would result in an increase on their end at some
point. I do not know the time frame that this would occur.
PAYMENTS TO CERTIFIED STATES/TRIBES
Mr. Simpson. One of the other proposals in the budget is to
eliminate payments to States and tribes, as you mentioned, to
clean up abandoned coal mining operations where the cleanups
have been completed. It seems like it makes sense to me. When I
heard that, when the President said we are going to stop paying
to clean up abandoned mines that have been cleaned up, I
thought, ``hmmm.'' And now I see this same proposal has been
submitted to Congress for a couple years and rejected. Do you
have any idea why Congress has rejected it? I wish I could tell
you. I do not know.
Mr. Pizarchik. I do not know the answer to that. I think
you would have to ask your colleagues. One of the things that I
have heard expressed by at least one Member of Congress is that
the 2006 amendments took several years to negotiate and that
this issue was part of that negotiation, and at least that
Member was reluctant to revisit the issue but I cannot really
say for the rest of the Members.
OSM AND EPA PERMIT COORDINATION
Mr. Simpson. Well, if you want to see some criticism on TV
about wasteful government spending, it is pretty easy to stand
up and say gee, you know, we are going to quit funding
abandoned mines that have been cleaned up. People would
probably agree with that. But I guess we will get into more of
that during the budget markup.
Your office has the primary authority over regulating the
coal mining industry in the United States. I think it is safe
to say that many coal mining interests believe that the real
authority for issuing permits, regulating best practices and
overseeing environmentally friendly mining practices no longer
resides with your office but with the EPA. This is not an
isolated complaint these days. Has your authority to govern the
industry been undermined by the EPA's involvement in your work,
and how would you describe OSM's relationship with the EPA, and
does your office have any say or are you bound by the decisions
of the Agency?
Mr. Pizarchik. When the Surface Mining Control and
Reclamation Act was passed in 1977, it provided primary
responsibility for regulating coal mining with my office, but
it specifically reserved to EPA the responsibility for
implementing the Clean Water Act, and most surface coal mines
require a permit to discharge water from those mines. The
standards under which those permits are issued, and which water
is discharged under those permits, all come from EPA. That has
been the case from the beginning and it is still the case
today. EPA is the agency that works in some instances with
their State partners on water discharge permits because they
have delegated the authority for making those permitting
decisions to some of the State water authorities. So there has
not been a change in how that authority or responsibility has
been divided up between the EPA and OSM. There has been some
emerging science that seems to indicate that there are
substances that are getting into the water from surface mining
that were not recognized either by the EPA, the States or the
OSM, or even environmentalists and citizens, that are causing
some issues. So with that emerging science, it is important to
examine what is occurring, and identify the impacts and how
best to address them.
We are working with EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers. If
you are going to mine coal, you need both a surface mining
permit under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act,
and you need a discharge permit called a NPDES, National
Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit. NPDES permits
are issued by the State water program staff who received
delegation from EPA, so you need both SMCRA and NPDES permits.
If you are planning on placing fill or spoil overburden from
the coal mine into a stream channel, you need a fill permit.
The way it is structured, that jurisdiction falls with the Army
Corps of Engineers, who would make the determination as to
whether or not you can place spoil material into the stream.
The authority is under section 404 of the Clean Water Act. So a
coal company would need at least three permits. That has always
been the case, and EPA has review authority over the Army Corps
of Engineers' 404 permitting decision. In the past the
permitting was usually handled linearly in that the coal mining
permit would be issued, then the water permit, then either 402
or 404, decisions would be made. Because of the emerging
science and the impacts that some of these fills and surface
mining are causing on streams, there has been closer scrutiny
paid by EPA as they carry out their responsibilities. That has
led to some permit delays and some additional reviews, and in
some instances, a revision of the mining plan that has been
previously approved under the State mining program.
The three agencies, EPA, OSM and the Army Corps of
Engineers, are working together to better coordinate the
permitting actions in order to provide for a more efficient
review and more timely permitting decisions. That effort had
started both in the field with the staff who actually do the
work and in Washington, D.C., with headquarters staff. Also,
there have been meetings including with the State regulatory
authorities. We have a lot of work to do in this area but at
least all three federal agencies and the State staff believe
that there are some opportunities here where we can do a better
job on making coordinated permitting decisions to provide for
more certainty and a more timely decision on the permit
Mr. Simpson. Thank you.
STREAM BUFFER RULE
Mr. Moran. Thank you, Mr. Simpson.
In 2008, the Office of Surface Mining amended the stream
buffer rule to provide exemptions to allow industry to place
fill in streams if one could demonstrate that it was not
possible to comply with the 1983 rule. That rule, of course,
required that fill be placed at least 100 feet from streams if
the disposal of such fill would negatively impact water quality
or quantity. I would like to know if you have concerns that the
2008 exemptions will lead to a substantial negative impact on
water quality and the environment.
Now, in addition, as you answer that, you might comment on
the latest rulemaking proposal because I understand you are not
going to have the revised rule ready until next year, and in
the meantime, there should be concerns, I have some, that the
existing law is going to impair the quality of streams. So I
would like to know what the Office of Surface Mining is doing
to ensure that we will not have to pay to undo in the future
mistakes that are being made in the interim in terms of water
Mr. Pizarchik. The 2008 rule took effect back in the end of
that particular year. It was challenged in the courts by some
individuals. The Administration had examined that rule and
concluded that it did not do an effective job and that there
were some deficiencies that needed to be corrected. We have
undertaken and are starting a new process to revisit the 2008
rule and prepare a new rule. Once a federal rule is promulgated
and becomes effective, then the States are directed to amend
their programs to be consistent with, and no less effective
than, that new federal rule. Because of the litigation and
concerns associated with the 2008 rule, the States have not
been directed to make changes to their programs. The States are
reluctant to spend the time and resources to change their
programs if the rule is being litigated, and that was the case
here. So right now, all the States that have primary
responsibility for regulating the mining of coal are still
operating under the 1983 rule and we expect that they will
continue to do so in the interim. We think it is more prudent
and more efficient resource-wise for States to not make those
changes until we get the revised stream protection rule in
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING: DOI, EPA, ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
Mr. Moran. Thank you. On June 11th of last year, the
Department of the Interior, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers
signed a memorandum of understanding that they would conduct
oversight of State permittings enforcement regulatory
activities. The understanding committed OSM to review the
stream buffer rule exemptions. EPA and the Corps of Engineers
are reviewing the surface mining permit applications for
compliance with the Clean Water Act. Is OSM working with the
Corps and EPA on other functions that were outlined in the
memorandum of understanding in terms of coordination?
Mr. Pizarchik. As I indicated earlier, we are working
together to review areas where we can do a better job on the
permitting end. That is in regards to the surface coal mining
permit, and the water permits under sections 402 and 404 of the
Clean Water Act, which involves all three agencies and the
state regulatory authorities. There are some similarities
between the requirements of the Surface Mining Act and the
Clean Water Act and so we are looking to see if we can do a
better job on coordinating and gathering that information.
In regards to our oversight and inspections work, the
States have primary responsibility for those mine sites. OSM
does oversight and we are looking at increasing the oversight
that we do and conducting additional inspections. If we find
water issues or other problems, our first action is to bring
them to the attention of the State regulatory authority who has
primary responsibility to address the problem. If they do not
address the problem, and it is a surface coal mining matter,
OSM we will take appropriate action. If it is a water-related
issue, OSM will provide that information to EPA or the State
water program staff for them to address it. So, from the
permitting aspect, we are looking at how we can do better
coordination. In regards to the rule to better protect streams
that we are embarking on, OSM will be working with EPA, the
Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to
better develop the stream protection rule. So if there are
things that we can do under the Surface Mining Control and
Reclamation Act to protect streams and the aquatic communities
and resources, OSM will do so in a manner that would be
complementary to EPA's task of protecting the streams' water
quality. From that standpoint, we are including EPA in our
processes. We have also had meetings where we shared
information with each other on the efforts that EPA is
undertaking in regards to their permitting responsibilities and
their water quality standards.
Mr. Moran. Thank you, Mr. Pizarchik. I am going to put the
rest of the questions in for the record. Mr. Simpson?
Mr. Simpson. Same with me.
Mr. Moran. Okay. Fine. Then the hearing is concluded.
Thanks very much.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010.
EISENHOWER MEMORIAL COMMISSION
BRIG. GEN. CARL W. REDDEL, USAF (RET.), EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EISENHOWER
Opening Statement: Chairman Moran
Mr. Moran. Let's go ahead and do the Eisenhower Commission
now and we will conclude the hearing for today.
Welcome, General Reddel. We are glad to have you here to
provide us with an update on the design and construction of the
National Eisenhower Memorial. President Eisenhower was a firm
believer in peace, freedom, democracy and the great promise of
a strong, secure America. He held a belief that our natural
resources were part of our Nation's precious heritage. It is
fitting thus that this Subcommittee exercises oversight over
this Commission. There is a memorial site selected between 4th
and 6th Street Southwest and Independence Avenue in front of
the Air and Space Museum.
Last year, the Committee provided a total of $19 million
for the Commission to fund the Commission's two year design
phase. With that funding, we believe the Commission could lock
in contract prices, minimize costs and make significant
progress toward achieving its fundraising goals but the goals
are to raise the money privately so there is no specific
request this year but perhaps you could give us a summarized
statement if you could, General, and then we can ask some
questions. We do not need to take up a whole lot of your time
since there is not a specific request pending before us.
Tesimony of Brig. General Carl Reddel
General Reddel. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the
Subcommittee. Since the chairman described the location of the
memorial graphically, for those of you that are not familiar
with it, this is Eisenhower Square. It is a great location
surrounded by institutions created by President Eisenhower
directly related to his activities including establishing the
Department of Health, Education and Welfare, establishing the
FAA, establishing NASA, bringing Voice of America studios down
there in 1954 and so on. So we feel very fortunate to be in
that location and I am most appreciative of the chance to speak
to you today. I realize with the shortage of time we will have
to press rapidly on. I have with me, however, our executive
architect, Daniel File, as well.
FY 2010 APPROPRIATION
The appropriation we received in fiscal year 2010 will
cover the entire two year design process. It will enable the
Commission to move forward in a concrete, expeditious way. The
testimony from Congressmen Dennis Moore and Jerry Moran from
Kansas, who are also Commissioners, described the progress that
we have made in this task, a very important Congressional
mandate that we have to memorialize the Supreme Commander of
the Allied Forces in World War II and the 34th President of the
United States, a brilliant, selfless, military commander and a
master practitioner of pragmatic governance.
The Commission is not requesting funds, as you just heard,
for fiscal year 2011. We will complete the two-year design
phase with the monies that have been given to us. The design
process encompasses these two years. The appropriation that the
Commission received will enable what we believe an efficient,
cost-effective and low-risk approach to completing the
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF COMMISSION
The Commission accomplished several milestones since I last
testified on its behalf. In 2007, we completed a pre-design
program with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. This program
communicated to the designer what the Memorial should be. The
pre-design program served as a guide for the Memorial's design.
In 2008 we engaged with the selection of a design team for the
Memorial. Four design teams advanced to final consideration
from the initial 44. On March 31, 2009, the Commission and GSA
selected well-renowned architect Frank Gehry as the Memorial
designer. In December 2009, the Commission and GSA selected the
Gilbane Company for design and construction management
services. These contracts were signed in January 2010 and the
Commission intends now to create a memorial that will be of the
same caliber as the Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and
Concurrent with this design phase, the Commission is
developing positive relationships with interested private and
governmental groups. In 2010, the Commission will complete the
pre-design program for the E-Memorial, a computer-based
electronic system that will connect the onsite visitors'
experience with the global reach of the Internet. The
Eisenhower Memorial will be the first Presidential memorial to
integrate into its design both the physical site and such an
electronic system. It will establish a prototype partnership
between the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library in
Abilene, Kansas, the National Archives and the National Park
Service. The Park Service will operate the Memorial upon
The E-Memorial will serve then as a future paradigm for
relationships between national Presidential memorials operated
by the Park Service and the Presidential libraries, and the
innovative E-Memorial is especially appropriate for the
Eisenhower Memorial given President Eisenhower's leadership in
organizing science and technology and the country's security
interests. You may or may not recall, he created APRA which led
to DARPA which is the forerunner of the Internet and so on. So
it fits what Eisenhower was about.
With this E-Memorial, digital information will be available
on the Memorial site itself to enhance visitors' understanding
of Eisenhower's achievements and legacy. It will be available
in all of the languages of the United Nations. Offsite, the
educational component will implement the Commission's primary
goal of outreach to grades K-12 by assisting teachers of this
The Commission is engaging with private individuals
planning a national fundraising campaign in support of Memorial
construction. With the assistance of the Webster Group, the
Commission is completing a funding feasibility study, and to
facilitate wider public participation, the Commission is
updating its website. These revisions to the website will give
visitors the ability to make tax-deductible donations to the
Eisenhower Memorial over the Internet. This will be managed by
pay.gov and will be operational in 2010.
The 25-month Memorial design process will be completed in
February 2012. Gehry Partners is the Memorial designer. Gilbane
Company is assisting GSA's national capital region in managing
the design and the construction of the Memorial. GSA awarded
those contracts on behalf of the Eisenhower Memorial
Commission. Several of the partners in the design process are
headquartered or have substantial regional presence in the
District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. We believe this
means the project will continue to have a positive effect on
local employment and tax revenue.
The Commission has an aggressive schedule. We want to hand
the Eisenhower Memorial over to the Park Service and put
ourselves out of business by Memorial Day 2015. That is our
target date. Members of the World War II generation continue to
remind us that they are passing away, and Eisenhower, their
heroic contemporary, is someone they would like to celebrate.
[The statement of General Reddel follows:]
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Mr. Moran. Thank you, General.
What portion of the total funds will be raised privately?
General Reddel. At this point we do not have a final figure
for the construction of the Memorial but we are anticipating 45
Mr. Moran. So less than half will be raised privately?
General Reddel. Yes.
Mr. Moran. Mr. Simpson.
Mr. Simpson. I do not have any questions. Thanks for what
you are doing. I was going to submit my opening statement for
the record, so let us keep up the good work.
Mr. Moran. I am sorry I skipped that, Mr. Simpson.
Mr. Simpson. No, I understand that. I was going to submit
it for the record anyway.
So thanks for the work you are doing and let's get it done
[The statement of Michael K. Simpson follows:]
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Mr. Hinchey's Remarks
Mr. Moran. Mr. Hinchey.
Mr. Hinchey. Well, I very much appreciate what you are
doing, and it must be interesting for you to be engaged in this
process and taking it from the bottom right up to its final
completion. I think that will be a great thing to do, and I am
sure that is something that you are finding very satisfying as
well, engaging in what you are doing.
The history of Eisenhower is very, very important,
particularly, of course, his involvement in the Second World
War as well as his eight years as President of the United
States during a very interesting and challenging time.
So I appreciate what you are doing. I appreciate the
information that you have given us and we look forward to
working with you.
Mr. Moran. Thank you very much, Mr. Hinchey.
Thank you, General. We are going to go vote. We appreciate
your taking the time to share a few minutes with us today.
Mr. Simpson. We apologize for the votes that interrupt
every hearing we ever have.
Mr. Moran. It is fortuitous, though, that you do not have a
pending request immediately before us so it is just as well.
General Reddel. As a historical note, sir, I started the
Holocaust course at the Air Force Academy, so to sit here and
listen to the words of representatives of the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum were especially notable. Thanks for the
Mr. Simpson. I would note that 51 years ago today on St.
Patrick's Day, Eisenhower welcomed the first Irish president,
president of Ireland, to the United States at Reagan Airport.
Mr. Moran. No kidding?
Mr. Simpson. Yes. The first one to ever visit the United
Mr. Moran. Thank you for adding that to the record.
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W I T N E S S E S
Aldrich, Terri................................................... 547
Applegate, Dr. David............................................. 349
Atkinson, Kathleen............................................... 223
Bennett, Barbara................................................. 1
Bivens, Brig. Gen. Nolen......................................... 547
Bloomfield, Sara................................................. 488
Burzyk, Carla M.................................................. 349
Daniels, Jeff.................................................... 547
Gaglione, James Richard.......................................... 488
Giles, Cynthia................................................... 1
Haseltine, Susan D............................................... 349
Jackson, Lisa.................................................... 1
Kimball, Suzette M............................................... 349
Landesman, Rocco................................................. 519
Larsen, Matthew C................................................ 349
Leach, James A................................................... 441
Lynch, Robert L.................................................. 546
MacLachlan, Kyle................................................. 546
McNutt, Dr. Marcia............................................... 349
Nutter, Michael.................................................. 546
Owens, Glenda H.................................................. 603
Owens, Steve..................................................... 1
Perciasepe, Bob.................................................. 1
Pierce, Brenda S................................................. 349
Pizarchik, Joseph G.............................................. 603
Reddel, Brig. Gen. Carl.......................................... 633
Segars, Charles.................................................. 547
Silva, Pete...................................................... 1, 56
Slaughter, Congresswoman Louise M................................ 543
Stanislaus, Mathy................................................ 1
Stokes, Ruth E................................................... 603
Tidwell, Thomas.................................................. 223
Werkheiser, William H............................................ 349
I N D E X
Budget Hearing for Environmental Protection Agency
February 24, 2010
Acquisition Management........................................... 154
Agency Implementation Plans...................................... 22
Air Quality...............................................133, 205, 218
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)..............66, 196, 213
Aquatic Herbicides/Non-Point Source Exemption.................... 195
ARRA Job Creation................................................ 28
ARRA Loan Forgiveness............................................ 26
ARRA Obligations................................................. 27
Arsenic Levels in Drinking Water................................. 25
Beach/Fish Programs.............................................. 110
Biography: Lisa P. Jackson....................................... 20
Biosurveillance and Cooperation with Homeland Security........... 188
Brownfields Grants..............................................55, 145
Brownfields: Unliquidated Obligations............................ 137
Cap-and-Trade Legislation........................................ 203
Carbon Sequestration.............................................54, 73
CARE (Geographic Programs)....................................... 101
Chesapeake Bay.............................................93, 178, 182
Clean Water Act.................................................. 222
Clean Water State Revolving Fund................................. 184
Cleanup of DOD Hazardous Waste................................... 124
Climate Change...................................................21, 67
Climate Change Grants............................................ 131
Climate Change Regulation........................................32, 39
CO2 Emissions.................................................... 21
Coal Combustion Ash.............................................98, 182
Construction Grants.............................................. 138
Copenhagen Climate Summit Cost..................................31, 219
Davis-Bacon Provisions..........................................57, 192
Diesel Emissions Reductions Grants............................... 135
Electronic Manifest.............................................. 187
Endangerment Finding........................................21, 40, 198
Endocrine Disrupters............................................. 170
Enforcement................................................57, 153, 204
Enforcement: Region 10........................................... 191
Environmental Education.......................................... 104
Environmental Programs and Management............................ 82
Environmental Justice............................................ 113
Executive Order 13514............................................ 193
Facilities Infrastructure and Operations........................106-107
Facility Security................................................ 152
Florida Nutrient Standards....................................... 211
Future Energy Sources and Incentives............................. 39
Great Lakes--Davis Bacon......................................... 61
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative...............................34, 86
Green Infrastructure Research.................................... 73
Green Travel and Conferencing.................................... 155
Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule.................................... 72
Greenhouse Gas Reductions Funding................................ 30
Greenhouse Gas Regulatory Path................................... 30
Homeland Security...............................................62, 148
Hydraulic Fracturing............................................. 36
Information Technology.........................................106, 168
Inspector General..............................................115, 139
Integrated Cleanup Initiative.................................... 121
Irrigation Activities Jurisdiction............................... 194
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks................................ 124
Mexico Border Program...........................................55, 143
Mine Permitting Review........................................... 182
Mississippi River Basin.......................................... 82
National Estuary Program......................................... 107
OCS Oil and Gase Operations Permits.............................. 207
Oil Spill........................................................ 126
Opening Statement: Chairman Dicks................................ 1
Opening Statement: Mr. Simpson................................... 3
Perkins, Oklahoma Project........................................ 28
Permit Process..................................................60, 209
Pesticides Budget................................................ 111
Pesticide Regulation............................................. 216
Pollution Control: Section 106 Grants............................ 142
Pollution Prevention............................................. 114
Puget Sound...................................................... 83
Questions for the Record......................................... 66
Questions from Chairman Dicks.................................... 66
Questions from Mr. Calvert....................................... 213
Questions from Mr. Mollohan...................................... 182
Questions from Mr Moran.......................................... 170
Questions from Mr. Price......................................... 187
Questions from Mr. Simpson....................................... 190
Recission of Prior-Year Balances................................. 147
Regulatory Flexibility........................................... 26
Renewable Fuels Standards........................................ 201
Research.....................................................75, 76, 77
School Air Monitoring............................................ 147
Science and Technology........................................... 73
Simpson/Lewis Letter to the President............................ 197
STAR Grants...................................................... 78
State and Tribal Assistance Grants............................... 127
State Air Quality Grants......................................... 133
State Revolving Funds..........................................127, 128
Stationary Diesel Engine Rule.................................... 206
Spruce One....................................................... 59
Stratospheric Ozone: Domestic.................................... 100
Superfund.......................................119, 120, 121, 122, 215
Superfund--Criminal Enforcement.................................55, 117
Testimony of Administrator Lisa Jackson.......................... 5
Threatened Water Bodies Funding and Research..................... 2930
Title 42 Authority............................................... 74
Tribal Grants Program............................................ 136
Voluntary Programs............................................... 98
Budget Hearing for U.S. Forest Service
February 25, 2010
Agency Morale.................................................... 240
Air Tanker Options............................................... 253
Airtanker Needs and Missing Report............................... 298
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act....................305, 340, 347
Back Country Air Strips........................................258, 336
Biography: Tom Tidwell........................................... 237
Bridger Teton National Forest.................................... 341
Budget Restructuring in National Forest System/Integrated
Climate Change............................................232, 303, 339
Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration.....................231, 286
Conservation Easements........................................... 339
Core Watershed Condition Indicators Table......................236, 278
Cost Recovery: Outfitter Guide Permits........................... 241
Ecological Restoration Budget..................................230, 343
Eliminating Road Improvement Funding............................. 272
Emerald Ash Borer................................................ 243
Emerald Ash Borer Efforts: Status................................ 244
Energy from Forest Biomass....................................... 270
Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Fund......................263, 265
Fire Clean Up.................................................... 343
Fire Prevention and Hazardous Fuels.............................. 295
Fire Suppression...............................................233, 254
Fire Suppression: Air Tankers.................................... 252
Fire Suppression: Aircraft Availability.......................... 246
Five Year Summary of the Woody Biomass Utilization Grant Program. 297
Forest Access.................................................... 250
Forest and Rangeland Research.................................... 269
Forest Health Management.......................................233, 300
Forest Legacy and Land Acquistion..............................307, 337
Forest Legacy Program............................................ 243
Hazardous Fuels Funding Distribution............................. 245
Human Resource Service Delivery.................................. 333
Increased Fees on Senior Citizens................................ 341
Integrated Resource Restoration................................254, 255
International Program............................................ 303
Land and Water Conservation Fund.....................329, 334, 337, 338
Land Management Plan Recommended Wilderness...............259, 261, 263
Legacy Roads and Trails........................................239, 274
Management and Administrative Issues............................. 290
Management Efficiencies and Program Reductions................... 290
New Forest Planning Rule and Viability........................... 305
Opening Statement: Chairman Dicks................................ 223
Opening Statement: Mr. Lewis..................................... 225
Opening Statement: Mr. Simpson................................... 224
Performance Measures............................................. 328
Priority Watersheds and Jobs Stabilization Initiative.....231, 247, 288
Proposed Reduction On Campground Discount........................ 264
Proposed Wilderness: Agency Differences.......................... 262
Proposed Integrated Resources Restoration Program................ 325
Questions for the Record......................................... 272
Questions from Chairman Dicks.................................... 272
Questions from Mr. Calvert....................................... 343
Questions from Mr. Chandler...................................... 334
Questions from Mr. LaTourette.................................... 342
Questions from Mr. Moran......................................... 319
Questions from Mr. Simpson....................................... 335
Revenue and Receipts............................................. 311
Road Maintenance................................................. 238
Roadless Rule.................................................... 247
Roads Funding in the FY2011 Budget.............................238, 330
Snowmobile and Mountain Bike Use in RWAs......................... 336
Special Places................................................... 319
State Fire and Forestry Assistance............................... 299
State Fire Assistance............................................ 268
State Forest Assessments.......................................269, 300
Stewardship Contracting.......................................... 284
Stewardship Contracting Outcomes/Outputs Table................... 286
Stewardship Management........................................... 329
Suppression/FLAME/Contingency Reserve............................ 324
Testimony of Chief Tom Tidwell................................... 226
Timber Performance............................................... 256
Trails Funding Reduction and Backlog Maintenance................. 309
Transportation Costs and Biomass Utilization..................... 271
Travel Management..............................................249, 251
Travel Management: Ouachita...................................... 251
Unplanned Fires: Hazardous Fuels................................. 256
Unplanned Fires: Resource Benefit................................ 258
Urban and Community Forestry.........................301, 322, 333, 342
Biomass Grants Within Hazardous Fuels Funding.................... 296
Watershed Restoration and Condition Class......................282, 308
Weeks Act Centennial March 1, 2011............................... 310
Western Bark Beetle.............................................. 335
Western Governors' Association Bi-Partisan Letter Supporting
Wildfire Preparedness--New Baseline.............................. 292
Wildfire Suppression, FLAME Reserve Fund and New Presidential
Wildland Fire and Community Preparedness......................... 258
Budget Hearing for the U.S. Geological Survey
March 10, 2010
Biography: Dr. Marcia McNutt..................................... 360
Budget Overview.................................................. 352
Budget Summary by Budget Activity................................ 355
Bureau Science Support........................................... 412
Climate Change.................................................384, 423
Climate Change: Appropriate Funding Level........................ 362
Climate Change: Government-Wide Coordination..................... 364
Climate Change: Role and Level of Coordination................... 361
Climate Impacts Initiative....................................... 353
Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning............................354, 411
Collaborative DOI Science Work................................... 355
Data Collection Versus Assessment: Funding Challenge............. 377
Earthquakes and Other Natural Hazards..........................400, 427
Endocrine Disruptors...........................................380, 387
Energy Frontier Initiative.....................................353, 416
Fixed Costs...................................................... 409
FY2011 Program Decreases in the Request.......................... 419
Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, Puget Sound Restoration Efforts..... 396
Groundwater Coordination with EPA................................ 380
Interagency Coordination......................................... 363
Introduction of USGS Management Team............................. 351
Landsat Data Continuity Mission.................................. 354
Landsat Satellite for Remote Sensing of the Earth................ 409
Mercury Contamination Study...................................... 381
Mercury in the Shenandoah River.................................. 395
National Network of State Conservation Data Agencies............. 420
Hydraulic Fracturing Techniques & Natural Gas.................... 377
Natural Hazards Funding.......................................... 354
Opening Statement: Chairman Moran................................ 349
Opening Statement: Mr. Simpson................................... 350
Proposed Budget Reductions....................................... 355
Puget Sound Action Plan.......................................... 382
Questions for the Record......................................... 384
Questions from Chairman Moran.................................... 384
Questions from Mr. LaTourette.................................... 430
Questions from Mr. Simpson....................................... 422
Science Support.................................................. 429
Streamgage Program: Vision.....................................365, 422
Streamgages: Reduced Funding Support............................. 366
Threatened and Discontinued Streamgages by State Table........... 367
Testimony of Dr. Marcia McNutt.................................351, 356
National Map..................................................... 426
Treasured Landscape Initiative................................... 354
USGS Potential Reorganization and Altered Budget Structure....... 416
WaterSMART Initiative, Water Census and Streamgages.............. 390
WaterSMART Program.............................................353, 423
Wildlife and Fish Diseases....................................... 413
Minerals Management Service--Statement for the Record
Deep Gas Incentives.............................................. 433
Energy for the Future............................................ 434
Federal and Indian Compliance Assurance.......................... 438
Fee on Nonproducing Leases....................................... 433
FY2011 President's Request....................................... 432
Geothermal County Payments....................................... 434
Indian Trust Responsibilities.................................... 439
Lease Sale Implementation........................................ 435
MRM Support System Modifications and Increasing Audit/Compliance
Net Receipts Sharing............................................. 434
Royalty In-Kind Phase-Out and Transition to Royalty in Value..... 437
Royalty Management Review and Reform............................. 436
Strategic Reorganization of MRM Program.......................... 437
New Five-Year OCS Oil & Gas Leasing Program...................... 436
Budget Hearing for National Endowment for the Humanities
March 17, 2010
Biography: Jim Leach............................................. 453
Bridging Cultures..............................................468, 478
Bridging Cultures Issues Conferences............................. 479
Bridging Cultures: Tangible Results.............................. 455
Challenge Grants Program......................................... 481
Civility and American History.................................... 457
Civility and Congress............................................ 458
Civility Tour.................................................... 469
Digital Humanities............................................... 470
EDSITEment Website............................................... 472
Endangered Languages...........................................462, 482
Endangered Languages Partnership with National Science Foundation 476
Funding Grants for Post-Secondary Education Teachers............. 473
Graduate Education & the Humanities.............................. 486
Grants to Historically Black, High Hispanic Enrollment and Tribal
Colleges and Universities...................................... 475
Idaho Humanities Council (IHC)................................... 480
Lifelong Learning in the Humanities.............................. 484
Mr. Dicks Remarks................................................ 442
Opening Statement: Chairman Moran................................ 441
Opening Statement: Mr. Simpson................................... 442
Philanthropy and Humanities...................................... 480
Questions for the Record......................................... 468
Questions from Chairman Moran.................................... 468
Questions from Mr. Price......................................... 486
Questions from Mr. Simpson....................................... 478
State Humanities Councils......................................463, 464
Testimony of Chairman Jim Leach.................................. 443
Two-Year College Initiative....................................465, 474
We the People Program............................................ 485
Budget Hearing for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
March 17, 2010
Biography: Sara J. Bloomfield.................................... 495
Coordination with Other Federal International Efforts............ 516
Ethical Leadership Programs...................................... 496
Exhibitions...............................................502, 506, 513
Genocide Prevention Task Force.................................499, 505
International Tracing Services Archive........................... 507
Military Training Programs.....................................498, 511
National Education Outreach...................................... 508
Opening Statement: Chairman Moran................................ 488
Opening Statement: Mr. Simpson................................... 488
Outreach Initiatives.................................497, 502, 506, 513
Private Funding.................................................. 503
Questions for the Record......................................... 501
Questions from Chairman Moran.................................... 501
Questions from Mr. Simpson....................................... 510
Security Concerns.........................................496, 501, 510
Testimony of Executive Director Sara J. Bloomfield............... 489
Budget Hearing for the National Endowment for the Arts
April 13, 2010
``Arts Works'' Tour.............................................. 523
``Our Town'' Initiative...................................524, 531, 660
American Masterpieces and the Big Read Initiatives............... 523
American Public Support for the Arts............................. 540
Biography: Rocco Landesman....................................... 529
Controversy and NEA.............................................. 537
Economic Impact of Arts Funding................................531, 532
Fixed Costs...................................................... 660
FY11 Budget Request.............................................. 523
Hatch Act and Ethics Training.................................... 537
Increased Budget and Impact of Arts Funding...................... 530
Opening Statement: Chairman Moran................................ 519
Opening Statement: Mr. Simpson................................... 520
Private Sector Partnerships...................................... 661
Questions for the Record from Chairman Moran..................... 660
Recovery Act Funds............................................... 539
State Arts Councils.............................................. 538
Technology and the Arts.......................................... 662
Testimony: Chairman Rocco Landesman.............................. 522
The Big Read...................................................533, 660
Underserved Populations.......................................... 661
Use of FY10 Funds................................................ 522
Work with Foundations............................................ 530
Public Witnesses: American Advocates for the Arts
April 13, 2010
Arts Education.................................................544, 592
Arts in Philadelphia............................................. 557
Benefits of the Arts............................................. 545
Diminishing Funding Reasons...................................... 549
Economic Impact of the Arts...................................... 544
International Diplomacy through the Arts......................... 584
Mayors' Institute on City Design................................. 559
NEA Budget.....................................................544, 556
Opening Statement: Mr. Moran..................................... 543
Operation Homecoming............................................. 585
Purple Rose Theatre.............................................. 598
Recovery Act Funding...........................................548, 558
Rural Arts Funding............................................... 577
State and Local Communities...................................... 549
Testimony of Brig. General Nolan Bivens.......................... 582
Testimony of Charles Segars...................................... 591
Testimony of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter...................... 543
Testimony of Jeff Daniels........................................ 597
Testimony of Kyle MacLachlan..................................... 566
Testimony of Mayor Michael Nutter................................ 556
Testimony of President & CEO Robert Lynch........................ 547
Testimony of Terri Aldrich....................................... 575
Warfare and the Arts............................................. 583
Budget Hearing for the Office of Surface Mining
March 10, 2010
Absorbing Fixed Costs/State Equity............................... 624
AML Emergency Program............................................ 620
AML Fund Balance................................................. 627
Biography: Joseph G. Pizarchik................................... 612
Coal Mining Permitting Process................................... 630
Environment and Energy Needs Balance............................. 604
Elimination of Payments to Certified States...................... 622
EPA Review of Mountaintop Mining Projects........................ 631
FY11 Budget Request.............................................. 605
Funding State Regulatory Programs................................ 613
Increased Fees on Coal Industry.................................. 614
Memorandum Of Understanding: DOI, EPA, Army Corps of Engineers... 617
Mountaintop Mining............................................... 630
Needs Estimate................................................... 626
Opening Statement: Chairman Moran................................ 603
Opening Statement: Mr. Simpson................................... 603
OSM and EPA Permit Coordination.................................. 615
Payments to Certified States/Tribes.............................. 614
Performance/Data Trends.......................................... 625
Proposed Revision of Rule on Mining Waste Disposal............... 631
Questions for the Record......................................... 619
Questions from Chairman Moran.................................... 619
Questions from Mr. Simpson....................................... 630
Regulation and Technology........................................ 619
State Regulatory Grants.......................................... 613
Stream Buffer Rule.............................................616, 624
Testimony of Director Joseph G. Pizarchik........................ 604
Budget Hearing for the Eisenhower Memorial Commission
March 17, 2010
Accomplishments of Commission.................................... 634
Biography: Brig. General Carl W. Reddel.......................... 642
Capturing the Essence of Eisenhower.............................. 656
Design and Construction Budget.................................646, 652
Design Phase..................................................... 635
Federal Agency Involvement....................................... 654
Fundraising Progress...........................................635, 647
FY2010 Appropriation............................................. 634
Mr. Hinchey Remarks.............................................. 645
Opening Statement: Chairman Moran................................ 633
Opening Statement: Mr. Simpson................................... 644
Private Fundraising.............................................. 643
Questions for the Record......................................... 646
Questions from Chairman Moran.................................... 646
Questions from Mr. Simpson....................................... 652
Temporary Federal Workforce...................................... 651
Testimony of Brig. General Carl Reddel........................... 633
Total Cost....................................................... 653