Focus: [issue of November 4, 2022]
France 24
Oysterman of Hopeland, LA - NTL B-Roll Mississippi River Gulf Outlet
Oysterman of Hopeland, LA - NTL B-Roll Mississippi River Gulf Outlet
Oysterman of Hopeland, LA - NTL B-Roll Mississippi River Gulf Outlet
Oysterman of Hopeland, LA - NTL B-Roll Mississippi River Gulf Outlet
LOUISIANA CANALS
LAKE BORGNE IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA IS THREATENED BECAUSE OF EROSION CAUSED BY THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET. 05:00:18:12 INTV/W A LOCAL FISHERMAN WHO TALKS ABOUT THE EROSION CAUSED BY THE CANAL. 05:06:37:12 VS AS THE MAN PILOTS HIS BOAT ALONG THE RIVER. VS AS MR MAYO AND MR SAVOY RIDE IN A BOAT ON THE CANAL. 05:14:08:10 INTV/W MR SAVOY ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION CAUSED BY THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET (MRGO). TRAVELLING SHOTS OF THE CANAL. VS OF EGRETS AND OTHER MARSH BIRDS NESTING AND FLYING OVER THE SWAMP. CI: ANIMALS: BIRDS. DISASTERS: ENVIRONMENTAL. SCENICS: CANAL.
LOUISIANA CANALS
COVER VIDEO ON THE THREAT TO LAKE BORGNE FROM EROSION CAUSED BY THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET. 09:00:07:10 INTV/W A WORKER AT ROBIN SEAFOOD ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF THE OYSTER AND CLUB HABITAT IN THE LAKE BORGNE REGION AS A RESULT OF THE MERGING OF LAKE BORGNE WITH THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET DUE TO EROSION. INTV CUTAWAYS. 09:04:29:10 WS OF FISHING BOATS DOCKED ALONGSIDE A PIER. VS AS A CRATE OF CRABS ARE SEPARATED BY SIZE. 09:13:52:00 CU OF A DRAGONFLY RESTING ON A VERTICAL LIFT DRAWBRIDGE. 09:22:09:10 SU AL DALE. CUS OF DYING CYRUS TREES. CI: DISASTERS: ENVIRONMENTAL. SCENICS: CANAL.
LOUISIANA CANALS
COVER VIDEO ON THE THREAT TO LAKE BORGNE FROM EROSION CAUSED BY THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET. 09:00:07:10 INTV/W A WORKER AT ROBIN SEAFOOD ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF THE OYSTER AND CLUB HABITAT IN THE LAKE BORGNE REGION AS A RESULT OF THE MERGING OF LAKE BORGNE WITH THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET DUE TO EROSION. INTV CUTAWAYS. 09:04:29:10 WS OF FISHING BOATS DOCKED ALONGSIDE A PIER. VS AS A CRATE OF CRABS ARE SEPARATED BY SIZE. 09:13:52:00 CU OF A DRAGONFLY RESTING ON A VERTICAL LIFT DRAWBRIDGE. 09:22:09:10 SU AL DALE. CUS OF DYING CYRUS TREES. CI: DISASTERS: ENVIRONMENTAL. SCENICS: CANAL.
LOUISIANA CANALS
COVER VIDEO ON THE THREAT TO LAKE BORGNE FROM EROSION CAUSED BY THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET. 09:00:07:10 INTV/W A WORKER AT ROBIN SEAFOOD ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF THE OYSTER AND CLUB HABITAT IN THE LAKE BORGNE REGION AS A RESULT OF THE MERGING OF LAKE BORGNE WITH THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET DUE TO EROSION. INTV CUTAWAYS. 09:04:29:10 WS OF FISHING BOATS DOCKED ALONGSIDE A PIER. VS AS A CRATE OF CRABS ARE SEPARATED BY SIZE. 09:13:52:00 CU OF A DRAGONFLY RESTING ON A VERTICAL LIFT DRAWBRIDGE. 09:22:09:10 SU AL DALE. CUS OF DYING CYRUS TREES. CI: DISASTERS: ENVIRONMENTAL. SCENICS: CANAL.
LOUISIANA CANALS
COVER VIDEO ON THE THREAT TO LAKE BORGNE FROM EROSION CAUSED BY THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET. 09:00:07:10 INTV/W A WORKER AT ROBIN SEAFOOD ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF THE OYSTER AND CLUB HABITAT IN THE LAKE BORGNE REGION AS A RESULT OF THE MERGING OF LAKE BORGNE WITH THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET DUE TO EROSION. INTV CUTAWAYS. 09:04:29:10 WS OF FISHING BOATS DOCKED ALONGSIDE A PIER. VS AS A CRATE OF CRABS ARE SEPARATED BY SIZE. 09:13:52:00 CU OF A DRAGONFLY RESTING ON A VERTICAL LIFT DRAWBRIDGE. 09:22:09:10 SU AL DALE. CUS OF DYING CYRUS TREES. CI: DISASTERS: ENVIRONMENTAL. SCENICS: CANAL.
LOUISIANA CANALS
COVER VIDEO ON THE THREAT TO LAKE BORGNE FROM EROSION CAUSED BY THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET (MRGO). 02:00:28:10 AERIALS OF THE MRGO AND SWAMPS THAT SEPARATE IT FROM LAKE BORGNE. 02:19:00:11 AERIALS OF FISHING BOATS CRUISING ON THE WATERWAY. MORE AERIALS OF WETLANDS. 02:29:03:14 AERIALS OF SILT ERUPTING FROM A PIPELINE AS THE CANAL IS DREDGED. CI: AIR VIEWS: CANAL. SCENICS: CANAL.
LOUISIANA CANALS
COVER VIDEO ON THE THREAT TO LAKE BORGNE FROM EROSION CAUSED BY THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET (MRGO). 02:00:28:10 AERIALS OF THE MRGO AND SWAMPS THAT SEPARATE IT FROM LAKE BORGNE. 02:19:00:11 AERIALS OF FISHING BOATS CRUISING ON THE WATERWAY. MORE AERIALS OF WETLANDS. 02:29:03:14 AERIALS OF SILT ERUPTING FROM A PIPELINE AS THE CANAL IS DREDGED. CI: AIR VIEWS: CANAL. SCENICS: CANAL.
LOUISIANA CANALS
COVER VIDEO ON THE THREAT TO LAKE BORGNE FROM EROSION CAUSED BY THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET (MRGO). 02:00:28:10 AERIALS OF THE MRGO AND SWAMPS THAT SEPARATE IT FROM LAKE BORGNE. 02:19:00:11 AERIALS OF FISHING BOATS CRUISING ON THE WATERWAY. MORE AERIALS OF WETLANDS. 02:29:03:14 AERIALS OF SILT ERUPTING FROM A PIPELINE AS THE CANAL IS DREDGED. CI: AIR VIEWS: CANAL. SCENICS: CANAL.
LOUISIANA CANALS
COVER VIDEO ON THE THREAT TO LAKE BORGNE FROM EROSION CAUSED BY THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET (MRGO). 02:00:28:10 AERIALS OF THE MRGO AND SWAMPS THAT SEPARATE IT FROM LAKE BORGNE. 02:19:00:11 AERIALS OF FISHING BOATS CRUISING ON THE WATERWAY. MORE AERIALS OF WETLANDS. 02:29:03:14 AERIALS OF SILT ERUPTING FROM A PIPELINE AS THE CANAL IS DREDGED. CI: AIR VIEWS: CANAL. SCENICS: CANAL.
DISAPPEARING BAYOU
BG MATERIAL FOR A CS ON THE RAPID EROSION OF MARSHLAND IN SOUTHERN LOUISIANA. 06:00:20 INTV/W AN ELDERLY CAJUN BAYOU DWELLER ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF LAND BENEATH THE ENCROACHING MEXICAN GULF. 06:08:32 TIGHT SHOT OF A SIGN FOR THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET CANAL. ZOOM OUT TO WS REVEALS A CARGO BARGE CRUISING ALONG THE CANAL. JOHN QUINONES SU. POV FTG FROM A MOTORBOAT BEING PILOTED INTO THE GULF BY AN OLD FISHERMAN. CI: DISASTERS: MARINE. ECOLOGY: COASTAL EROSION. ECOLOGY: CONSERVATION. SCENICS: CANAL.
DISAPPEARING BAYOU
BG MATERIAL FOR A CS ON THE RAPID EROSION OF MARSHLAND IN SOUTHERN LOUISIANA. 06:00:20 INTV/W AN ELDERLY CAJUN BAYOU DWELLER ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF LAND BENEATH THE ENCROACHING MEXICAN GULF. 06:08:32 TIGHT SHOT OF A SIGN FOR THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET CANAL. ZOOM OUT TO WS REVEALS A CARGO BARGE CRUISING ALONG THE CANAL. JOHN QUINONES SU. POV FTG FROM A MOTORBOAT BEING PILOTED INTO THE GULF BY AN OLD FISHERMAN. CI: DISASTERS: MARINE. ECOLOGY: COASTAL EROSION. ECOLOGY: CONSERVATION. SCENICS: CANAL.
DISAPPEARING BAYOU
BG MATERIAL FOR A CS ON THE RAPID EROSION OF MARSHLAND IN SOUTHERN LOUISIANA. 06:00:20 INTV/W AN ELDERLY CAJUN BAYOU DWELLER ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF LAND BENEATH THE ENCROACHING MEXICAN GULF. 06:08:32 TIGHT SHOT OF A SIGN FOR THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET CANAL. ZOOM OUT TO WS REVEALS A CARGO BARGE CRUISING ALONG THE CANAL. JOHN QUINONES SU. POV FTG FROM A MOTORBOAT BEING PILOTED INTO THE GULF BY AN OLD FISHERMAN. CI: DISASTERS: MARINE. ECOLOGY: COASTAL EROSION. ECOLOGY: CONSERVATION. SCENICS: CANAL.
DISAPPEARING BAYOU
BG MATERIAL FOR A CS ON THE RAPID EROSION OF MARSHLAND IN SOUTHERN LOUISIANA. 06:00:20 INTV/W AN ELDERLY CAJUN BAYOU DWELLER ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF LAND BENEATH THE ENCROACHING MEXICAN GULF. 06:08:32 TIGHT SHOT OF A SIGN FOR THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET CANAL. ZOOM OUT TO WS REVEALS A CARGO BARGE CRUISING ALONG THE CANAL. JOHN QUINONES SU. POV FTG FROM A MOTORBOAT BEING PILOTED INTO THE GULF BY AN OLD FISHERMAN. CI: DISASTERS: MARINE. ECOLOGY: COASTAL EROSION. ECOLOGY: CONSERVATION. SCENICS: CANAL.
DISAPPEARING BAYOU
BG MATERIAL FOR A CS ON THE RAPID EROSION OF MARSHLAND IN SOUTHERN LOUISIANA. 06:00:20 INTV/W AN ELDERLY CAJUN BAYOU DWELLER ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF LAND BENEATH THE ENCROACHING MEXICAN GULF. 06:08:32 TIGHT SHOT OF A SIGN FOR THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER GULF OUTLET CANAL. ZOOM OUT TO WS REVEALS A CARGO BARGE CRUISING ALONG THE CANAL. JOHN QUINONES SU. POV FTG FROM A MOTORBOAT BEING PILOTED INTO THE GULF BY AN OLD FISHERMAN. CI: DISASTERS: MARINE. ECOLOGY: COASTAL EROSION. ECOLOGY: CONSERVATION. SCENICS: CANAL.
United States Senate 1100 - 1200
SENATE FLOOR DEBATE: The Senate will convene and begin a period of morning business. Thereafter, resume consideration of H.R. 4939, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act. 11:01:29.4 Quorum call. 11:05:59.7 mr. kennedy: mr. president, i 11:06:00.0 had offered the senator from washington a previous occasion to file an amendment, 3688. i would ask if its appropriate now to set aside the -- it's not 11:06:20.8 appropriate?n i would call for the regular order? the presiding officer: without objection, the amendment is now pending. 11:06:32.8 mr. kennedy: pending. 11:06:37.4 mr. president, i think for any of us who had the chance last evening to look at the national news, virtually the story that led all of the national networks was the new concern that our 11:06:53.8 public health officials and worldwide public health officials have with regard to the dangers of avian flu, a pandemic, so to speak. we listened to our secretary of h.h.s. talk about the numbers of 11:07:10.2 americans that would be affected. some two million americans would be affected. there was the whole issue, the question about even the potential of closing down airlines, khroeusing -- closing 11:07:26.6 airports, the dangers that would be there in the workplace, the health dangers that we would be faced with. i think that this is something that we have in our committee 11:07:41.0 been very, very concerned about. and i pay special commendation to the chairman of our health committee, senator burr, who had a whole set of series not only on the dangers of avian flu and also on the dangers of 11:07:57.7 bioterrorism. there are some very important kind of common threats that come from bioterrorism and from an avian flu kind of danger. obviously the first thing one nation has to do is it has to 11:08:14.0 try and detect these dangers, these pathogens in these countries where they may be developing and secondly be able to detect them here at home. that's why it's so important the development and the support for a public health system. 11:08:28.4 and then there is the real challenge in terms of containment, trying to contain these, any of these dangers that are out there. and then obviously is the treatment, the treatment for individuals that are affected. and those can be either treating 11:08:45.7 individuals who are affected or try to provide a vaccine for individuals that, so the dangers to those individuals would be minimized. and that is all under the rubric 11:09:00.7 under the development of a national plan, a national plan. and i'm going to come back to that in just a moment, because we here in the united states have not had that kind of developed, effective plan that i 11:09:16.6 think would be necessary to try and deal with the central challenge. but this amendment, mr. president, is a very simple but a vital amendment, and it is absolutely a linchpin in any kind of battle against the dangers of an avian flu or any 11:09:33.2 kind of flu. and that is if we're expecting our drug industry to be able to develop the vaccines and we have given a good deal of flexibility to the food and drug 11:09:46.7 administration that in these kinds of emergencies to be able to give approval to these vaccines that might not have been and probably would not have been given the kind of safety, evaluations that other 11:10:05.1 prescriptions would have undertaken, we have to say, well, who is going to receive those vaccines or those treatments? and primarily they will be individuals that we call first responders. 11:10:21.1 and what are they going to do? they are going to go into the infected area and try and contain it. so it is one thing to put hundreds of millions and billions of dollars in terms of developing these vaccines or these treatments to try and minimize the health impact by 11:10:39.4 the dangers of avian flu. but if we are going to ask these first responders to go in and risk their lives, their health and the economic stability and security of their family, then we ought to be willing to say to 11:10:55.9 these individuals, if you are going to get sick and if you are going to lose your job, or if there is going to be dangers to your health as you are be the front-line defenders for the rest of the society, that we are going to compensate you for the 11:11:11.3 kind of loss of income that you're going to have as a result of taking this kind of vaccine. that's what this amendment does. it provides for a compensation program for first responders, 11:11:28.3 for our firefighters and for our police. now you can say, well, is this 11:11:33.7 really necessary? is it necessary? all we have to do is look at history and we will find that when you do not have a compensation program, you do not have the kinds of volunteers for first responders that are 11:11:47.1 willing to take on these kinds of challenges. so this is what this amendment does. it's a very limited amendment. and that is the reason that i think it is so important. and you can ask, well, is this 11:12:05.6 really an emergency or not. no one could look at the news last night and see the lead story on all three networks and say there is a real danger this is coming at you and say we ought to treat this as business as usual. 11:12:21.2 that is why i believe this amendment is appropriate on this supplemental. now, mr. president, the administration seems to be suffering from a condition that could be called c. k- d.d. -- c.d.d., competence deficit 11:12:37.7 disorder. whether iraq or the katrina crisis, the administration has been incompetent on the issues of dealing with the avian flu. our "help" committee has analyzed the administration's regular failure to prepare for a flu pandemic, and today we are 11:12:54.0 releasing a report showing they failed to take the steps needed to see that america is ready for this major national challenge. they failed to invest in the hospital surge capacity, in needed information technology and the public health surveillance and training 11:13:09.5 programs needed for an effective response. and the endless challenges in the pandemic flu plan are a symbol of the failure. the preparations of the avian flu have been in such prolonged disarray that they are releasing their third new plan this week. 11:13:26.2 the bush administration has known for the need of a plan to prepare for the flu pandemic since the day it took office. but 2001 one came and went without a plan. then 2002 and 2003 and 2004 and almost all of 2005, and still no plan. 11:13:41.7 in each of these years, the warnings of a potential pandemic grew louder but were ignored. this, mr. president, chart shows the warnings that have been there. here's from may 2002, the world health organization's. authorities must understand the 11:14:02.1 potential pandemic influenza. 2000, federal and state plans do not address the key interests surrounding the purchase and distribution of vaccines and antivirals. 11:14:13.4 then we had the series of outbreaks. look, december 2003, outbreak in south korea. outbreak in 2004 in vietnam. outbreak in 2006 of avian flu in britain. these are all the outbreaks in the most recent years. these were the warnings. 11:14:29.1 institute of medicine in 1992, policy-makers must realize and understand the magnitude of the influenza pandemic. now, mr. president, what have other nations done on the pandemic? 11:14:45.7 first, let's just look at other countries around the world in developing a comprehensive plan for the pandemic. here we have got in october 1997, we had a program by the japanese, canada in february 11:15:04.5 2004. here's czechoslovakia in april 2004. february 2005, hong kong. march of 2005, great britain. i have, mr. chairman, i'm not going to include them in the records, but let me just show 11:15:21.6 the extent of the british pandemic flu program. i've illustrated this at other times during the similar discussions. here's the canadian plan. these are enormously 11:15:37.4 comprehensive programs. they are programs to deal in rural areas, in urban areas, the training program. and not only are they programs, but they are being implemented. ours, mr. president, was in november 2005, and it's been 11:15:53.5 incomplete, and the administration has sent a second plan for us now. now, mr. president, what is basically that we are trying to do? 11:16:08.4 what is the -- let me just show one other chart that indicates this isn't just a, what i believe, mr. president, here is a g.a.o. report, november 2000. federal and state influenza plans do not address the key issues surrounding the purchase and distribution of vaccines and 11:16:27.3 antivirals. 2002. june 2005, the draft plan does not establish the actions the 11:16:31.8 federal government would take to purchase and distribute the vaccine during an influenza pandemic. this is the g.a.o., june of 2005. and, mr. president, that is the current situation. we have in the legislation, 11:16:50.4 resources to be able to purchase the vaccines in the emergency. but we do not have a compensation program.n we have a compensation program 11:17:03.8 in name, but that is all that it is. it is not funded. well, you can say, well, we'll try and find a way to fund it in the future. just ask that to the down-winders out in utah. tell that to my friend senator hatch who has been absolutely 11:17:19.6 brilliant in terms of looking after those individuals whose lives were so affected by the experiments in terms of nuclear materials so many years ago. he to his great credit developed a program. 11:17:34.3 i welcome the opportunity to work with him to try to affect those people whose help in many instances had absolutely been destroyed by these expoajers that were in the national interest, as we developed various nuclear weapons. here's our majority leader, 11:17:51.7 mr. president, who has said too many health workers have been deterred from receiving the smallpox vaccine in part because of the uncertainties about what would happen and how they would provide for themselves if they suffered a serious adverse reaction to the vaccine. 11:18:11.0 that states it as clearly, succinctly as one could possibly say it. we do not have a grarn teed -- guaranteed compensation program in this legislation or in any other place in our health care 11:18:26.6 system. this provides a down payment for the compensation program. now, you can say, well, senator, why should we do that for this particular program? 11:18:41.1 all we have to do, mr. president, is look at other vaccine programs, other public health programs for swine flu, for childhood vaccines, and after congress acted for smallpox, we had a compensation plan for those injured by 11:18:57.7 experimental vaccine, but for the flu we only have an empty sham of a compensation with no -- mr. president, that is what this amendment does. it provides some $289 million 11:19:14.8 for the development of that compensation program. it is effectively the same kind, although they are effectively the same kinds of programs which have been essential in the past. 11:19:32.0 if we expect our front line responders to be willing to take experimental vaccines and to risk their lives for the common good of the community that may very well be threatened by avian 11:19:49.7 flu or bioterrorism, individuals who are well trained as front line responders ought to have the kind of assurance that if they take an experimental drug and they go out there to protect the public, that if something is 11:20:04.0 going to happen to them, that there will be a compensation fund to compensate them for their health care needs and their immediate needs if that should turn out to be the case. nothing more, nothing less. that's essentially what this amendment does. 11:20:24.2 mr. president, this is -- i see our floor managers. i'm grad to accommodate whatever -- i'm glad to accommodate whatever they want. 11:20:40.3 i'd like to get a yea or nay vote at some time. i know they've got a full program. so i'm glad to either ask for the yeas and nays now, which i would ask -- i'd ask for the yeas and nays. i'd ask for the yeas and nays 11:20:55.3 now. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. mr. cochran: mr. president, if the senator would yield to respond, checking with the chairman and ranking member of the appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human 11:21:12.3 service futding -- funding to see what the reaction is to the funding, they're having a hearing as we speak over in the appropriations committee, so i feel obliged to get their advice and counsel as to what response ought to be made, if any, to the 11:21:28.1 senator's amendment. we have no objection to 11:21:30.7 proceeding to have a vote on the amendment, but i think the senate's entitled to know what the reaction might be. mr. kennedy: that's fine, understandable, mr. president. i'll wait until i hear from the chairman or the ranking member. 11:21:47.0 i don't intend to extend the discussion. i think it's pretty understandable. but i'll be glad to follow the leader when he lets us know when they want to come back and address complete action on it. i'll be available. 11:22:02.7 mr. cochran: mr. president, i thank the senator very much for that indulgence. if others wish to offer amendments, i'm prepared to ask unanimous consent to temporarily lay aside the senator from massachusetts' amendment to permit other amendments to be offered. i do ask unanimous consent for that purpose. the presiding officer: without 11:22:17.7 objection. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: -- a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. a senator: mr. president, i'd like to have a moment to speak about two amendments that are germane. ms. landrieu: mr. president, i'd 11:22:41.9 like to bring up for a brief discussion my amendment,3750. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from 11:23:11.4 louisiana, miss landrieu, proposes an amendment numbered 3750. ms. landrieu: i ask the pending amendment can be set aside -- not set aside, but i dispense with the reading of the 11:23:25.7 amendment for a brief discussion. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: mr. president, this amendment that i offer tries to move forward a very difficult situation that we're faced with in louisiana about how to protect not just the new orleans city proper but the 11:23:45.2 greater metropolitan area and parts of south louisiana from flooding in the future. and as you know, mr. president, because you've been gracious enough to be one of the senators to go down and walk through the neighborhoods and see the flooding, and as you know, being 11:23:59.7 a firsthand witness, it one just the hurricanes, both katrina and rita, but it was the breaking of levee systems. some of those levees were long industrial canals that serviced this great port, which together 11:24:15.9 with the south louisiana port is the largest port system in america. some of these levees were along the lake, and some of these levees were along what we call the london avenue canal. there was a project that was designed and structure by the 11:24:32.7 corps of engineers back in the 1930's and 1940's called the mississippi river gulf outlet. i think you actually stood on that levee, mr. president, and looked to see where that breech occurred. this avenue was thought at the 11:24:51.5 time that we built it and designed it like so many large civil works projects that we've done in this nation to be a positive thing, to help expand the opportunities for the poor, shorten trade and commerce, and 11:25:06.8 for awhile it did serve that purpose. but what's happened, mr. president, over the decades is that it has caused such erosion in the great expanse of marshland that it was placed in 11:25:21.9 or the t marsh was drenged through to create -- dredged through to create it that it really is causing, according to everyone that has looked at how the flooding occurred in our area, it's causing just serious, not only environmental damage, 11:25:38.1 but now a real threat to life and property. so there's been an effort under way between port first, between parish officials in saint bernard, the business community to try to come up with a way to close the mississippi river gulf 11:25:54.5 outlet but to do it in a way that protects the parish of saint bernard parish primarily and the lower ninth ward, as well as trying to give some 11:26:09.7 period of time for the few businesses that are along the gulf outlet to make arrangements to move. my amendment would simply provide a minimal amount of money, $3.5 million, for the corps of engineers to develop a 11:26:26.9 closure plan because the 11:26:30.5 consensus at home is that the mississippi river gulf outlet, which is demonstrated here on the map, which served at one time as a very important shipping channel, but its 11:26:45.8 importance to shipping has greatly diminished as it's threat to the environment has substantially increased. because we haven't had the federal or state resources to actually protect these marsh 11:27:00.2 lands the way we should, this channel has become quite wide, much wider than any of us had anticipated, even the corps, and the possibilities of flooding have been increased because the channel has been expanded and 11:27:17.5 these marshes have been eroding for many different factors, not just this. so this very modest $3.5 million would allow a study. the studies have actually been conducted, but plan, not really 11:27:33.7 a study, because the studies are completed, but a plan to actually close this. this will then become part of our overall protection system for this region. again the point is we're not just building levies to protect south louisiana and south 11:27:53.2 mississippi and other costal places. it's a combination of some levees, some coastal restoration and some smart navigation channel work or rework that is integrated, much more of a 11:28:07.2 sophisticated, coordinated approach than in the past. so i just offer this amendment by way of explanation to show that the studies have been done. there's been a lot of evaluation over the past storms, and this will allow the corps to come up with a plan to close mrgo, 11:28:30.9 provide for good opportunities for shipping, provide for environmental protection, and most importantly protect south dakota bernard parish and the 11:28:40.3 lower part of the new orleans parish and new orleans east from flooding in the future. so that is the amendment, and i'd like to go on to the next one, if i could. i'd like the call up amendment 11:28:56.2 3752. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from louisiana, ms. landrieu, proposes an amendment numbered 3752. ms. landrieu: i ask the clerk to dispense with the reading of the amendment. the presiding officer: without 11:29:10.7 objection. ms. landrieu: this next amendment is a one-year grant of $8.5 million to the port of new orleans to mitigate the increased cost resulting from loose of deep draft navigation access to certain facilities in the port. 11:29:25.8 this is sort of part "b" of this amendment. as we work to create a plan to close this from large deep-draft vessels. now, they still have access obviously from the industrial -- i mean, inner harbor canal lock, through the giww. 11:29:49.3 we still have to find a way to help offset some of the costs to some of these companies that are located here as a transitional plan so that we can make these 11:30:08.7 arrangements that the corps is recommending for safety of the port facilities and the people around it. so that's basically what 3752 will accomplish. 11:30:21.0 as i've said before, this was created back in decades ago when we didn't realize the environmental impact. it's caused not just problems for hurricane katrina and rita, but it's in large measure what prompted a great deal of flooding back in the 1965 betsy 11:30:38.9 hurricane, which was one of the worst in this region well before katrina and rita. so we've known for a long time that this has to be done, and with these two amendments, mr. president, i believe that 11:30:52.8 the port can have some money for the transition. the corps can get the plans done to ready the closure, and we'll be well on our way to actually protecting a great number of people at a minimal expense to the federal government or to the 11:31:09.4 local and state governments and have a great benefit for shipping the environment and the community that lives along this industrial channel. i thank the chairman for the time to discuss the amendments, and we'll just follow his 11:31:26.5 direction as to when these 11:31:28.2 amendments can come up for a vote. i yield back my time. mr. cochran: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. mr. cochran: , mr. president, to respond to the senator's comments, in looking at the list of amendments that are not germane, this appears to be -- 11:31:47.2 these two amendments appear to be not germane, post-cloture and therefore not in order. we're checking to see what the reaction is from the authorizing committee. what that would amount to is 11:32:00.0 this is an autoryisation that has -- the language amounts to an authorization of a water project that has not been approved by the committee that has legislative jurisdiction over the issues. so we're awaiting a response and a reaction from the legislative 11:32:16.8 committee to the amendments, and so i suggest we move on to other amendments that may be in order. the kennedy amendment was temporarily laid aside so the senator could discuss her two amendments, and having done so, 11:32:32.5 think we can return to the kennedy amendment. and then let the senate work its will on the amendment. the senator has asked for the yeas and nays on his amendment. we could proceed the a vote. 11:32:48.1 we were trying to get a reaction from the chairman of the appropriations subcommittee, having jurisdiction over the pandemic influenza vaccine issue.n the labor, health and human services appropriations subcommittee, they're having a 11:33:03.2 hearing right now and we haven't had a response to our inquiry about their reaction to this. we also think the leader's entitled to notice that this could be subject to a recorded volt to get the reaction as to whether this is the time to do 11:33:20.1 that or if they're available to discuss it, if the leader wants to discuss the issue. so awaiting those advices, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. 11:33:36.3 quorum call: 11:35:56.8 the presiding officer: the 11:35:57.5 senator from mississippi. mr. cochran: i ask unanimous consent the order for the quorum be rescinded. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cochran: mr. president, i understand that two other amendments have now been cleared for the consideration of the senate, and i ask unanimous consent to call up amendment 11:36:12.9 number 3713. the presiding officer: is there objection? hearing none, so ordered. the amendment is pending. mr. cochran: mr. president, i ask that reading of the amendment be dispensed with. this is an amendment that was 11:36:27.9 offered last evening by the distinguished senator from north carolina, mr. burr. it, as i say, has been cleared on both sides. i ask that the amendment be modified with the modifications at the desk. the presiding officer: is there 11:36:43.2 objection to the modification? hearing none, so ordered. and the amendment is modified. is there further debate on the amendment as modified? if not, all in favor say aye. opposed, same sign. in the opinion of the chair, the 11:37:00.2 ayes have t. the ayes have it and the amendment's adopted. mr. cochran: i move to reconsider the vote. a senator: move to lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cochran: mr. president, i'm now advised that we can call up amendment -- an amendment senator kennedy regarding democracy in iraq. 11:37:14.9 therefore, i call up amendment number 3686 on behalf of senator kennedy and others regarding democracy in iraq. the presiding officer: without objection, the pending amendments are set aside, and the clerk will report. 11:37:31.9 the clerk: the senator from mississippi, mr. cochran, for mr. kennedy, proposes an amendment numbered 3686. mr. cochran: mr. president, i ask that further reading of the amendment be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cochran: and i send a modification to the desk. 11:37:47.9 the presiding officer: is there objection to the modification? without objection, the amendment is so modified. mr. president, i also send a colloquy between senators kennedy and mcconnell and leahy to the desk. 11:38:01.3 i have done that, and i ask that it appear at the appropriate place in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. is there further debate on the amendment as modified? hearing none, all in favor say aye. opposed, same sign. 11:38:17.1 in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it, and the amendment's adopted. mr. cochran: move, i move to reconsider the vote. mrs. murray: lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cochran: mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. 11:38:35.7 quorum call 11:59:56.4 before? 11:59:59.0 a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts ken can i i understand there's an agreement we vote at noon time. am i correct. if i could get one minute left? the presiding officer: --
OIL RIG LEAK / COAST GUARD PRESSER
COAST GUARD PRESSER, NEWSER, PRESS CONFERENCE Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Interior Secretary Ken Salazar; Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson; Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.); and BP COO Doug Suttles hold a briefing on ongoing operations dedicated to minimizing environmental risks in the areas affected by leaking oil from the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. 15:09:47 Napolitano and Salazar and others enter 15:10:16 GOV. JINDAL: I want to first of all start off by saying I want to thank Secretary Napolitano, Secretary Salazar, Administrator Jackson, Administrator Lubchenco, Director Browner and the many others for coming down to Louisiana and seeing firsthand not only the spill but the effects of the spill that it's having, on Louisiana's waters and Louisiana's coast, as well as the response efforts. Appreciated the phone call from the president yesterday. As I told him yesterday, we're certainly urging the federal government and BP to deploy even more resources, to help mitigate the impact of the oil spill that is threatening the coast of our state. 15:10:39 We must certainly do everything we can to contain the oil spill that threatens our wildlife and vast natural resources. I'm certainly worried that the booms as currently deployed are not effective. The areas that will be impacted first by this oil spill therefore are critical and fragile coastal sites. These next few days are critical. That's why I must do everything necessary, everything possible to protect our coast. I do have concerns, I've shared these concerns, that BP's current resources are not adequate to meet the three challenges we face. I've urged them to seek even more help from the federal government and from others. The three challenges we face are stopping the leak, protecting our coast, preparation for a swift cleanup of our impacted areas. We've also been working with local officials to assess their needs, to help them request resources from BP and the Coast Guard. It is critical the Coast Guard and BP uphold their commitment, their responsibility, to provide resources to the coastal areas that could be impacted by this spill. On the state's side, I want to update you on some of the steps we're taking. We've taken every step we can to help protect our coast, our wildlife, our environment, our people. 15:11:35 Last night, I sent letters to Secretary Gates, Secretary Napolitano, requesting the Louisiana National Guard be placed under federal Title 32 status, so that we can mobilize the resources of the National Guard. I want to thank the secretary; she told us they were working very hard on that request. This would provide support for at least 90 days of military duty for up to 6,000 soldiers and airmen serving on active duty in support of our response to the threat of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The National Guard could help provide security, medical capabilities, engineers, cleanup efforts and communications support in response to this threat. After helping our state respond and recover from four storms in recent years, the Guard is especially ready to help us respond to this particular oil spill. 15:12:13 If the Department of Defense approves this request, the National Guard is prepared on their first -- the first phase of this deployment to immediately activate 600 Guardsmen, have them on the ground They're already ordering 1,500 protective suits, so they're prepared to help support the cleanup efforts. We're also working to make sure that our fisheries, our small businesses are protected from the oil spill. We've written the U.S. secretary of Commerce requesting the declaration of a commercial fisheries failure as well as support from the Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration for commercial and recreational fishing businesses. This declaration will provide financial assistance to our individual fishermen, assistance for the restoration of fisheries and assistance for commercial and recreational fishing businesses. As many of you know, Louisiana is the top producer of commercial fisheries in the lower 48 states. It's one of the top recreational fishing destinations in the country. This oil spill will certainly adversely affect the productivity of this ecosystem and fishing families across our state. It is critical that our fishermen and their families have the type of support they need to get through this event. We've also asked the U.S. Small Business Administration to activate all appropriate federal disaster declaration clauses that would enable the SBA to help the small businesses in our state that we know will be impacted by this oil spill. Specifically, we're asking the SBA to 15:13:22 consider temporarily suspending loan repayments for coastal businesses that are impacted by the oil spill and to also those who have 2005 and 2008 disaster and economic injury loans as a result of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav. On the state side, we're working hard to support the response efforts. Yesterday we declared a state of emergency, which positions our state to deploy assets and engage and to help the federal government and BP. Our Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority officials are opening the Caernarvon Diversion in Plaquemines Parish and the Davis Pond Diversion in St. Charles Parish to try to help prevent any oil from penetrating deep into coastal marshes. The authority is also working on a second line of defense in the wetlands, where they could actually anchor booms in place to try to preserve some of our most fragile and important ecosystems. Today, our Office of Homeland Security is reaching out to other states through the EMAC, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, to identify oil-spill coordinators. The Office of Homeland Security is also deploying staff to Plackman's Parish, St. Bernard Parish, to help their emergency responders of the oil-spill effort. We've set a command center, a mobile command center, here in Robert. We also are sending a mobile command center to the Coast Guard site in Houma. 15:14:28 The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has closed the lower Breton Sound area to shrimpers. They plan to close the upper Breton Sound area at 6:00 p.m. tonight. The lower Breton Sound was closed as of 6:00 a.m. this morning. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has also deployed 40 field biologists for testing purposes. They've got 160 additional biologists staged for wildlife rescues as they become necessary. The Department of Environmental Quality has got 40 regional staff members with oil spill and hazard experience who will be deployed. DEQ and DHH have reported that residents of coastal areas of southeast Louisiana, including New Orleans, may be detecting the odor possibly resulting from the oil spill approaching the coast. DHH and DEQ have requested continuous air-quality testing and monitoring from the EPA. DEQ will be assisting the EPA by increasing the frequency of air sampling at its Kenner and Chalmette monitors. Those samples will then receive expedited turnaround by EPA labs. I do want to thank the EPA administrator. Not only is she down here personally; she's from this area. And I think she certainly understands the importance of continuously monitoring the air, and I know that she'll have some announcements about monitoring the water. 15:15:32 Out of an abundance of caution, we've also activated the joint Department of Transportation-Department of Social Services shelter team, in case the special-needs sheltering does become necessary due to deteriorating air quality. Again, this is a precaution at this time. The Department of Corrections is working with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to train inmates in oil-spill cleanup efforts, so they can help assist our federal lead agencies. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is also today training National Guard trainers so they can then, in turn, train the Guardsmen that assist in the cleanup efforts. We've offered these resources repeatedly to BP. We're still awaiting a detailed response from them on how best to deploy these assets. In a precautionary move, the Department of Health and Hospitals is working with Wildlife and Fisheries to close oyster beds along the eastern Louisiana coast. Specifically, they'll be closing harvesting areas two through seven at sunset tonight, which are east of the Mississippi River in the coastal parishes of Plaquemines and St. Bernard. We've been told by BP they've got 20 rapid-response teams. Ten have been mobilized. There will ultimately be 50 in place. We've offered BP personnel to help these teams to help clean up the wetlands, from state police, DEQ, DNR and many other agencies. 15:16:35 After today's press conference, later this afternoon, I'll be traveling not only to Venice but other impacted areas. I'll be accompanied by Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro to help assess the needs of our local officials, to see firsthand the response efforts that are taking place. 15:16:49 We're certainly going to take every effort -- we're going to continue to take every step we can to help protect our coasts, our wildlife, our environment and our people. I want to again personally thank Secretary Napolitano and the other federal officials that have come personally to see the spill, the impacts, the cleanup and the relief efforts. It is my privilege to introduce to you Secretary Napolitano. 15:17:10 SEC. NAPOLITANO: Thanks, Governor. Well, good afternoon. I'm pleased to be joined here on the Gulf Coast -- I'm pleased to be here with Governor Jindal. We have just landed from a flight over the area affected by the BP oil spill, and we have just convened a meeting with our state and local partners who are engaged in a coordinated effort on what needs to be done to protect lands from the spill and also to be sure we can effectuate a quick and effective cleanup. 15:17:45 We are paying extremely close attention to the work already being done here. As the president and the law have made clear, British Petroleum, as the responsible party, is required to fund the cost of the response and the cleanup operations. We continue to urge BP to leverage additional assets to help lead the response in this effort, because it is clear that after several unsuccessful attempts to secure the source of the leak, it is time for BP to supplement their current mobilization as the slick of oil moves toward shore. As the federal coordinators overseeing BP's efforts, we're here to make sure that the resources are being used wisely and to the greatest effect at minimizing environmental risk. 15:18:33 Let me be clear. The president has ordered that the administration use every single available resource at our disposal in response to this issue. As the oil nears the shore, it's important to note that we have anticipated and planned for a worst-case scenario since day one. And let's not forget that the response actually began as a search-and-rescue mission. The Coast Guard responded immediately following the April 20 explosion in an effort to save lives. 15:19:08 Our visit is also helping to inform our investigation into the causes of the explosion, which left 11 workers presumed dead and three critically injured, in addition to the ongoing oils pill. Following the explosion, we also immediately began responding to the environmental implications of the spill and 15:19:29 began to direct oversight in support of BP's cleanup and containment efforts, setting up a command center here and working across the federal government to ensure a strong and steady battle rhythm. Yesterday I announced the designation of this spill as a spill of national significance, in consultation with the Coast Guard commandant. This means that there is substantial -- that this is a substantial release of oil or hazardous substances, which will require sustained involvement of senior officials across the government. 15:20:06 Aside from being an acknowledgment of the seriousness of this spill, it also commits the Coast Guard to dedicating additional senior agency staff and resources to the response. The Environmental Protection Agency also has the same authority with respect to inland waterway spills. The coordinated federal partnership, including the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Commerce, Interior and EPA, continues to oversee BP's deployment of a combination of tactics. This week, as you know, 15:20:40 BP began conducting controlled burns designed to remove large quantities of oil from the open water, in an effort to protect shoreline, marine and other wildlife. BP continues to use chemical dispersants, which, along with natural dispersions of oil, will address a large part of the slick. A hundred and thirty-nine thousand, four hundred and fifty-nine gallons of dispersant have been used to date. Among -- other responsive activities include skimming, subsurface wellhead operations and significant booming efforts to protect Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama shoreline. Nearly 220,000 feet of boom have been deployed at six staging locations, and hundreds of thousands of feet are staged and ready to be deployed. Approximately 1,900 personnel are currently deployed, and over 853,000 gallons of oily water have been collected so far, using 300 vessels and dozens of aircraft engaged in the response. The Department of Defense is fully integrated into the Department of Homeland Security-led team and is fully supportive of all response activities. Navy assets have actually been involved since day one. And DOD continues to offer what is needed as the situation develops. The secretary of Defense has approved a request for two C-130 aircraft to dispense oil-dispersing chemicals capable of covering up to 250 acres per flight, with three flights per aircraft per day. They are currently en route to the affected areas. The Coast Guard has requested additional assistance from the Department of Defense. 15:22:32 Additionally the Navy has sent thousands of feet of inflatable oil boom and other vital equipment and personnel to support the oil response efforts, in direct support of the Coast Guard, under the existing pollution cleanup and salvage operations agreement that we have with them. 15:22:50 Naval Air Station Pensacola is serving as that staging facility. We will continue to push BP to engage in the strongest possible response, while taking steps to ensure the protection of our shoreline and our wildlife and our precious lands. And with that, I welcome the secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar. 15:23:14 SEC. SALAZAR: Thank you very much, Secretary Napolitano, and to all of the federal team who are here: Administrator Jackson from the EPA, Jane Lubchenco, the undersecretary for NOAA, as well as Admiral Landry and David Hayes, the deputy secretary of Interior, Governor Jindal and all the other elected officials who are here. First, I want to recognize the terrific leadership of Admiral Landry, from day one, and the rest of the federal team who has been here on site. It's been across -- it's been an effort, a team effort across all the agencies of the federal government. My deputy secretary, David Hayes, was dispatched down here by me on order when the incident occurred. He has been monitoring this minute-by-minute. 15:24:08 And while we still have a long ways to go and we do not know exactly where we are going, we are confident that the federal team for the United States of America, as directed by the president, is doing everything that we possibly can do. As soon as we learned about the explosion, we came down here to help in the search-and-rescue efforts. And as time has evolved, we know that today the situation is still a dangerous one. British Petroleum has a massive spill for which they are responsible. 15:24:40 The oil threatens communities, wildlife and natural resources around the Gulf of Mexico. Our focus remains, as it has for the last 10 days, on overseeing BP's efforts to secure their wellhead that is spilling oil, and minimizing the damage that could come. Yesterday at BP's command center in Houston, I pressed the CEOs of BP as well as the engineers to work harder and faster and smarter to get the job done. I have asked other companies from across the oil and gas industry to bring their global expertise to the situation to make sure that no idea that is worth pursuing is not pursued. And under President Obama's direction, every resource, as Secretary Napolitano stated, is being made available to respond. We cannot rest and we will not rest until BP permanently seals the wellhead and until they clean up every drop of oil. The weather this weekend presents a challenge, but the strong interagency effort and our coordination with local and state partners means that we have plans in place, resources deployed, and the people we need to fight the fight. At the same time, though, the spill raises many questions about safety on drilling rigs and platforms in the deep water. I've ordered immediate inspections of all deep-water operations in the Gulf of Mexico, and we've issued a safety notice to all operators reminding them of their responsibilities to follow our regulations and to conduct full and thorough tests of their equipment, including the blowout-prevention stacks. Today I'm also signing a secretarial order establishing an Outer Continental Shelf safety review board within the United States Department of Interior. The assistant secretary for Land and Minerals, along with the inspector general for the department, will lead this effort. They will provide recommendations for steps that we can take to strengthen OCS safety and to improve overall management. 15:26:46 They will look at all options. They will provide oversight and support to MMS as they conduct their joint investigation of the incident, which was ordered by Secretary Napolitano and by me a few days ago. 15:26:57 I have confidence that we will get to the bottom of what's happened here. Those responsible will be held accountable, and the lessons we learn will help guide us as we responsibly and safely develop our nation's energy resources. I will now introduce the administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson. 15:27:19 MS. JACKSON: Thanks, everybody. This situation began as a human tragedy, and my heart -- and my thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who are presumed lost. And it has evolved -- and it has involved (sic) into an environmental challenge of the first order, unprecedented in its situation but not in terms of the need to respond. Using all the lessons that we've learned in the past but realizing that we must be flexible and willing to move quickly to adjust to the situation as we find it on the ground here. And EPA is certainly a part of that. 15:27:57 From the beginning, we've been in support of the Coast Guard, as they moved swiftly to search and rescue and the efforts around it with NOAA's assistance, in trying to predict when this might make landfall. As situations and whether has worsened, which has brought this material closer to shore, we've had to change our approach. EPA is part of a team though. For every environmental challenge, certainly one like this, it will require a team of people focusing on multiple aspects, some of which we know and some of which present data challenges and questions. We will work with the states first and foremost. We began air sampling yesterday. We did that because we called in the states, who have permanent air monitors along the shoreline, and asked them to work with us. And all of them did absolutely right on the spot, to increase the frequency of sampling from those fixed air monitors. That gives us a piece of the picture. And EPA has set up a website, www.epa.gov/bpspill <http://www.epa.gov/bpspill>, where you will be able to see the results first of that air monitoring. Then we have asked for additional air monitoring to look for other contaminants, things that we wouldn't normally look for in those fixed air monitoring. And we have two mobile labs. One is making its way here. I believe the other was making its way. It may already be here. 15:29:30 And we'll start taking samples and put that data up. There is a concern about odors. And we do believe that that odor is probably due in part to the spill. There is a large, large sheen. It is a very thin layer. And with increasing wind and wave activity, you get an aerosol out there in that move. Now, the question is: What does that mean? We don't have any reason to believe that there is a concern, but we can't answer that question until we get the data. That data collection has already begun. And as we get data, we will put it up on the website, and we will interpret it because it's important to know what it really means. Water sampling begins today. We clearly know that there's a problem in the water, but it's in order to understand and help understand the fate and transport of material that's already in the water. And that's on top of efforts by local governments and state government and NOAA, who are already out in varying parts, getting information. And it builds on an existing database of current ecological information that we have through our Gulf of Mexico research center. So we're working to answer the questions that are beginning to be posed in people's minds. Now, what I said to people, 15:30:39 being from this area, it is not unusual for us to face an incident that we know is coming and to be prepared. And the resilience and strength of the people of the Gulf Coast has been what has gotten us through many, many, many a challenge. And one of the things I'm determined to do while here is to make sure we are getting the best ideas from those who know these marshes and coastlines like the back of their hand, to make sure that some of the high-tech solutions are met with low-tech or no-tech solutions that may be out there, to try to do whatever we can to preserve people's culture, their way of life and their livelihoods. And we will continue to be here. I will stay for -- I'm planning right now two days. I'm already thinking about calling my family and saying maybe it's going to need to be longer. But we will stay as long as we need to, to make sure that we are ready and able to be partners in response, to support all the local governments who are out there, who are trying to stand up their people and get their communities ready for this response. Thanks very much. And now I'd like to introduce Doug Suttles, from BP. 15:31:48 MR. SUTTLES: Thank you. And I'm very pleased that you've all joined us here as we try to address this very, very unfortunate event. Since this event began on April the 20th, we've only had three priorities, and those priorities have been: stop the flow of oil, minimize the impact and keep the public informed. 15:32:07 We've so far mounted the largest response effort ever done in the world. We've utilized every technology available. We've applied every resource requested. We continue to try to stop the source of flow. We continue to develop new options, both to address the continued flow of oil at the seabed but also to minimize the impact to the environment. We welcome every new idea and every offer of support, both from state government and federal government. We had an idea submitted to us just 48 hours ago about the sub-sea application of dispersants. That operation will begin in less than two hours. As a demonstration of the application of new technology and openness to new thinking, we have invited in experts from other oil and gas companies, and as we speak, members of the Department of Defense are with our team in Houston, looking for new ideas. So like everyone, we understand and completely agree that we need to bring this event to closure as quickly as possible, and we need to address the impacts as fully as we can. And BP's resources will be made available to do that. Thank you. STAFF: A question from in the room. Q Yes. The -- can anyone from the Coast Guard comment on -- STAFF: I'm sorry. Can you identify your media outlet? Q Sorry. Ray Henry. I work for -- (off mike). Ray Henry. I work for the Associated Press. Can anyone from the Coast Guard or BP talk a little bit about the role, if any, they think cementing played in the explosion, particularly what happened in this process and whether that figures in the investigation? 15:33:47 MR. SUTTLES: This is Doug Suttles from BP. We actually don't know what caused this event. And clearly, the government has an investigation that they've initiated. We've launched our own internal investigation as well. But since you can an imagine, since this event's began, we've only had one focus, which is stop the flow of oil and actually minimize the impact. Through good time and as quickly as possible, 15:34:15 we will actually find the cause. The equipment on the sea bed, which we're all very interested, will eventually be recovered, and hopefully we can discover and learn things from this event to make this event never occur again. 15:34:29 SEC. SALAZAR: Just -- not on behalf of the Coast Guard, but on behalf of Secretary Napolitano and me, we have signed a memorandum of understanding to do a joint investigation between the Department of Interior and Homeland Security. Those investigators are on the ground. They're trying to determine the facts. And obviously, this is going to be an investigation that will be unfolding, but at this point in time there are no clear answers as to what caused what is very apparently an unprecedented event that is being very difficult to deal with. Q Thank you. This is -- (off mike) -- from Bloomberg News. I was wondering if you have a new estimate of current costs, daily costs, of these operations. And has the drilling of the so-called relief well already started? 15:35:29 MR. SUTTLES: The current cost of these operations are between $6 (million) and $7 million a day. Clearly, as the oil approaches the shoreline, those costs will increase as we mount both additional booming activities and as we mount cleanup activities where it has occurred. The relief well operation will -- should begin tomorrow. The drilling rig has arrived. It's on station and it's doing final preparations. I should also say that a second drill ship will be arriving tomorrow, and that drill ship will be available to deploy the sub-sea recovery system we've discussed or attempt additional interventions on the existing -- on the existing well. Q Governor Jindal, Allen Johnson for Agency (sic) France- Presse. A lot of people in Venice, Louisiana, lower Plaquemines, are very angry with BP, and they're considering filing suit. And I want to know if the state of Louisiana's considering filing suit against BP also. And how does that change the dynamic of your -- of your relationship with the company if you are considering filing suit? 15:36:34 GOV. JINDAL: Sure. A couple of things. One, our focus right now obviously is to mitigate the damage on our coast, on our fisheries, on our wetlands and our fragile ecosystems. And one of the suggestions we made -- and you heard me say this in my comments -- is we are concerned and we have encouraged BP strongly to seek even more assistance from the federal government, because I do think this response could overwhelm their capabilities, especially as it's the -- not only Louisiana but other states' coast that may be potentially impacted. 15:37:01 So right now our focus is making sure that we deploy the resources to protect our coastline and that there's -- the cleanup starts as quickly as possible. I know there'll be time later for folks to consider litigation, claims, financial reimbursement. Right now our focus has got to be on protecting our coast and our wetlands, our ecosystems. Obviously, there are a lot of people's livelihoods that are going to be in -- negatively impacted: our commercial fisheries, our recreational fishermen, many, many small businesses. And that's why we've already asked the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration to help those small businesses. We want to do everything we can to help our small businesses and our people get back on their feet. Q Sabrina Wilson, FOX 8 News in New Orleans. You said you're calling on BP to operate smarter, to do more. At least two members -- GOV. JINDAL: I'm sorry, Sabrina. You got to -- who are you asking the question to? Q I'm referring this to Secretaries Salazar and Napolitano. GOV. JINDAL: Sure. Q You called on BP to operate smarter, do more. Specifically, where do you think they're dropping the ball? 15:38:05 SEC. SALAZAR: Well, let me -- you know, BP has all hands on deck on this thing. This is a matter of global proportion, and so they have summoned their global resources to focus in on this issue. But we have also asked British Petroleum to reach out to the entire oil and gas industry around the world. Indeed, at a meeting of the Department of the Interior last night where I met with executives from other oil and gas companies, I asked BP to put together a SWAT team to take the best ideas from the other companies, to make sure that we are maximizing the effort here. This particular incident has huge ramifications for what happens with respect to energy development in the oceans all around the world. And, yes, we have a lot to lose here in America, in terms of an energy resource and in terms of environmental values that we very much cherish. The oil and gas industry has a tremendous amount to lose in terms of their global economic value here. And so they are putting tremendous resources into trying to figure out the problem in terms of stopping the flow from the well. And at the same time, under the federal law that applies to this spill, the responsibility for responding to this spill is with the company. And at the highest levels of British Petroleum, in writing, they have assured us that they have the resources to respond to the challenge. STAFF: Operator, if you go to a question from the phone, please. (Pause.) Operator? SEC. SALAZAR: Operator, do you want to go to questions? OPERATOR: Thank you. Our first question will come from Ian Talley. Q Yes. Can you hear me? STAFF: Yes. Could you state your outlet, please. Q Yes. It's Ian Talley, Dow Jones Newswires. I've spoken to two industry experts whose jobs are to estimate oil spill sizes based on satellite data and radar data. Using the MMS and Coast Guard satellite data and the information from BP in terms of how thick the spill is (in certain areas ?), they're estimating a spill that -- and a spill rate that is five times what BP is saying. So BP is saying 5,000 barrels per day; they are saying 20(,000) to 25,000 barrels a day. Are you confident in the 5,000 barrels-a-day number? And what are you basing them on? Are those BP figures? 15:40:50 REAR ADMIRAL MARY LANDRY (U.S. Coast Guard): I would caution you not to get fixated on an estimate of how much is out there. The most important thing is from day one we stood corralling resources from a worst-case scenario, working back. And I think the demonstration of those who are here today shows that from day one we have solicited the help of the whole of government and the private sector to approach this response. Q So you're confident in those figures, the 5,000 barrels a day? 15:41:30 MR. SUTTLES: Yeah, this is Doug Suttles from BP. Since the event began, and since the beginning -- the sinking of the Transocean Horizon, we could monitor, once we discovered the oil was flowing at the seabed, we could monitor it with remote-operated-vehicle cameras. And we've done that. And what we've been monitoring, the amount of flow looks essentially the same. But we cannot meter that flow. So as the -- as the events unfolded, we can monitor what's on the surface of the sea. So when the event first started, ourselves with the rest of the unified command, including NOAA scientists - 15:41:57 our best estimate at the time was 1,000 barrels a day. But as we began to gather more data from what we were seeing, from satellite images and from overflight data, we actually revised that number to 5,000 barrels a day. That did not indicate a change in the amount of flow. It indicated a change in the estimate of the flow rate. But this is highly imprecise, highly imprecise. And as the admiral has already stated, we continue to respond to a much more significant case, so that we're prepared for that in the eventuality that the rate is higher. STAFF: Operator, next question, please. OPERATOR: Certainly. Our next question will come from Zach (sp). (Inaudible.) Please state your affiliation. Q (Off mike) -- this morning on whether or not this could affect oil production, whether or not there might be some kind of halt for future oil production in different areas. (Off mike) -- on the table, is that a consideration in the deepwater? 15:43:45 SEC. SALAZAR: Zach (sp), the oil and gas which this nation currently depends on very much comes from the Gulf of Mexico. About a third of the domestically produced oil and gas resources actually come from this region. We want to make sure that those operations are operating safely. And so we've dispatched the inspections, to do what we have to do, to make sure that those are operating safely. The president this morning directed the Department of Interior and me as secretary to report back to him, within 30 days, with any recommendations on any kind of enhanced safety measures. At this point in time, we are still doing additional work and research to determine whether or not there are other safety procedures that have to go into place. But the oil and gas production that continues to come from the Gulf Coast that essentially fuels the economy of this nation still continues to flow today and will continue to flow into the foreseeable future 15:44:06 until we are able to determine that if -- that there is a problem that should cause us to go in a different direction. We want to do this based on the facts and based on the best science that we have. STAFF: Next question, Operator. OPERATOR: Our next question will come from Gary Taylor (sp). Please state your affiliation. Q Hi. I'm with -- (inaudible). I want to follow up on a question that was asked earlier, and I don't think it was answered. Secretary Napolitano, you sounded in your comments critical of BP's response so far. Are you critical of it? And what do you think is missing from the BP response to it? 15:44:40 SEC. NAPOLITANO: Well, I think -- I think there is reason now to know more than we knew originally. I mean, originally, this well was drilled with the expectation that if there were an explosion and a failure, that a blowout preventer would close off leakage into the ocean. And originally the BOP, when it failed, 15:45:24 BP took actions designed to try to take other actions along the riser of the well to close off leakage and to close off the oil flow. None of those worked. And I think I share the disappointment of all in the fact that none of those worked. Now we need to move more speedily -- and this accrues to BP -- more speedily to protect wetlands, to protect marshes, to protect the ecosystem here. The federal government stands ready not just to support BP but to move aggressively to work with the state of Louisiana, to work with the parish presidents and the affected areas, to work with the businesses, the shrimpers, the fishermen, the stores, all of whom now have their livelihood endangered by this oil spill and because of the fact that it is now approaching landfall. We need to make sure that there is an effective and easy claims process so that people can know that they will not be financially damaged themselves personally or in their businesses because of this spill. 15:46:55 And we also have to have an effective process where we have all of the resources of the federal government linked up with the states and, as I said before, with mayors, with parish presidents, not just in Louisiana but, as it looks now moving east, Mississippi, Alabama and perhaps even as far as Florida. We will make sure and are making sure that that response is there. The response is strong, it's coordinated and it is designed to minimize the harm to our coastal lands, and that the - 15:47:36 to the extent there is harm, there is swift and effective cleanup. And we will work to make sure that British Petroleum meets its financial obligations, an obligation it undertook in exchange for the ability to undertake this drilling. So it is a partnership, or an effort, in which everybody standing here is involved, in which we all have an effective stake. But those who have the most effective stakes are the men and women who live in the coastal areas of Louisiana, of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. And they are utmost in our minds. STAFF: Operator, last question. OPERATOR: The next question will come from Janet McConnaughey. Please state your affiliation. Q The Associated Press. This is a question either to the admiral or Doug Suttles, or whoever might know. Of those 300 vessels that have been brought in, how many are able to work today, with the rough weather? Is the -- is there skimming going on out there? And can it work? STAFF: Do you want to go? MR. SUTTLES: Yes, I -- earlier, someone actually said that the weather's a challenge. So several days ago, we had two good weather days in a row, and we had a very good success on the water, including this in situ burn test, which looks like a great tool that we can use forward. But when the winds come up and the seas come up, unfortunately, we can't do much on the surface of the sea. In fact, as we stand here today, because of wave heights, we're not able to skim. Now, we are able to place dispersants. So during good weather, we can apply all of our tools to limit the impacts and hold this thing offshore. But when the weather comes up, we can't do that. So as I'm talking to you here just now, unfortunately, we're not able to operate our skimmers. STAFF: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. 15:49:49 END GULF OIL SPILL The first traces of oil from the rig explosion are washing ashore in Louisiana. The oil slick could become the nation's worst environmental disaster in decades, even surpassing the Exxon Valdez catastrophe, which left 11 million gallons in Alaska's Prince William Sound. Shrimp and oyster fishermen are rushing to scoop up their catch before the waters become contaminated. BP is still trying to stop the leak, which is spewing more than 5-thousand barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, by attempting to drill a new well and use dispersants to break up the oil. Senior members from the Obama Administration will also be inspecting the site today.
OIL RIG LEAK / COAST GUARD PRESSER
COAST GUARD PRESSER, NEWSER, PRESS CONFERENCE Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Interior Secretary Ken Salazar; Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson; Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.); and BP COO Doug Suttles hold a briefing on ongoing operations dedicated to minimizing environmental risks in the areas affected by leaking oil from the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. 15:09:47 Napolitano and Salazar and others enter 15:10:16 GOV. JINDAL: I want to first of all start off by saying I want to thank Secretary Napolitano, Secretary Salazar, Administrator Jackson, Administrator Lubchenco, Director Browner and the many others for coming down to Louisiana and seeing firsthand not only the spill but the effects of the spill that it's having, on Louisiana's waters and Louisiana's coast, as well as the response efforts. Appreciated the phone call from the president yesterday. As I told him yesterday, we're certainly urging the federal government and BP to deploy even more resources, to help mitigate the impact of the oil spill that is threatening the coast of our state. 15:10:39 We must certainly do everything we can to contain the oil spill that threatens our wildlife and vast natural resources. I'm certainly worried that the booms as currently deployed are not effective. The areas that will be impacted first by this oil spill therefore are critical and fragile coastal sites. These next few days are critical. That's why I must do everything necessary, everything possible to protect our coast. I do have concerns, I've shared these concerns, that BP's current resources are not adequate to meet the three challenges we face. I've urged them to seek even more help from the federal government and from others. The three challenges we face are stopping the leak, protecting our coast, preparation for a swift cleanup of our impacted areas. We've also been working with local officials to assess their needs, to help them request resources from BP and the Coast Guard. It is critical the Coast Guard and BP uphold their commitment, their responsibility, to provide resources to the coastal areas that could be impacted by this spill. On the state's side, I want to update you on some of the steps we're taking. We've taken every step we can to help protect our coast, our wildlife, our environment, our people. 15:11:35 Last night, I sent letters to Secretary Gates, Secretary Napolitano, requesting the Louisiana National Guard be placed under federal Title 32 status, so that we can mobilize the resources of the National Guard. I want to thank the secretary; she told us they were working very hard on that request. This would provide support for at least 90 days of military duty for up to 6,000 soldiers and airmen serving on active duty in support of our response to the threat of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The National Guard could help provide security, medical capabilities, engineers, cleanup efforts and communications support in response to this threat. After helping our state respond and recover from four storms in recent years, the Guard is especially ready to help us respond to this particular oil spill. 15:12:13 If the Department of Defense approves this request, the National Guard is prepared on their first -- the first phase of this deployment to immediately activate 600 Guardsmen, have them on the ground They're already ordering 1,500 protective suits, so they're prepared to help support the cleanup efforts. We're also working to make sure that our fisheries, our small businesses are protected from the oil spill. We've written the U.S. secretary of Commerce requesting the declaration of a commercial fisheries failure as well as support from the Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration for commercial and recreational fishing businesses. This declaration will provide financial assistance to our individual fishermen, assistance for the restoration of fisheries and assistance for commercial and recreational fishing businesses. As many of you know, Louisiana is the top producer of commercial fisheries in the lower 48 states. It's one of the top recreational fishing destinations in the country. This oil spill will certainly adversely affect the productivity of this ecosystem and fishing families across our state. It is critical that our fishermen and their families have the type of support they need to get through this event. We've also asked the U.S. Small Business Administration to activate all appropriate federal disaster declaration clauses that would enable the SBA to help the small businesses in our state that we know will be impacted by this oil spill. Specifically, we're asking the SBA to 15:13:22 consider temporarily suspending loan repayments for coastal businesses that are impacted by the oil spill and to also those who have 2005 and 2008 disaster and economic injury loans as a result of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav. On the state side, we're working hard to support the response efforts. Yesterday we declared a state of emergency, which positions our state to deploy assets and engage and to help the federal government and BP. Our Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority officials are opening the Caernarvon Diversion in Plaquemines Parish and the Davis Pond Diversion in St. Charles Parish to try to help prevent any oil from penetrating deep into coastal marshes. The authority is also working on a second line of defense in the wetlands, where they could actually anchor booms in place to try to preserve some of our most fragile and important ecosystems. Today, our Office of Homeland Security is reaching out to other states through the EMAC, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, to identify oil-spill coordinators. The Office of Homeland Security is also deploying staff to Plackman's Parish, St. Bernard Parish, to help their emergency responders of the oil-spill effort. We've set a command center, a mobile command center, here in Robert. We also are sending a mobile command center to the Coast Guard site in Houma. 15:14:28 The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has closed the lower Breton Sound area to shrimpers. They plan to close the upper Breton Sound area at 6:00 p.m. tonight. The lower Breton Sound was closed as of 6:00 a.m. this morning. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has also deployed 40 field biologists for testing purposes. They've got 160 additional biologists staged for wildlife rescues as they become necessary. The Department of Environmental Quality has got 40 regional staff members with oil spill and hazard experience who will be deployed. DEQ and DHH have reported that residents of coastal areas of southeast Louisiana, including New Orleans, may be detecting the odor possibly resulting from the oil spill approaching the coast. DHH and DEQ have requested continuous air-quality testing and monitoring from the EPA. DEQ will be assisting the EPA by increasing the frequency of air sampling at its Kenner and Chalmette monitors. Those samples will then receive expedited turnaround by EPA labs. I do want to thank the EPA administrator. Not only is she down here personally; she's from this area. And I think she certainly understands the importance of continuously monitoring the air, and I know that she'll have some announcements about monitoring the water. 15:15:32 Out of an abundance of caution, we've also activated the joint Department of Transportation-Department of Social Services shelter team, in case the special-needs sheltering does become necessary due to deteriorating air quality. Again, this is a precaution at this time. The Department of Corrections is working with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to train inmates in oil-spill cleanup efforts, so they can help assist our federal lead agencies. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is also today training National Guard trainers so they can then, in turn, train the Guardsmen that assist in the cleanup efforts. We've offered these resources repeatedly to BP. We're still awaiting a detailed response from them on how best to deploy these assets. In a precautionary move, the Department of Health and Hospitals is working with Wildlife and Fisheries to close oyster beds along the eastern Louisiana coast. Specifically, they'll be closing harvesting areas two through seven at sunset tonight, which are east of the Mississippi River in the coastal parishes of Plaquemines and St. Bernard. We've been told by BP they've got 20 rapid-response teams. Ten have been mobilized. There will ultimately be 50 in place. We've offered BP personnel to help these teams to help clean up the wetlands, from state police, DEQ, DNR and many other agencies. 15:16:35 After today's press conference, later this afternoon, I'll be traveling not only to Venice but other impacted areas. I'll be accompanied by Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro to help assess the needs of our local officials, to see firsthand the response efforts that are taking place. 15:16:49 We're certainly going to take every effort -- we're going to continue to take every step we can to help protect our coasts, our wildlife, our environment and our people. I want to again personally thank Secretary Napolitano and the other federal officials that have come personally to see the spill, the impacts, the cleanup and the relief efforts. It is my privilege to introduce to you Secretary Napolitano. 15:17:10 SEC. NAPOLITANO: Thanks, Governor. Well, good afternoon. I'm pleased to be joined here on the Gulf Coast -- I'm pleased to be here with Governor Jindal. We have just landed from a flight over the area affected by the BP oil spill, and we have just convened a meeting with our state and local partners who are engaged in a coordinated effort on what needs to be done to protect lands from the spill and also to be sure we can effectuate a quick and effective cleanup. 15:17:45 We are paying extremely close attention to the work already being done here. As the president and the law have made clear, British Petroleum, as the responsible party, is required to fund the cost of the response and the cleanup operations. We continue to urge BP to leverage additional assets to help lead the response in this effort, because it is clear that after several unsuccessful attempts to secure the source of the leak, it is time for BP to supplement their current mobilization as the slick of oil moves toward shore. As the federal coordinators overseeing BP's efforts, we're here to make sure that the resources are being used wisely and to the greatest effect at minimizing environmental risk. 15:18:33 Let me be clear. The president has ordered that the administration use every single available resource at our disposal in response to this issue. As the oil nears the shore, it's important to note that we have anticipated and planned for a worst-case scenario since day one. And let's not forget that the response actually began as a search-and-rescue mission. The Coast Guard responded immediately following the April 20 explosion in an effort to save lives. 15:19:08 Our visit is also helping to inform our investigation into the causes of the explosion, which left 11 workers presumed dead and three critically injured, in addition to the ongoing oils pill. Following the explosion, we also immediately began responding to the environmental implications of the spill and 15:19:29 began to direct oversight in support of BP's cleanup and containment efforts, setting up a command center here and working across the federal government to ensure a strong and steady battle rhythm. Yesterday I announced the designation of this spill as a spill of national significance, in consultation with the Coast Guard commandant. This means that there is substantial -- that this is a substantial release of oil or hazardous substances, which will require sustained involvement of senior officials across the government. 15:20:06 Aside from being an acknowledgment of the seriousness of this spill, it also commits the Coast Guard to dedicating additional senior agency staff and resources to the response. The Environmental Protection Agency also has the same authority with respect to inland waterway spills. The coordinated federal partnership, including the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Commerce, Interior and EPA, continues to oversee BP's deployment of a combination of tactics. This week, as you know, 15:20:40 BP began conducting controlled burns designed to remove large quantities of oil from the open water, in an effort to protect shoreline, marine and other wildlife. BP continues to use chemical dispersants, which, along with natural dispersions of oil, will address a large part of the slick. A hundred and thirty-nine thousand, four hundred and fifty-nine gallons of dispersant have been used to date. Among -- other responsive activities include skimming, subsurface wellhead operations and significant booming efforts to protect Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama shoreline. Nearly 220,000 feet of boom have been deployed at six staging locations, and hundreds of thousands of feet are staged and ready to be deployed. Approximately 1,900 personnel are currently deployed, and over 853,000 gallons of oily water have been collected so far, using 300 vessels and dozens of aircraft engaged in the response. The Department of Defense is fully integrated into the Department of Homeland Security-led team and is fully supportive of all response activities. Navy assets have actually been involved since day one. And DOD continues to offer what is needed as the situation develops. The secretary of Defense has approved a request for two C-130 aircraft to dispense oil-dispersing chemicals capable of covering up to 250 acres per flight, with three flights per aircraft per day. They are currently en route to the affected areas. The Coast Guard has requested additional assistance from the Department of Defense. 15:22:32 Additionally the Navy has sent thousands of feet of inflatable oil boom and other vital equipment and personnel to support the oil response efforts, in direct support of the Coast Guard, under the existing pollution cleanup and salvage operations agreement that we have with them. 15:22:50 Naval Air Station Pensacola is serving as that staging facility. We will continue to push BP to engage in the strongest possible response, while taking steps to ensure the protection of our shoreline and our wildlife and our precious lands. And with that, I welcome the secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar. 15:23:14 SEC. SALAZAR: Thank you very much, Secretary Napolitano, and to all of the federal team who are here: Administrator Jackson from the EPA, Jane Lubchenco, the undersecretary for NOAA, as well as Admiral Landry and David Hayes, the deputy secretary of Interior, Governor Jindal and all the other elected officials who are here. First, I want to recognize the terrific leadership of Admiral Landry, from day one, and the rest of the federal team who has been here on site. It's been across -- it's been an effort, a team effort across all the agencies of the federal government. My deputy secretary, David Hayes, was dispatched down here by me on order when the incident occurred. He has been monitoring this minute-by-minute. 15:24:08 And while we still have a long ways to go and we do not know exactly where we are going, we are confident that the federal team for the United States of America, as directed by the president, is doing everything that we possibly can do. As soon as we learned about the explosion, we came down here to help in the search-and-rescue efforts. And as time has evolved, we know that today the situation is still a dangerous one. British Petroleum has a massive spill for which they are responsible. 15:24:40 The oil threatens communities, wildlife and natural resources around the Gulf of Mexico. Our focus remains, as it has for the last 10 days, on overseeing BP's efforts to secure their wellhead that is spilling oil, and minimizing the damage that could come. Yesterday at BP's command center in Houston, I pressed the CEOs of BP as well as the engineers to work harder and faster and smarter to get the job done. I have asked other companies from across the oil and gas industry to bring their global expertise to the situation to make sure that no idea that is worth pursuing is not pursued. And under President Obama's direction, every resource, as Secretary Napolitano stated, is being made available to respond. We cannot rest and we will not rest until BP permanently seals the wellhead and until they clean up every drop of oil. The weather this weekend presents a challenge, but the strong interagency effort and our coordination with local and state partners means that we have plans in place, resources deployed, and the people we need to fight the fight. At the same time, though, the spill raises many questions about safety on drilling rigs and platforms in the deep water. I've ordered immediate inspections of all deep-water operations in the Gulf of Mexico, and we've issued a safety notice to all operators reminding them of their responsibilities to follow our regulations and to conduct full and thorough tests of their equipment, including the blowout-prevention stacks. Today I'm also signing a secretarial order establishing an Outer Continental Shelf safety review board within the United States Department of Interior. The assistant secretary for Land and Minerals, along with the inspector general for the department, will lead this effort. They will provide recommendations for steps that we can take to strengthen OCS safety and to improve overall management. 15:26:46 They will look at all options. They will provide oversight and support to MMS as they conduct their joint investigation of the incident, which was ordered by Secretary Napolitano and by me a few days ago. 15:26:57 I have confidence that we will get to the bottom of what's happened here. Those responsible will be held accountable, and the lessons we learn will help guide us as we responsibly and safely develop our nation's energy resources. I will now introduce the administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson. 15:27:19 MS. JACKSON: Thanks, everybody. This situation began as a human tragedy, and my heart -- and my thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who are presumed lost. And it has evolved -- and it has involved (sic) into an environmental challenge of the first order, unprecedented in its situation but not in terms of the need to respond. Using all the lessons that we've learned in the past but realizing that we must be flexible and willing to move quickly to adjust to the situation as we find it on the ground here. And EPA is certainly a part of that. 15:27:57 From the beginning, we've been in support of the Coast Guard, as they moved swiftly to search and rescue and the efforts around it with NOAA's assistance, in trying to predict when this might make landfall. As situations and whether has worsened, which has brought this material closer to shore, we've had to change our approach. EPA is part of a team though. For every environmental challenge, certainly one like this, it will require a team of people focusing on multiple aspects, some of which we know and some of which present data challenges and questions. We will work with the states first and foremost. We began air sampling yesterday. We did that because we called in the states, who have permanent air monitors along the shoreline, and asked them to work with us. And all of them did absolutely right on the spot, to increase the frequency of sampling from those fixed air monitors. That gives us a piece of the picture. And EPA has set up a website, www.epa.gov/bpspill <http://www.epa.gov/bpspill>, where you will be able to see the results first of that air monitoring. Then we have asked for additional air monitoring to look for other contaminants, things that we wouldn't normally look for in those fixed air monitoring. And we have two mobile labs. One is making its way here. I believe the other was making its way. It may already be here. 15:29:30 And we'll start taking samples and put that data up. There is a concern about odors. And we do believe that that odor is probably due in part to the spill. There is a large, large sheen. It is a very thin layer. And with increasing wind and wave activity, you get an aerosol out there in that move. Now, the question is: What does that mean? We don't have any reason to believe that there is a concern, but we can't answer that question until we get the data. That data collection has already begun. And as we get data, we will put it up on the website, and we will interpret it because it's important to know what it really means. Water sampling begins today. We clearly know that there's a problem in the water, but it's in order to understand and help understand the fate and transport of material that's already in the water. And that's on top of efforts by local governments and state government and NOAA, who are already out in varying parts, getting information. And it builds on an existing database of current ecological information that we have through our Gulf of Mexico research center. So we're working to answer the questions that are beginning to be posed in people's minds. Now, what I said to people, 15:30:39 being from this area, it is not unusual for us to face an incident that we know is coming and to be prepared. And the resilience and strength of the people of the Gulf Coast has been what has gotten us through many, many, many a challenge. And one of the things I'm determined to do while here is to make sure we are getting the best ideas from those who know these marshes and coastlines like the back of their hand, to make sure that some of the high-tech solutions are met with low-tech or no-tech solutions that may be out there, to try to do whatever we can to preserve people's culture, their way of life and their livelihoods. And we will continue to be here. I will stay for -- I'm planning right now two days. I'm already thinking about calling my family and saying maybe it's going to need to be longer. But we will stay as long as we need to, to make sure that we are ready and able to be partners in response, to support all the local governments who are out there, who are trying to stand up their people and get their communities ready for this response. Thanks very much. And now I'd like to introduce Doug Suttles, from BP. 15:31:48 MR. SUTTLES: Thank you. And I'm very pleased that you've all joined us here as we try to address this very, very unfortunate event. Since this event began on April the 20th, we've only had three priorities, and those priorities have been: stop the flow of oil, minimize the impact and keep the public informed. 15:32:07 We've so far mounted the largest response effort ever done in the world. We've utilized every technology available. We've applied every resource requested. We continue to try to stop the source of flow. We continue to develop new options, both to address the continued flow of oil at the seabed but also to minimize the impact to the environment. We welcome every new idea and every offer of support, both from state government and federal government. We had an idea submitted to us just 48 hours ago about the sub-sea application of dispersants. That operation will begin in less than two hours. As a demonstration of the application of new technology and openness to new thinking, we have invited in experts from other oil and gas companies, and as we speak, members of the Department of Defense are with our team in Houston, looking for new ideas. So like everyone, we understand and completely agree that we need to bring this event to closure as quickly as possible, and we need to address the impacts as fully as we can. And BP's resources will be made available to do that. Thank you. STAFF: A question from in the room. Q Yes. The -- can anyone from the Coast Guard comment on -- STAFF: I'm sorry. Can you identify your media outlet? Q Sorry. Ray Henry. I work for -- (off mike). Ray Henry. I work for the Associated Press. Can anyone from the Coast Guard or BP talk a little bit about the role, if any, they think cementing played in the explosion, particularly what happened in this process and whether that figures in the investigation? 15:33:47 MR. SUTTLES: This is Doug Suttles from BP. We actually don't know what caused this event. And clearly, the government has an investigation that they've initiated. We've launched our own internal investigation as well. But since you can an imagine, since this event's began, we've only had one focus, which is stop the flow of oil and actually minimize the impact. Through good time and as quickly as possible, 15:34:15 we will actually find the cause. The equipment on the sea bed, which we're all very interested, will eventually be recovered, and hopefully we can discover and learn things from this event to make this event never occur again. 15:34:29 SEC. SALAZAR: Just -- not on behalf of the Coast Guard, but on behalf of Secretary Napolitano and me, we have signed a memorandum of understanding to do a joint investigation between the Department of Interior and Homeland Security. Those investigators are on the ground. They're trying to determine the facts. And obviously, this is going to be an investigation that will be unfolding, but at this point in time there are no clear answers as to what caused what is very apparently an unprecedented event that is being very difficult to deal with. Q Thank you. This is -- (off mike) -- from Bloomberg News. I was wondering if you have a new estimate of current costs, daily costs, of these operations. And has the drilling of the so-called relief well already started? 15:35:29 MR. SUTTLES: The current cost of these operations are between $6 (million) and $7 million a day. Clearly, as the oil approaches the shoreline, those costs will increase as we mount both additional booming activities and as we mount cleanup activities where it has occurred. The relief well operation will -- should begin tomorrow. The drilling rig has arrived. It's on station and it's doing final preparations. I should also say that a second drill ship will be arriving tomorrow, and that drill ship will be available to deploy the sub-sea recovery system we've discussed or attempt additional interventions on the existing -- on the existing well. Q Governor Jindal, Allen Johnson for Agency (sic) France- Presse. A lot of people in Venice, Louisiana, lower Plaquemines, are very angry with BP, and they're considering filing suit. And I want to know if the state of Louisiana's considering filing suit against BP also. And how does that change the dynamic of your -- of your relationship with the company if you are considering filing suit? 15:36:34 GOV. JINDAL: Sure. A couple of things. One, our focus right now obviously is to mitigate the damage on our coast, on our fisheries, on our wetlands and our fragile ecosystems. And one of the suggestions we made -- and you heard me say this in my comments -- is we are concerned and we have encouraged BP strongly to seek even more assistance from the federal government, because I do think this response could overwhelm their capabilities, especially as it's the -- not only Louisiana but other states' coast that may be potentially impacted. 15:37:01 So right now our focus is making sure that we deploy the resources to protect our coastline and that there's -- the cleanup starts as quickly as possible. I know there'll be time later for folks to consider litigation, claims, financial reimbursement. Right now our focus has got to be on protecting our coast and our wetlands, our ecosystems. Obviously, there are a lot of people's livelihoods that are going to be in -- negatively impacted: our commercial fisheries, our recreational fishermen, many, many small businesses. And that's why we've already asked the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration to help those small businesses. We want to do everything we can to help our small businesses and our people get back on their feet. Q Sabrina Wilson, FOX 8 News in New Orleans. You said you're calling on BP to operate smarter, to do more. At least two members -- GOV. JINDAL: I'm sorry, Sabrina. You got to -- who are you asking the question to? Q I'm referring this to Secretaries Salazar and Napolitano. GOV. JINDAL: Sure. Q You called on BP to operate smarter, do more. Specifically, where do you think they're dropping the ball? 15:38:05 SEC. SALAZAR: Well, let me -- you know, BP has all hands on deck on this thing. This is a matter of global proportion, and so they have summoned their global resources to focus in on this issue. But we have also asked British Petroleum to reach out to the entire oil and gas industry around the world. Indeed, at a meeting of the Department of the Interior last night where I met with executives from other oil and gas companies, I asked BP to put together a SWAT team to take the best ideas from the other companies, to make sure that we are maximizing the effort here. This particular incident has huge ramifications for what happens with respect to energy development in the oceans all around the world. And, yes, we have a lot to lose here in America, in terms of an energy resource and in terms of environmental values that we very much cherish. The oil and gas industry has a tremendous amount to lose in terms of their global economic value here. And so they are putting tremendous resources into trying to figure out the problem in terms of stopping the flow from the well. And at the same time, under the federal law that applies to this spill, the responsibility for responding to this spill is with the company. And at the highest levels of British Petroleum, in writing, they have assured us that they have the resources to respond to the challenge. STAFF: Operator, if you go to a question from the phone, please. (Pause.) Operator? SEC. SALAZAR: Operator, do you want to go to questions? OPERATOR: Thank you. Our first question will come from Ian Talley. Q Yes. Can you hear me? STAFF: Yes. Could you state your outlet, please. Q Yes. It's Ian Talley, Dow Jones Newswires. I've spoken to two industry experts whose jobs are to estimate oil spill sizes based on satellite data and radar data. Using the MMS and Coast Guard satellite data and the information from BP in terms of how thick the spill is (in certain areas ?), they're estimating a spill that -- and a spill rate that is five times what BP is saying. So BP is saying 5,000 barrels per day; they are saying 20(,000) to 25,000 barrels a day. Are you confident in the 5,000 barrels-a-day number? And what are you basing them on? Are those BP figures? 15:40:50 REAR ADMIRAL MARY LANDRY (U.S. Coast Guard): I would caution you not to get fixated on an estimate of how much is out there. The most important thing is from day one we stood corralling resources from a worst-case scenario, working back. And I think the demonstration of those who are here today shows that from day one we have solicited the help of the whole of government and the private sector to approach this response. Q So you're confident in those figures, the 5,000 barrels a day? 15:41:30 MR. SUTTLES: Yeah, this is Doug Suttles from BP. Since the event began, and since the beginning -- the sinking of the Transocean Horizon, we could monitor, once we discovered the oil was flowing at the seabed, we could monitor it with remote-operated-vehicle cameras. And we've done that. And what we've been monitoring, the amount of flow looks essentially the same. But we cannot meter that flow. So as the -- as the events unfolded, we can monitor what's on the surface of the sea. So when the event first started, ourselves with the rest of the unified command, including NOAA scientists - 15:41:57 our best estimate at the time was 1,000 barrels a day. But as we began to gather more data from what we were seeing, from satellite images and from overflight data, we actually revised that number to 5,000 barrels a day. That did not indicate a change in the amount of flow. It indicated a change in the estimate of the flow rate. But this is highly imprecise, highly imprecise. And as the admiral has already stated, we continue to respond to a much more significant case, so that we're prepared for that in the eventuality that the rate is higher. STAFF: Operator, next question, please. OPERATOR: Certainly. Our next question will come from Zach (sp). (Inaudible.) Please state your affiliation. Q (Off mike) -- this morning on whether or not this could affect oil production, whether or not there might be some kind of halt for future oil production in different areas. (Off mike) -- on the table, is that a consideration in the deepwater? 15:43:45 SEC. SALAZAR: Zach (sp), the oil and gas which this nation currently depends on very much comes from the Gulf of Mexico. About a third of the domestically produced oil and gas resources actually come from this region. We want to make sure that those operations are operating safely. And so we've dispatched the inspections, to do what we have to do, to make sure that those are operating safely. The president this morning directed the Department of Interior and me as secretary to report back to him, within 30 days, with any recommendations on any kind of enhanced safety measures. At this point in time, we are still doing additional work and research to determine whether or not there are other safety procedures that have to go into place. But the oil and gas production that continues to come from the Gulf Coast that essentially fuels the economy of this nation still continues to flow today and will continue to flow into the foreseeable future 15:44:06 until we are able to determine that if -- that there is a problem that should cause us to go in a different direction. We want to do this based on the facts and based on the best science that we have. STAFF: Next question, Operator. OPERATOR: Our next question will come from Gary Taylor (sp). Please state your affiliation. Q Hi. I'm with -- (inaudible). I want to follow up on a question that was asked earlier, and I don't think it was answered. Secretary Napolitano, you sounded in your comments critical of BP's response so far. Are you critical of it? And what do you think is missing from the BP response to it? 15:44:40 SEC. NAPOLITANO: Well, I think -- I think there is reason now to know more than we knew originally. I mean, originally, this well was drilled with the expectation that if there were an explosion and a failure, that a blowout preventer would close off leakage into the ocean. And originally the BOP, when it failed, 15:45:24 BP took actions designed to try to take other actions along the riser of the well to close off leakage and to close off the oil flow. None of those worked. And I think I share the disappointment of all in the fact that none of those worked. Now we need to move more speedily -- and this accrues to BP -- more speedily to protect wetlands, to protect marshes, to protect the ecosystem here. The federal government stands ready not just to support BP but to move aggressively to work with the state of Louisiana, to work with the parish presidents and the affected areas, to work with the businesses, the shrimpers, the fishermen, the stores, all of whom now have their livelihood endangered by this oil spill and because of the fact that it is now approaching landfall. We need to make sure that there is an effective and easy claims process so that people can know that they will not be financially damaged themselves personally or in their businesses because of this spill. 15:46:55 And we also have to have an effective process where we have all of the resources of the federal government linked up with the states and, as I said before, with mayors, with parish presidents, not just in Louisiana but, as it looks now moving east, Mississippi, Alabama and perhaps even as far as Florida. We will make sure and are making sure that that response is there. The response is strong, it's coordinated and it is designed to minimize the harm to our coastal lands, and that the - 15:47:36 to the extent there is harm, there is swift and effective cleanup. And we will work to make sure that British Petroleum meets its financial obligations, an obligation it undertook in exchange for the ability to undertake this drilling. So it is a partnership, or an effort, in which everybody standing here is involved, in which we all have an effective stake. But those who have the most effective stakes are the men and women who live in the coastal areas of Louisiana, of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. And they are utmost in our minds. STAFF: Operator, last question. OPERATOR: The next question will come from Janet McConnaughey. Please state your affiliation. Q The Associated Press. This is a question either to the admiral or Doug Suttles, or whoever might know. Of those 300 vessels that have been brought in, how many are able to work today, with the rough weather? Is the -- is there skimming going on out there? And can it work? STAFF: Do you want to go? MR. SUTTLES: Yes, I -- earlier, someone actually said that the weather's a challenge. So several days ago, we had two good weather days in a row, and we had a very good success on the water, including this in situ burn test, which looks like a great tool that we can use forward. But when the winds come up and the seas come up, unfortunately, we can't do much on the surface of the sea. In fact, as we stand here today, because of wave heights, we're not able to skim. Now, we are able to place dispersants. So during good weather, we can apply all of our tools to limit the impacts and hold this thing offshore. But when the weather comes up, we can't do that. So as I'm talking to you here just now, unfortunately, we're not able to operate our skimmers. STAFF: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. 15:49:49 END GULF OIL SPILL The first traces of oil from the rig explosion are washing ashore in Louisiana. The oil slick could become the nation's worst environmental disaster in decades, even surpassing the Exxon Valdez catastrophe, which left 11 million gallons in Alaska's Prince William Sound. Shrimp and oyster fishermen are rushing to scoop up their catch before the waters become contaminated. BP is still trying to stop the leak, which is spewing more than 5-thousand barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, by attempting to drill a new well and use dispersants to break up the oil. Senior members from the Obama Administration will also be inspecting the site today.
NAPOLITANO, SALAZAR & OTHERS PC ON BP OIL SPILL
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Interior Secretary Ken Salazar; Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson; Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.); and BP COO Doug Suttles hold a briefing on ongoing operations dedicated to minimizing environmental risks in the areas affected by leaking oil from the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. NET20 / 74 SLUGGED: NET20 1420 NAPOLITANO 74 DSIC # 608 AR: 16X9 *** FED TO NY ON IRD 5 **** 15:09:47 Napolitano and Salazar and others enter 15:10:16 GOV. JINDAL: I want to first of all start off by saying I want to thank Secretary Napolitano, Secretary Salazar, Administrator Jackson, Administrator Lubchenco, Director Browner and the many others for coming down to Louisiana and seeing firsthand not only the spill but the effects of the spill that it's having, on Louisiana's waters and Louisiana's coast, as well as the response efforts. Appreciated the phone call from the president yesterday. As I told him yesterday, we're certainly urging the federal government and BP to deploy even more resources, to help mitigate the impact of the oil spill that is threatening the coast of our state. 15:10:39 We must certainly do everything we can to contain the oil spill that threatens our wildlife and vast natural resources. I'm certainly worried that the booms as currently deployed are not effective. The areas that will be impacted first by this oil spill therefore are critical and fragile coastal sites. These next few days are critical. That's why I must do everything necessary, everything possible to protect our coast. I do have concerns, I've shared these concerns, that BP's current resources are not adequate to meet the three challenges we face. I've urged them to seek even more help from the federal government and from others. The three challenges we face are stopping the leak, protecting our coast, preparation for a swift cleanup of our impacted areas. We've also been working with local officials to assess their needs, to help them request resources from BP and the Coast Guard. It is critical the Coast Guard and BP uphold their commitment, their responsibility, to provide resources to the coastal areas that could be impacted by this spill. On the state's side, I want to update you on some of the steps we're taking. We've taken every step we can to help protect our coast, our wildlife, our environment, our people. 15:11:35 Last night, I sent letters to Secretary Gates, Secretary Napolitano, requesting the Louisiana National Guard be placed under federal Title 32 status, so that we can mobilize the resources of the National Guard. I want to thank the secretary; she told us they were working very hard on that request. This would provide support for at least 90 days of military duty for up to 6,000 soldiers and airmen serving on active duty in support of our response to the threat of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The National Guard could help provide security, medical capabilities, engineers, cleanup efforts and communications support in response to this threat. After helping our state respond and recover from four storms in recent years, the Guard is especially ready to help us respond to this particular oil spill. 15:12:13 If the Department of Defense approves this request, the National Guard is prepared on their first -- the first phase of this deployment to immediately activate 600 Guardsmen, have them on the ground They're already ordering 1,500 protective suits, so they're prepared to help support the cleanup efforts. We're also working to make sure that our fisheries, our small businesses are protected from the oil spill. We've written the U.S. secretary of Commerce requesting the declaration of a commercial fisheries failure as well as support from the Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration for commercial and recreational fishing businesses. This declaration will provide financial assistance to our individual fishermen, assistance for the restoration of fisheries and assistance for commercial and recreational fishing businesses. As many of you know, Louisiana is the top producer of commercial fisheries in the lower 48 states. It's one of the top recreational fishing destinations in the country. This oil spill will certainly adversely affect the productivity of this ecosystem and fishing families across our state. It is critical that our fishermen and their families have the type of support they need to get through this event. We've also asked the U.S. Small Business Administration to activate all appropriate federal disaster declaration clauses that would enable the SBA to help the small businesses in our state that we know will be impacted by this oil spill. Specifically, we're asking the SBA to 15:13:22 consider temporarily suspending loan repayments for coastal businesses that are impacted by the oil spill and to also those who have 2005 and 2008 disaster and economic injury loans as a result of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav. On the state side, we're working hard to support the response efforts. Yesterday we declared a state of emergency, which positions our state to deploy assets and engage and to help the federal government and BP. Our Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority officials are opening the Caernarvon Diversion in Plaquemines Parish and the Davis Pond Diversion in St. Charles Parish to try to help prevent any oil from penetrating deep into coastal marshes. The authority is also working on a second line of defense in the wetlands, where they could actually anchor booms in place to try to preserve some of our most fragile and important ecosystems. Today, our Office of Homeland Security is reaching out to other states through the EMAC, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, to identify oil-spill coordinators. The Office of Homeland Security is also deploying staff to Plackman's Parish, St. Bernard Parish, to help their emergency responders of the oil-spill effort. We've set a command center, a mobile command center, here in Robert. We also are sending a mobile command center to the Coast Guard site in Houma. 15:14:28 The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has closed the lower Breton Sound area to shrimpers. They plan to close the upper Breton Sound area at 6:00 p.m. tonight. The lower Breton Sound was closed as of 6:00 a.m. this morning. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has also deployed 40 field biologists for testing purposes. They've got 160 additional biologists staged for wildlife rescues as they become necessary. The Department of Environmental Quality has got 40 regional staff members with oil spill and hazard experience who will be deployed. DEQ and DHH have reported that residents of coastal areas of southeast Louisiana, including New Orleans, may be detecting the odor possibly resulting from the oil spill approaching the coast. DHH and DEQ have requested continuous air-quality testing and monitoring from the EPA. DEQ will be assisting the EPA by increasing the frequency of air sampling at its Kenner and Chalmette monitors. Those samples will then receive expedited turnaround by EPA labs. I do want to thank the EPA administrator. Not only is she down here personally; she's from this area. And I think she certainly understands the importance of continuously monitoring the air, and I know that she'll have some announcements about monitoring the water. 15:15:32 Out of an abundance of caution, we've also activated the joint Department of Transportation-Department of Social Services shelter team, in case the special-needs sheltering does become necessary due to deteriorating air quality. Again, this is a precaution at this time. The Department of Corrections is working with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to train inmates in oil-spill cleanup efforts, so they can help assist our federal lead agencies. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is also today training National Guard trainers so they can then, in turn, train the Guardsmen that assist in the cleanup efforts. We've offered these resources repeatedly to BP. We're still awaiting a detailed response from them on how best to deploy these assets. In a precautionary move, the Department of Health and Hospitals is working with Wildlife and Fisheries to close oyster beds along the eastern Louisiana coast. Specifically, they'll be closing harvesting areas two through seven at sunset tonight, which are east of the Mississippi River in the coastal parishes of Plaquemines and St. Bernard. We've been told by BP they've got 20 rapid-response teams. Ten have been mobilized. There will ultimately be 50 in place. We've offered BP personnel to help these teams to help clean up the wetlands, from state police, DEQ, DNR and many other agencies. 15:16:35 After today's press conference, later this afternoon, I'll be traveling not only to Venice but other impacted areas. I'll be accompanied by Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro to help assess the needs of our local officials, to see firsthand the response efforts that are taking place. 15:16:49 We're certainly going to take every effort -- we're going to continue to take every step we can to help protect our coasts, our wildlife, our environment and our people. I want to again personally thank Secretary Napolitano and the other federal officials that have come personally to see the spill, the impacts, the cleanup and the relief efforts. It is my privilege to introduce to you Secretary Napolitano. 15:17:10 SEC. NAPOLITANO: Thanks, Governor. Well, good afternoon. I'm pleased to be joined here on the Gulf Coast -- I'm pleased to be here with Governor Jindal. We have just landed from a flight over the area affected by the BP oil spill, and we have just convened a meeting with our state and local partners who are engaged in a coordinated effort on what needs to be done to protect lands from the spill and also to be sure we can effectuate a quick and effective cleanup. 15:17:45 We are paying extremely close attention to the work already being done here. As the president and the law have made clear, British Petroleum, as the responsible party, is required to fund the cost of the response and the cleanup operations. We continue to urge BP to leverage additional assets to help lead the response in this effort, because it is clear that after several unsuccessful attempts to secure the source of the leak, it is time for BP to supplement their current mobilization as the slick of oil moves toward shore. As the federal coordinators overseeing BP's efforts, we're here to make sure that the resources are being used wisely and to the greatest effect at minimizing environmental risk. 15:18:33 Let me be clear. The president has ordered that the administration use every single available resource at our disposal in response to this issue. As the oil nears the shore, it's important to note that we have anticipated and planned for a worst-case scenario since day one. And let's not forget that the response actually began as a search-and-rescue mission. The Coast Guard responded immediately following the April 20 explosion in an effort to save lives. 15:19:08 Our visit is also helping to inform our investigation into the causes of the explosion, which left 11 workers presumed dead and three critically injured, in addition to the ongoing oils pill. Following the explosion, we also immediately began responding to the environmental implications of the spill and 15:19:29 began to direct oversight in support of BP's cleanup and containment efforts, setting up a command center here and working across the federal government to ensure a strong and steady battle rhythm. Yesterday I announced the designation of this spill as a spill of national significance, in consultation with the Coast Guard commandant. This means that there is substantial -- that this is a substantial release of oil or hazardous substances, which will require sustained involvement of senior officials across the government. 15:20:06 Aside from being an acknowledgment of the seriousness of this spill, it also commits the Coast Guard to dedicating additional senior agency staff and resources to the response. The Environmental Protection Agency also has the same authority with respect to inland waterway spills. The coordinated federal partnership, including the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Commerce, Interior and EPA, continues to oversee BP's deployment of a combination of tactics. This week, as you know, 15:20:40 BP began conducting controlled burns designed to remove large quantities of oil from the open water, in an effort to protect shoreline, marine and other wildlife. BP continues to use chemical dispersants, which, along with natural dispersions of oil, will address a large part of the slick. A hundred and thirty-nine thousand, four hundred and fifty-nine gallons of dispersant have been used to date. Among -- other responsive activities include skimming, subsurface wellhead operations and significant booming efforts to protect Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama shoreline. Nearly 220,000 feet of boom have been deployed at six staging locations, and hundreds of thousands of feet are staged and ready to be deployed. Approximately 1,900 personnel are currently deployed, and over 853,000 gallons of oily water have been collected so far, using 300 vessels and dozens of aircraft engaged in the response. The Department of Defense is fully integrated into the Department of Homeland Security-led team and is fully supportive of all response activities. Navy assets have actually been involved since day one. And DOD continues to offer what is needed as the situation develops. The secretary of Defense has approved a request for two C-130 aircraft to dispense oil-dispersing chemicals capable of covering up to 250 acres per flight, with three flights per aircraft per day. They are currently en route to the affected areas. The Coast Guard has requested additional assistance from the Department of Defense. 15:22:32 Additionally the Navy has sent thousands of feet of inflatable oil boom and other vital equipment and personnel to support the oil response efforts, in direct support of the Coast Guard, under the existing pollution cleanup and salvage operations agreement that we have with them. 15:22:50 Naval Air Station Pensacola is serving as that staging facility. We will continue to push BP to engage in the strongest possible response, while taking steps to ensure the protection of our shoreline and our wildlife and our precious lands. And with that, I welcome the secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar. 15:23:14 SEC. SALAZAR: Thank you very much, Secretary Napolitano, and to all of the federal team who are here: Administrator Jackson from the EPA, Jane Lubchenco, the undersecretary for NOAA, as well as Admiral Landry and David Hayes, the deputy secretary of Interior, Governor Jindal and all the other elected officials who are here. First, I want to recognize the terrific leadership of Admiral Landry, from day one, and the rest of the federal team who has been here on site. It's been across -- it's been an effort, a team effort across all the agencies of the federal government. My deputy secretary, David Hayes, was dispatched down here by me on order when the incident occurred. He has been monitoring this minute-by-minute. 15:24:08 And while we still have a long ways to go and we do not know exactly where we are going, we are confident that the federal team for the United States of America, as directed by the president, is doing everything that we possibly can do. As soon as we learned about the explosion, we came down here to help in the search-and-rescue efforts. And as time has evolved, we know that today the situation is still a dangerous one. British Petroleum has a massive spill for which they are responsible. 15:24:40 The oil threatens communities, wildlife and natural resources around the Gulf of Mexico. Our focus remains, as it has for the last 10 days, on overseeing BP's efforts to secure their wellhead that is spilling oil, and minimizing the damage that could come. Yesterday at BP's command center in Houston, I pressed the CEOs of BP as well as the engineers to work harder and faster and smarter to get the job done. I have asked other companies from across the oil and gas industry to bring their global expertise to the situation to make sure that no idea that is worth pursuing is not pursued. And under President Obama's direction, every resource, as Secretary Napolitano stated, is being made available to respond. We cannot rest and we will not rest until BP permanently seals the wellhead and until they clean up every drop of oil. The weather this weekend presents a challenge, but the strong interagency effort and our coordination with local and state partners means that we have plans in place, resources deployed, and the people we need to fight the fight. At the same time, though, the spill raises many questions about safety on drilling rigs and platforms in the deep water. I've ordered immediate inspections of all deep-water operations in the Gulf of Mexico, and we've issued a safety notice to all operators reminding them of their responsibilities to follow our regulations and to conduct full and thorough tests of their equipment, including the blowout-prevention stacks. Today I'm also signing a secretarial order establishing an Outer Continental Shelf safety review board within the United States Department of Interior. The assistant secretary for Land and Minerals, along with the inspector general for the department, will lead this effort. They will provide recommendations for steps that we can take to strengthen OCS safety and to improve overall management. 15:26:46 They will look at all options. They will provide oversight and support to MMS as they conduct their joint investigation of the incident, which was ordered by Secretary Napolitano and by me a few days ago. 15:26:57 I have confidence that we will get to the bottom of what's happened here. Those responsible will be held accountable, and the lessons we learn will help guide us as we responsibly and safely develop our nation's energy resources. I will now introduce the administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson. 15:27:19 MS. JACKSON: Thanks, everybody. This situation began as a human tragedy, and my heart -- and my thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who are presumed lost. And it has evolved -- and it has involved (sic) into an environmental challenge of the first order, unprecedented in its situation but not in terms of the need to respond. Using all the lessons that we've learned in the past but realizing that we must be flexible and willing to move quickly to adjust to the situation as we find it on the ground here. And EPA is certainly a part of that. 15:27:57 From the beginning, we've been in support of the Coast Guard, as they moved swiftly to search and rescue and the efforts around it with NOAA's assistance, in trying to predict when this might make landfall. As situations and whether has worsened, which has brought this material closer to shore, we've had to change our approach. EPA is part of a team though. For every environmental challenge, certainly one like this, it will require a team of people focusing on multiple aspects, some of which we know and some of which present data challenges and questions. We will work with the states first and foremost. We began air sampling yesterday. We did that because we called in the states, who have permanent air monitors along the shoreline, and asked them to work with us. And all of them did absolutely right on the spot, to increase the frequency of sampling from those fixed air monitors. That gives us a piece of the picture. And EPA has set up a website, www.epa.gov/bpspill <http://www.epa.gov/bpspill>, where you will be able to see the results first of that air monitoring. Then we have asked for additional air monitoring to look for other contaminants, things that we wouldn't normally look for in those fixed air monitoring. And we have two mobile labs. One is making its way here. I believe the other was making its way. It may already be here. 15:29:30 And we'll start taking samples and put that data up. There is a concern about odors. And we do believe that that odor is probably due in part to the spill. There is a large, large sheen. It is a very thin layer. And with increasing wind and wave activity, you get an aerosol out there in that move. Now, the question is: What does that mean? We don't have any reason to believe that there is a concern, but we can't answer that question until we get the data. That data collection has already begun. And as we get data, we will put it up on the website, and we will interpret it because it's important to know what it really means. Water sampling begins today. We clearly know that there's a problem in the water, but it's in order to understand and help understand the fate and transport of material that's already in the water. And that's on top of efforts by local governments and state government and NOAA, who are already out in varying parts, getting information. And it builds on an existing database of current ecological information that we have through our Gulf of Mexico research center. So we're working to answer the questions that are beginning to be posed in people's minds. Now, what I said to people, 15:30:39 being from this area, it is not unusual for us to face an incident that we know is coming and to be prepared. And the resilience and strength of the people of the Gulf Coast has been what has gotten us through many, many, many a challenge. And one of the things I'm determined to do while here is to make sure we are getting the best ideas from those who know these marshes and coastlines like the back of their hand, to make sure that some of the high-tech solutions are met with low-tech or no-tech solutions that may be out there, to try to do whatever we can to preserve people's culture, their way of life and their livelihoods. And we will continue to be here. I will stay for -- I'm planning right now two days. I'm already thinking about calling my family and saying maybe it's going to need to be longer. But we will stay as long as we need to, to make sure that we are ready and able to be partners in response, to support all the local governments who are out there, who are trying to stand up their people and get their communities ready for this response. Thanks very much. And now I'd like to introduce Doug Suttles, from BP. 15:31:48 MR. SUTTLES: Thank you. And I'm very pleased that you've all joined us here as we try to address this very, very unfortunate event. Since this event began on April the 20th, we've only had three priorities, and those priorities have been: stop the flow of oil, minimize the impact and keep the public informed. 15:32:07 We've so far mounted the largest response effort ever done in the world. We've utilized every technology available. We've applied every resource requested. We continue to try to stop the source of flow. We continue to develop new options, both to address the continued flow of oil at the seabed but also to minimize the impact to the environment. We welcome every new idea and every offer of support, both from state government and federal government. We had an idea submitted to us just 48 hours ago about the sub-sea application of dispersants. That operation will begin in less than two hours. As a demonstration of the application of new technology and openness to new thinking, we have invited in experts from other oil and gas companies, and as we speak, members of the Department of Defense are with our team in Houston, looking for new ideas. So like everyone, we understand and completely agree that we need to bring this event to closure as quickly as possible, and we need to address the impacts as fully as we can. And BP's resources will be made available to do that. Thank you. STAFF: A question from in the room. Q Yes. The -- can anyone from the Coast Guard comment on -- STAFF: I'm sorry. Can you identify your media outlet? Q Sorry. Ray Henry. I work for -- (off mike). Ray Henry. I work for the Associated Press. Can anyone from the Coast Guard or BP talk a little bit about the role, if any, they think cementing played in the explosion, particularly what happened in this process and whether that figures in the investigation? 15:33:47 MR. SUTTLES: This is Doug Suttles from BP. We actually don't know what caused this event. And clearly, the government has an investigation that they've initiated. We've launched our own internal investigation as well. But since you can an imagine, since this event's began, we've only had one focus, which is stop the flow of oil and actually minimize the impact. Through good time and as quickly as possible, 15:34:15 we will actually find the cause. The equipment on the sea bed, which we're all very interested, will eventually be recovered, and hopefully we can discover and learn things from this event to make this event never occur again. 15:34:29 SEC. SALAZAR: Just -- not on behalf of the Coast Guard, but on behalf of Secretary Napolitano and me, we have signed a memorandum of understanding to do a joint investigation between the Department of Interior and Homeland Security. Those investigators are on the ground. They're trying to determine the facts. And obviously, this is going to be an investigation that will be unfolding, but at this point in time there are no clear answers as to what caused what is very apparently an unprecedented event that is being very difficult to deal with. Q Thank you. This is -- (off mike) -- from Bloomberg News. I was wondering if you have a new estimate of current costs, daily costs, of these operations. And has the drilling of the so-called relief well already started? 15:35:29 MR. SUTTLES: The current cost of these operations are between $6 (million) and $7 million a day. Clearly, as the oil approaches the shoreline, those costs will increase as we mount both additional booming activities and as we mount cleanup activities where it has occurred. The relief well operation will -- should begin tomorrow. The drilling rig has arrived. It's on station and it's doing final preparations. I should also say that a second drill ship will be arriving tomorrow, and that drill ship will be available to deploy the sub-sea recovery system we've discussed or attempt additional interventions on the existing -- on the existing well. Q Governor Jindal, Allen Johnson for Agency (sic) France- Presse. A lot of people in Venice, Louisiana, lower Plaquemines, are very angry with BP, and they're considering filing suit. And I want to know if the state of Louisiana's considering filing suit against BP also. And how does that change the dynamic of your -- of your relationship with the company if you are considering filing suit? 15:36:34 GOV. JINDAL: Sure. A couple of things. One, our focus right now obviously is to mitigate the damage on our coast, on our fisheries, on our wetlands and our fragile ecosystems. And one of the suggestions we made -- and you heard me say this in my comments -- is we are concerned and we have encouraged BP strongly to seek even more assistance from the federal government, because I do think this response could overwhelm their capabilities, especially as it's the -- not only Louisiana but other states' coast that may be potentially impacted. 15:37:01 So right now our focus is making sure that we deploy the resources to protect our coastline and that there's -- the cleanup starts as quickly as possible. I know there'll be time later for folks to consider litigation, claims, financial reimbursement. Right now our focus has got to be on protecting our coast and our wetlands, our ecosystems. Obviously, there are a lot of people's livelihoods that are going to be in -- negatively impacted: our commercial fisheries, our recreational fishermen, many, many small businesses. And that's why we've already asked the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration to help those small businesses. We want to do everything we can to help our small businesses and our people get back on their feet. Q Sabrina Wilson, FOX 8 News in New Orleans. You said you're calling on BP to operate smarter, to do more. At least two members -- GOV. JINDAL: I'm sorry, Sabrina. You got to -- who are you asking the question to? Q I'm referring this to Secretaries Salazar and Napolitano. GOV. JINDAL: Sure. Q You called on BP to operate smarter, do more. Specifically, where do you think they're dropping the ball? 15:38:05 SEC. SALAZAR: Well, let me -- you know, BP has all hands on deck on this thing. This is a matter of global proportion, and so they have summoned their global resources to focus in on this issue. But we have also asked British Petroleum to reach out to the entire oil and gas industry around the world. Indeed, at a meeting of the Department of the Interior last night where I met with executives from other oil and gas companies, I asked BP to put together a SWAT team to take the best ideas from the other companies, to make sure that we are maximizing the effort here. This particular incident has huge ramifications for what happens with respect to energy development in the oceans all around the world. And, yes, we have a lot to lose here in America, in terms of an energy resource and in terms of environmental values that we very much cherish. The oil and gas industry has a tremendous amount to lose in terms of their global economic value here. And so they are putting tremendous resources into trying to figure out the problem in terms of stopping the flow from the well. And at the same time, under the federal law that applies to this spill, the responsibility for responding to this spill is with the company. And at the highest levels of British Petroleum, in writing, they have assured us that they have the resources to respond to the challenge. STAFF: Operator, if you go to a question from the phone, please. (Pause.) Operator? SEC. SALAZAR: Operator, do you want to go to questions? OPERATOR: Thank you. Our first question will come from Ian Talley. Q Yes. Can you hear me? STAFF: Yes. Could you state your outlet, please. Q Yes. It's Ian Talley, Dow Jones Newswires. I've spoken to two industry experts whose jobs are to estimate oil spill sizes based on satellite data and radar data. Using the MMS and Coast Guard satellite data and the information from BP in terms of how thick the spill is (in certain areas ?), they're estimating a spill that -- and a spill rate that is five times what BP is saying. So BP is saying 5,000 barrels per day; they are saying 20(,000) to 25,000 barrels a day. Are you confident in the 5,000 barrels-a-day number? And what are you basing them on? Are those BP figures? 15:40:50 REAR ADMIRAL MARY LANDRY (U.S. Coast Guard): I would caution you not to get fixated on an estimate of how much is out there. The most important thing is from day one we stood corralling resources from a worst-case scenario, working back. And I think the demonstration of those who are here today shows that from day one we have solicited the help of the whole of government and the private sector to approach this response. Q So you're confident in those figures, the 5,000 barrels a day? 15:41:30 MR. SUTTLES: Yeah, this is Doug Suttles from BP. Since the event began, and since the beginning -- the sinking of the Transocean Horizon, we could monitor, once we discovered the oil was flowing at the seabed, we could monitor it with remote-operated-vehicle cameras. And we've done that. And what we've been monitoring, the amount of flow looks essentially the same. But we cannot meter that flow. So as the -- as the events unfolded, we can monitor what's on the surface of the sea. So when the event first started, ourselves with the rest of the unified command, including NOAA scientists - 15:41:57 our best estimate at the time was 1,000 barrels a day. But as we began to gather more data from what we were seeing, from satellite images and from overflight data, we actually revised that number to 5,000 barrels a day. That did not indicate a change in the amount of flow. It indicated a change in the estimate of the flow rate. But this is highly imprecise, highly imprecise. And as the admiral has already stated, we continue to respond to a much more significant case, so that we're prepared for that in the eventuality that the rate is higher. STAFF: Operator, next question, please. OPERATOR: Certainly. Our next question will come from Zach (sp). (Inaudible.) Please state your affiliation. Q (Off mike) -- this morning on whether or not this could affect oil production, whether or not there might be some kind of halt for future oil production in different areas. (Off mike) -- on the table, is that a consideration in the deepwater? 15:43:45 SEC. SALAZAR: Zach (sp), the oil and gas which this nation currently depends on very much comes from the Gulf of Mexico. About a third of the domestically produced oil and gas resources actually come from this region. We want to make sure that those operations are operating safely. And so we've dispatched the inspections, to do what we have to do, to make sure that those are operating safely. The president this morning directed the Department of Interior and me as secretary to report back to him, within 30 days, with any recommendations on any kind of enhanced safety measures. At this point in time, we are still doing additional work and research to determine whether or not there are other safety procedures that have to go into place. But the oil and gas production that continues to come from the Gulf Coast that essentially fuels the economy of this nation still continues to flow today and will continue to flow into the foreseeable future 15:44:06 until we are able to determine that if -- that there is a problem that should cause us to go in a different direction. We want to do this based on the facts and based on the best science that we have. STAFF: Next question, Operator. OPERATOR: Our next question will come from Gary Taylor (sp). Please state your affiliation. Q Hi. I'm with -- (inaudible). I want to follow up on a question that was asked earlier, and I don't think it was answered. Secretary Napolitano, you sounded in your comments critical of BP's response so far. Are you critical of it? And what do you think is missing from the BP response to it? 15:44:40 SEC. NAPOLITANO: Well, I think -- I think there is reason now to know more than we knew originally. I mean, originally, this well was drilled with the expectation that if there were an explosion and a failure, that a blowout preventer would close off leakage into the ocean. And originally the BOP, when it failed, 15:45:24 BP took actions designed to try to take other actions along the riser of the well to close off leakage and to close off the oil flow. None of those worked. And I think I share the disappointment of all in the fact that none of those worked. Now we need to move more speedily -- and this accrues to BP -- more speedily to protect wetlands, to protect marshes, to protect the ecosystem here. The federal government stands ready not just to support BP but to move aggressively to work with the state of Louisiana, to work with the parish presidents and the affected areas, to work with the businesses, the shrimpers, the fishermen, the stores, all of whom now have their livelihood endangered by this oil spill and because of the fact that it is now approaching landfall. We need to make sure that there is an effective and easy claims process so that people can know that they will not be financially damaged themselves personally or in their businesses because of this spill. 15:46:55 And we also have to have an effective process where we have all of the resources of the federal government linked up with the states and, as I said before, with mayors, with parish presidents, not just in Louisiana but, as it looks now moving east, Mississippi, Alabama and perhaps even as far as Florida. We will make sure and are making sure that that response is there. The response is strong, it's coordinated and it is designed to minimize the harm to our coastal lands, and that the - 15:47:36 to the extent there is harm, there is swift and effective cleanup. And we will work to make sure that British Petroleum meets its financial obligations, an obligation it undertook in exchange for the ability to undertake this drilling. So it is a partnership, or an effort, in which everybody standing here is involved, in which we all have an effective stake. But those who have the most effective stakes are the men and women who live in the coastal areas of Louisiana, of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. And they are utmost in our minds. STAFF: Operator, last question. OPERATOR: The next question will come from Janet McConnaughey. Please state your affiliation. Q The Associated Press. This is a question either to the admiral or Doug Suttles, or whoever might know. Of those 300 vessels that have been brought in, how many are able to work today, with the rough weather? Is the -- is there skimming going on out there? And can it work? STAFF: Do you want to go? MR. SUTTLES: Yes, I -- earlier, someone actually said that the weather's a challenge. So several days ago, we had two good weather days in a row, and we had a very good success on the water, including this in situ burn test, which looks like a great tool that we can use forward. But when the winds come up and the seas come up, unfortunately, we can't do much on the surface of the sea. In fact, as we stand here today, because of wave heights, we're not able to skim. Now, we are able to place dispersants. So during good weather, we can apply all of our tools to limit the impacts and hold this thing offshore. But when the weather comes up, we can't do that. So as I'm talking to you here just now, unfortunately, we're not able to operate our skimmers. STAFF: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. 15:49:49 END
APTN 2330 PRIME NEWS AMERICAS
AP-APTN-2330 Americas L Prime News-Final Sunday, 2 May 2010 Americas L Prime News US Oil Spill 2 03:56 See Script REPLAY Preps as Obama heads to Gulf; govt defends spill op, Obama sot US Clinton 00:57 See Script REPLAY US Secretary of State comments on Arizona's new immigration law US Iran 01:27 See Script REPLAY Clinton says Iran is in violation of nuclear non-proliferation treaty EU Greece 5 04:00 AP Clients Only WRAP Juncker says aid plan for Greece will be euros 110 billion, reax Argentina Opera 02:45 AP Clients Only REPLAY Famous opera to be reopened at end of May after 4-yr restoration ++US Times Sq 7 02:30 See Script NEW Police say no evidence of Taliban link to failed Times Sq bomb Internet Pakistan Taliban 01:18 See Script REPLAY +GRAPHIC+ Purported Pakistani Taliban msg claims NYC car bomb attempt Gaza Football 02:45 AP Clients Only REPLAY Gaza's World Cup kicks off, teams compete for rubble trophy B-u-l-l-e-t-i-n begins at 2330 GMT. APEX 05-02-10 1956EDT -----------End of rundown----------- AP-APTN-2330: US Oil Spill 2 Sunday, 2 May 2010 STORY:US Oil Spill 2- REPLAY Preps as Obama heads to Gulf; govt defends spill op, Obama sot LENGTH: 03:56 FIRST RUN: 2030 RESTRICTIONS: See Script TYPE: English/Natsound SOURCE: AP TELEVISION/POOL/ABC/NBC STORY NUMBER: 644518 DATELINE: Various, 2 May 2010 LENGTH: 03:56 ++CLIENTS PLEASE NOTE: CHANGE OF SOURCES/RESTRICTIONS++ AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY POOL - AP CLIENTS ONLY ABC "This Week" -- No Access N America/Internet NBC "Meet the Press" - Must On-Screen Courtesy 'Meet The Press' - No Archive SHOTLIST POOL - AP Clients Only Venice, Louisiana - 2 May 2010 1. Barack Obama shakes hands with members of the US Coast Guard 2. SOUNDBITE: (English) Barack Obama, US President: "I think the American people are now aware, certainly the folks down in the Gulf are aware, that we're dealing with a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster. The oil that is still leaking from the well could seriously damage the economy and the environment of our Gulf states and it could extend for a long time." 3. Cutaway of US Coast Guard officers 4. SOUNDBITE: (English) Barack Obama, US President: "But every American affected by this spill should know this: Your government will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to stop this crisis. This is one of the richest and most beautiful ecosystems on the planet and for centuries, its residents have enjoyed and made a living off the fish that swim in these waters and the wildlife that inhabit these shores. This is also the heartbeat of the region's economic life. And we're going to do everything in our power to protect our natural resources, compensate those who have been harmed, rebuild what has been damaged and help this region persevere like it has done so many times before." ABC "This Week" - No Access N America/Internet Washington, DC and Houston, Texas - 2 May 2010 5. Shot of Lamar McKay via satellite from Houston on large screen in "This Week" studio 6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Lamar McKay, BP America Chairman and President "We're still working hard, still working hard on the blowout preventer and see if we can actuate this piece of evidently failed equipment. And as you can imagine, this is like doing open-heart surgery at 5-thousand feet, with - in the dark - with robot-controlled submarines." NBC "Meet the Press" - Must On-Screen Courtesy "Meet The Press" - No Archive Washington, DC - 2 May 2010 7. Wide shot of U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar 8. SOUNDBITE: (English) Ken Salazar, U.S. Interior Secretary "The scenario is a very grave scenario. You're looking at potentially 90 days before you ultimately get to what is the ultimate solution here and that's a relief well that's going to have to be drilled down three and a half miles below the ocean floor. And by the time you drill that well down, a lot of oil could spread." AP Television - AP Clients Only Pass Christian, Mississippi - 2 May 2010 9. Pull out from oil rig in the distance to fishermen sitting on their docked boats 10. SOUNDBITE: (English) Ethan Ruhr, Mississippi Fisherman "It's going to affect us real hard, cause we ain't going to be able to pay no bills if we can't work." AP Television - AP Clients Only Dauphin Island, Alabama - 2 May 2010 11. Shot of a windy beach 12. Waves crashing on shore AP Television - AP Clients Only Pass Christian, Mississippi - 2 May 2010 13. SOUNDBITE: (English) Chipper McDermott, Mayor of Pass Christian: "The beaches down here are the largest man-made beach in the United States - it's 26 miles, so that's a tourism place in which people come down to the beaches, but everything else that we have here, we sell water, that's how we do it. I mean our restaurants and everything are facing the water in some type of way so it's going to be a problem to the people who go catch the seafood, it's going to be the people that wholesale it and the people that use it for their restaurants. And then the tourism and just the everyday life here will be affected." AP Television - AP Clients Only Dauphin Island, Alabama - 2 May 2010 14. Wide shot of deserted beach 15. Shots of vacation rental houses on deserted beach 16. SOUNDBITE: (English) Grace Tyson, Real Estate Owner: "The summer vacation rentals, they're scared and they're pulling out and they're going to other places. And then my guys that come in every summer to go fishing, they're not coming. It's a wait and see thing." 17. Various of waves crashing into pier supports STORYLINE: U.S. President Barack Obama travelled to Louisiana on Sunday for a first-hand look at the devastation the Gulf region is facing as a result of the oil spill. Standing in the rain outside a Coast Guard station, Obama warned of a "massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster," and said the leak from a ruptured oil line could take many days to stop. Obama defended his administration's response to the 20 April explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 people and unleashed what is now believed to be at least 5-thousand barrels a day of oil spilling into the Gulf. He promised residents that "your government will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to stop this crisis." A Coast Guard official said Sunday the volume of crude oil spewing from the damaged wellhead a mile deep in the Gulf of Mexico could climb to 100,000 barrels a day, with 60 days to 90 days needed for BP to drill relief wells to stem the flow. If BP's unmanned submarines are unable to activate a failed shut-off valve on the sea floor - attempts have been futile for days now - it could take six to eight days for the oil company to try to smother the spewing wellhead with a 74-ton metal and concrete box. That was the estimate Sunday from Lamar McKay, chairman and president of BP America, who appeared on ABC's "This Week." The oil slick now threatens not only the Louisiana coast but also the beaches of neighboring Mississippi and further east along the Florida Panhandle. McKay defended his company's safety record but wouldn't say when the well a mile beneath the sea might be plugged. He said BP officials are still working to activate a "blowout preventer" mechanism meant to shut off the geyser of oil. "As you can imagine, this is like doing open-heart surgery at 5-thousand feet, with - in the dark - with robot-controlled submarines," he said. U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the situation "very grave." "You're looking at potentially 90 days before you ultimately get to what is the ultimate solution," said Salazar, speaking on NBC's "Meet The Press." But by then "a lot of oil could spread." Crews have had little success stemming the flow from the ruptured well off Louisiana or removing oil from the surface by skimming it, burning it or dispersing it with chemicals. The churning slick of dense, rust-coloured oil is now roughly the size of Puerto Rico. Federal authorities banned commercial and recreational fishing in a large stretch of water off four states, from the mouth of the Mississippi River off Louisiana to western parts of the Florida Panhandle. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the closure would last for at least 10 days and was aimed at keeping seafood safe. Government scientists were taking samples from waters near the spill to determine whether there is any danger. Local fishermen, major contributors to the economy of the Gulf region, feared this disaster could be worse economically than Hurricane Katrina. "It's going to affect us real hard, cause we ain't going to be able to pay no bills if we can't work," said fisherman Ethan Ruhr. Chipper McDermott, the mayor of Pass Christian, Mississippi, said his city's livelihood depends almost entirely on the oceans and the beaches. "Our restaurants and everything face the water in some type of way so it's going to be a problem for the people who go catch the seafood, the people that wholesale it and the people that use it for their restaurants. And then the tourism and just the everyday life here will be affected," he said. Those who work in the tourism industry said they're already starting to experience what they expect will be an economic disaster. Grace Tyson, who owns a vacation home rental business in Dauphin Island, Alabama - a popular summer destination spot - said her summer contracts are already cancelling. Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: infoaparchive.com (ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory. APTN APEX 05-02-10 1933EDT ------------------- END -- OF -- ITEM ------------------- AP-APTN-2330: US Clinton Sunday, 2 May 2010 STORY:US Clinton- REPLAY US Secretary of State comments on Arizona's new immigration law LENGTH: 00:57 FIRST RUN: 2030 RESTRICTIONS: See Script TYPE: English/Nat SOURCE: NBC STORY NUMBER: 644510 DATELINE: Washington DC - 30 Apr 2010 LENGTH: 00:57 NBC - must courtesy: Meet the Press/NBC News, 24hr news access only, cannot use more than 2:00 in total SHOTLIST 1. Wide pan of television studio where US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is being interviewed 2. SOUNDBITE: (English) Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State: "Again we have to try to balance the very legitimate concerns that Americans - not just people in Arizona but across the country - have about safe and secure borders about trying to have a comprehensive immigration reform with a law that does what a state doesn't have the authority to do, try to impose their own immigration law." 3. Wide of television studio 4. Cutaway of interviewer asking question 5. SOUNDBITE: ( English) Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State: ++ CUTAWAYS INCLUDED++ "If you were visiting in Arizona and you had an accent and you were a citizen from my state, New York, you could be subjected to the kind of inquiry that this law permits." (Q: Do you think it invites profiling, racial profiling?) "I don't think there is any doubt about that." 6. Slow zoom in on Clinton, interviewer in studio STORYLINE US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that Arizona's new immigration law invites racial profiling and she thinks the state may be overstepping its authority. Clinton said the law "does what a state doesn't have the authority to do - try to impose their own immigration law." And she told NBC's "Meet the Press" in an interview conducted on 30 April that there's no doubt it invites racial profiling and that people might be questioned about their immigration status because of their accents. The law requires police officers to ask people to prove their immigration status if they have a reasonable suspicion they are illegal immigrants. Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: infoaparchive.com (ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory. APTN APEX 05-02-10 1932EDT ------------------- END -- OF -- ITEM ------------------- AP-APTN-2330: US Iran Sunday, 2 May 2010 STORY:US Iran- REPLAY Clinton says Iran is in violation of nuclear non-proliferation treaty LENGTH: 01:27 FIRST RUN: 1830 RESTRICTIONS: See Script TYPE: English/Nat SOURCE: NBC STORY NUMBER: 644514 DATELINE: Washington DC - 30 Apr 2010 LENGTH: 01:27 NBC - Meet the Press - Must On-Screen Courtesy 'Meet The Press' - No Archive SHOTLIST 30 April 2010 ++AIRED FOR THE FIRST TIME ON 2ND OF MAY++ 1. Wide of US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton on "Meet the Press" 2. SOUNDBITE: (English) Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State: (overlaid with wide cutaways) "I don't know what he's (referring to Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) showing up for because the purpose of the Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference is to reiterate the commitment of the international community to the three goals: disarmament, non-proliferation, the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. So the vast majority of countries are coming to see what progress we can make." 3. Clinton on set of "Meet the Press" 4. SOUNDBITE: (English) Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State: "If Iran is coming to say we're willing to abide by the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), that would be very welcome news. I have a feeling that's not what they're coming to do. I think they're coming to try to divert attention and confuse the issue. And there is no confusion. They have violated the terms of the NPT. They have been held under all kinds of restrictions and obligations that they have not complied with by the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, by the UN Security Council. So we're not going to permit Iran to try to change the story from their failure to comply and in any way upset the efforts we are in the midst of, which is to get the international community to adopt a strong Security Council resolution that further isolates them and imposes consequences for their behaviour." 5. Clinton on "Meet the Press" STORYLINE: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in an interview aired on Sunday that it is clear that Iran is in violation of a treaty designed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. The United Nations is holding a conference this coming week on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is expected to address delegates ahead of Clinton on Monday. Clinton told NBC's "Meet the Press" that his trip was an effort to divert attention and confuse people about Iran's violation of the treaty. She says the UN conference was designed to make clear the global commitment to disarmament, peaceful nuclear energy and limiting the spread of nuclear weapons. "I don't know what he's showing up for because the purpose of the Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference is to reiterate the commitment of the international community to the three goals: disarmament, non-proliferation, the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. So the vast majority of countries are coming to see what progress we can make," she said in an interview filmed on Friday but aired on Sunday. Clinton said it would be welcome news if Ahmadinejad was coming to say Tehran would abide by the Non-proliferation Treaty. But she said she had "a feeling that's not what they're coming to do." "We're not going to permit Iran to try to change the story from their failure to comply and in any way upset the efforts we are in the midst of." Delegates from 189 nations will convene on Monday for a twice-a-decade marathon of diplomacy and deal making over the 40-year-old treaty designed to check the spread of nuclear weapons worldwide. Ahmadinejad is expected to address the delegates ahead of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday, the opening day of the conference at the United Nations. The presence of Ahmadinejad, the only head of state taking part, ensures sharp words will fly over Tehran's nuclear programme and Israel's reported secret bombs, as well as over treaty outsider North Korea and the huge US and Russian nuclear arsenals. Iran last year rejected a UN-backed plan that offered nuclear fuel rods in exchange for most of Iran's stock of lower-level enriched uranium. Beyond meeting Iran's needs, the US and its allies saw the proposal as delaying Iran's ability to make a nuclear weapon by stripping it of much of the enriched uranium it would need for such a project. Tehran denies seeking such arms, insisting it is enriching only for an envisaged network of power-generating nuclear reactors. The main stumbling block has been Tehran's refusal to ship the bulk of its low-enriched uranium abroad, a condition insisted upon by the West as key to slowing Iran's accumulation of enriched uranium and thereby any bomb-making capacities. Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: infoaparchive.com (ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory. APTN APEX 05-02-10 1932EDT ------------------- END -- OF -- ITEM ------------------- AP-APTN-2330: EU Greece 5 Sunday, 2 May 2010 STORY:EU Greece 5- WRAP Juncker says aid plan for Greece will be euros 110 billion, reax LENGTH: 04:00 FIRST RUN: 1930 RESTRICTIONS: AP Clients Only TYPE: Eng/German/French/Nat SOURCE: AP TELEVISION/EBS STORY NUMBER: 644516 DATELINE: Brussels - 2 May 2010 LENGTH: 04:00 EBS - AP CLIENTS ONLY AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY SHOTLIST (FIRST RUN 1830 NORTH AMERICA PRIME NEWS - 02 MAY 2010) EBS - AP CLIENTS ONLY 1. Wide of podium 2. Panel sitting down for news conference 3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Jean-Claude Juncker, Eurogroup President: "In the context of a three year joint programme with the IMF, the financial package made available: 110 (b) billion euros to help Greece meet its financial needs with euro area member states ready to contribute for their part 80 (b) billion euros of which up to 30 (b) billion euros in the first year." 4. Cutaway of reporter 5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Olli Rehn, EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner: "I am indeed grateful that the eurogroup has today decided to endorse this programme. The Commission strongly supports the economic programme of fiscal consolidation and structural reforms announced today by the government of Greece on the basis of our agreement last night. The steps being taken, while difficult, are necessary to restore confidence in the Greek economy." 6. Wide of podium 7. SOUNDBITE: (English) Olli Rehn, EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner: "If implemented effectively, and I am certain it will be, the programme will lead to a more dynamic economy that will deliver growth jobs and prosperity for Greece and the Greek people that they need in the future." 8. Cutaway of reporter 9. SOUNDBITE: (English) George Papaconstantinou, Greek finance minister: "We are fully aware that this is a programme that is not going to be easy. It is not going to be easy on Greek citizens, despite the efforts that have been made and will continue to be made to protect the weakest in society." 10. Wide of podium 11. SOUNDBITE: (French) George Papaconstantinou, Greek finance minister: "We have made an enormous effort not to touch on the lowest salaries in the public sector, nor the lowest pensions in the public and the private sectors." 12. Cutaway of reporter ++NEW (FIRST RUN 1930 ASIA PACIFIC PRIME NEWS - 02 MAY 2010) AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY 13. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble arriving at news conference 14. SOUNDBITE: (German) Wolfgang Schaeuble, German Finance Minister: "Eurogroup will provide 30 (b) billion (euros) for the first year, a total of 80 (b) billion (euros) for the three years, out of that Germany will provide 28 percent. For the first 30 (b) billion (euros) this is 8.4 (b) billion (euros), then for the 80 (b) billion (euros) it is nearly 22.4 (b) billion (euros). It is a rough percentage, but this is the maximum level." 15. Wide of media 16. Wide of French finance minister Christine Lagarde entering room 17. SOUNDBITE (French) Christine Lagarde, French finance minister: "I cannot imagine for a single moment Greece not fulfilling their obligations. When you see the determination of my colleague Papaconstantinou, when you hear the statements of Prime Minister Papandreuou and the political courage shown to face not only the parliamentarians but also Greek public opinion, I think there is a true collective awareness of the necessity to re-establish the situation of the public finances and secondly to restore the competitiveness." 18. Mid of Lagarde talking STORYLINE Finance ministers from the 16 countries that use the euro agreed on Sunday to rescue Greece with 110 (b) billion euro (146 (b) billion US dollars) in loans over three years to keep it from defaulting on its debts. The loan package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is also aimed at keeping Greece's debt crisis from spreading to other financially weak countries such as Spain and Portugal - just as Europe is struggling out of a painful recession. In return, Greece had to agree to an austerity programme that will impose painful spending cuts and tax increases on its people for years to come. The plan will still need approval by some countries' parliaments. But the head of the eurogroup, Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker, said Greece will get the first funds by May 19, when Athens has 8.5 (b) billion euros (11.3 (b) billion US dollars) worth of a 10-year bond maturing. Fears that the money might be held up by objections in powerful eurozone member Germany - where the Greek bailout is not popular - sent shudders through bond and stock markets last week. But European Union President Herman Van Rompuy called for a special summit of the euro countries on May 7 to "conclude the whole process" once national parliaments deal with the issue "in the next few days." Berlin needs parliament to approve its part in the rescue but Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Chancellor Angela Merkel said that could be wrapped up by Friday. Juncker said the eurozone would contribute 80 (b) billion euro (106 (b) billion US dollars) to the package, with 30 (b) billion euro (40 (b) billion US dollars) of that to be made available this year. Germany will provide 28 percent of these amounts, Schaeuble said after the eurozone finance ministers approved the package. The rest of the money would come from the Washington, DC-based IMF. EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Ollie Rehn said the loans from other eurozone countries to Greece would carry an interest rate of around five percent. Because the interest rate is higher than the one those countries face themselves on the market, they could make money out of the rescue package. But the rate is significantly lower than Greece would face if it tried to borrow on the international market, where it has seen its borrowing costs spiral because of investor fears it would default. Athens has said the plan will allow it breathing space to implement harsh new austerity measures it announced earlier on Sunday to bring its economy into order. The new measures Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou announced earlier in Athens include cuts in civil servants' salaries and pensions, and tax increases that aim to cut the deficit to below 3 percent of gross domestic product, within EU limits, by 2014. The deficit currently stands at 13.6 percent. He said savings worth 30 (b) billion euros through 2012 would be achieved through public service and pension pay cuts, higher taxes and streamlining government. Annual holiday bonuses will be capped at 1,000 euro (1,330 US dollars) per year for civil servants and scrapped for those with gross monthly salaries over 3,000 euro (3,995 US dollars), he said. Pensioners' bonuses will also be capped at 800 euro (1,068 US dollars) and cancelled for those paid more than 2,500 euro (3,330 US dollars). Salary cuts will not extend to the private sector, as had been widely feared. Greeks receive their annual pay in 14 salaries, receiving extra at Christmas, Easter and for their summer vacations. The IMF and EU said the bailout and austerity programme were tough and would help Greece out of its troubles, but warned it would take years. "The steps being taken, while difficult, are necessary to restore confidence in the Greek economy and to secure a better future for the Greek people," said a joint statement by Rehn and IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn. "We are confident that Greece will rise to the challenge and succeed." Even French finance minister Christine Lagarde said she was confident Greece would fulfil its obligations. "I think there is a true collective awareness of the necessity to re-establish the situation of the public finances and secondly to restore the competitiveness," she said on Sunday. Many economists say that while a bailout would keep Greece from defaulting in the next year or two, its meagre prospects for economic growth mean it will have difficulty paying off its debt pile over the long term. Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: infoaparchive.com (ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory. APTN APEX 05-02-10 1932EDT ------------------- END -- OF -- ITEM ------------------- AP-APTN-2330: Argentina Opera Sunday, 2 May 2010 STORY:Argentina Opera- REPLAY Famous opera to be reopened at end of May after 4-yr restoration LENGTH: 02:45 FIRST RUN: 2030 RESTRICTIONS: AP Clients Only TYPE: Spanish/Nat SOURCE: AP TELEVISION/VNR STORY NUMBER: 644513 DATELINE: Buenos Aires, Recent/File LENGTH: 02:45 AP TELEVISION - AP Clients Only Argentine Electro-Acoustic Institute VNR - AP Clients Only SHOTLIST AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY 23 April 2010 1. Zoom in on exterior of Colon Theatre; scaffoldings over fa?ade and banner saying that theatre will reopen on May 24 2. Workers on scaffoldings 3. Tilt down of the interiors of the entrance hall with scaffoldings 4. Various of worker cleaning mosaics on the floor 5. Various of man fixing light bulb holder in the entrance hall 6. Wide of olden hall being cleaned after restoration 7. Angel statue covered with plastic 8. Wide of chandelier 9. Pan of Colon Theatre main hall 10. Various of Rodolfo Gareis working at his desk 11. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Rodolfo Gareis, president of the Argentine Acoustic and Electro-acoustic Institute: "The theatre may be very beautiful and functional but if it looses its acoustic qualities, it stops being the Colon, it becomes just another theatre." Argentine Electro-Acoustic Institute VNR - AP CLIENTS ONLY March 2010 12. Gareis with computer inside the Colon main Hall ordering silence 13. Various of dodecahedra sound source generating sound 14. Gareis inside main hall AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY 23 April, 2010 15. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Rodolfo Gareis, president of the Argentine Acoustic and Electro-acoustic Institute: "Perfect. If we have to sum up the measurements that we have being doing in the past 4 years, and how the hall has been taken care of from a technical and a general point of view I can say that the result is perfect." Argentine Electro-Acoustic Institute VNR - AP CLIENTS ONLY Buenos Aires, - March 2010 16. Microphone used to measure the sound generated by the dodecahedra sound source 17. Gareis with colleague in front of computer 18. Computer showing measurements AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY 23 April, 2010 20. Various of Colon main hall FILE: Associated Press Television News 2002 21. Various of Daniel Barenboin playing at Colon STORYLINE: The world famous Buenos Aires Opera - the "Colon Theatre" - is set to be reopened at the end of May after a 4-year restoration halt. The theatre will be re-inaugurated as part of the celebrations for the bicentenary of Argentina. The Colon has undergone a massive structural and cosmetic restoration which started in 2001 and cost more than 100 (m) million US dollars. One thousand workers have been involved in the project to return it to its former splendour as one of the most recognised landmarks of the Argentinean capital. The Colon theatre is known to be one of the best opera theatres in terms of acoustics. One of the expert's main concerns was to ensure that the works in the main hall would not compromise the quality of the sound. Rodolfo Gareis is one of the founders and current president of the Argentine Acoustic and Electro-acoustic Institute and has been in charge of testing the possible variations in the diffusion of the sound. The institute has created a way to measure and to certify the quality of the sound according to international standards. According to Gareis, the results of the measurements have been "perfect". Music experts considered the Colon the best theatre in the world for opera and the third best for symphonic. Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: infoaparchive.com (ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory. APTN APEX 05-02-10 1932EDT ------------------- END -- OF -- ITEM ------------------- AP-APTN-2330: +US Times Sq 7 Sunday, 2 May 2010 STORY:+US Times Sq 7- WRAP Failed Times Sq bomb ADDS police say no evidence of Taliban link LENGTH: 03:23 FIRST RUN: 2330 RESTRICTIONS: No Access NAmerica/Internet TYPE: English/Nat SOURCE: ABC STORY NUMBER: 644517 DATELINE: Various - 1/2 May 2010 LENGTH: 03:23 ABC - NO ACCESS NAMERICA / INTERNET SHOTLIST: ++NEW (FIRST RUN 2330 AMERICAS PRIME NEWS - 02 MAY 2010) New York - 1 May 2010 1. Bomb squad inspecting SUV with bomb inside (FIRST RUN 0430 NEWS UPDATE - 2 MAY 2010) New York - 1 May 2010 ++NIGHT SHOTS++ 2. Bomb disposal expert going to open car door 3. Wide of street behind police tape 4. Bomb disposal robot probing vehicle ++MUTE++ ++NEW (FIRST RUN 2330 AMERICAS PRIME NEWS - 02 MAY 2010) New York - 2 May 2010 5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Ray Kelly, New York City Police Commissioner: "Next to the locker in the rear cargo area of the Pathfinder were 3 propane tanks weighing between 15 and 17 pounds (7 and 8 kilograms). They are the kind used in backyard barbecues. One of them had M-88 fireworks attached to its side, some of which detonated inside the vehicle." (FIRST RUN 0830 EUROPE PRIME NEWS - 02 MAY, 2010) New York - 1 May, 2010 6. Pan from empty street to people behind police barricade ++MUTE++ ++NEW (FIRST RUN 2330 AMERICAS PRIME NEWS - 02 MAY 2010) New York - 2 May 2010 7. Medium shot of one of the street vendors who saw smoke coming from SUV (FIRST RUN 0830 EUROPE PRIME NEWS - 02 MAY, 2010) New York - 1 May, 2010 8. Police officer blowing whistle trying to get people to clear the area ++MUTE++ 9. Mounted police officer trying to move people from the area ++MUTE++ ++NEW (FIRST RUN 2330 AMERICAS PRIME NEWS - 02 MAY 2010) New York - 2 May 2010 10. SOUNDBITE: (English) Ray Kelly, New York City Police Commissioner: "On the back seat of the vehicle were two full 5-gallon (23 litres), red plastic gasoline containers, between them was a 16 ounce (0.5 litre) can filled with between 20 and 30 M-88 devices. Two clocks on the back seat floor of the vehicle were connected by wires to that can and possibly to the gun locker as well." 11. Wide shot of bomb squad member being helped with suit 12. SOUNDBITE: (English) Ray Kelly, New York City Police Commissioner: "Detectives also are enroute to a town in Pennsylvania, where a tourist believes he may captured the suspect's image on his video camera." (FIRST RUN 0430 NEWS UPDATE - 2 MAY 2010) New York - 1 May 2010 ++NIGHT SHOTS++ 13. Crowd gathering 14. Woman looking ++MUTE++ 15. Group of parked cars in Times Square, police tape in the foreground, what appears to be a small controlled explosion behind the cars, smoke ++NEW (FIRST RUN 2330 AMERICAS PRIME NEWS - 02 MAY 2010) New York - 2 May 2010 16. Medium shot of SUV being put on tow truck 17. SOUNDBITE: (English) George Venizelos, FBI Agent "It's the tips that cause these disruptions, we have in these terrorist acts, its very important that we continue to disrupt terrorist acts throughout the country and throughout the world." 18. SOUNDBITE: (English) Ray Kelly, New York City Police Commissioner: "Clearly it was the intent of whoever did this to cause mayhem to create casualties. We are doing an in depth analysis now of the material that was used, the material that was in the gun box, to determine what that was, but it was, I think it was a sober reminder that New York is clearly a target of people who want to come here and do us harm." (FIRST RUN 0430 NEWS UPDATE - 2 MAY 2010) New York - 1 May 2010 ++NIGHT SHOTS++ 19. Bomb disposal robot probing vehicle ++NEW (FIRST RUN 2330 AMERICAS PRIME NEWS - 02 MAY 2010) New York - 2 May 2010 20. SOUNDBITE: (English) Richard Clark, Former National Security Advisor "This was something that was intended to get publicity, to go into Times Square, for some cause." ++NEW (FIRST RUN 2330 AMERICAS PRIME NEWS - 02 MAY 2010) Venice, Louisiana - 2 May 2010 21. US President Barack Obama walking to podium 22. SOUNDBITE: (English) Barack Obama, US President "We are going to do what is necessary to protect the American people, to determine who is behind this potentially deadly act and to see that justice is done and I'm going to continue to monitor the situation closely and do what it takes at home and abroad to safeguard the security of the American people." ++NEW (FIRST RUN 2330 AMERICAS PRIME NEWS - 02 MAY 2010) Stratford, Connecticut - 2 May 2010 23. Various shots of junkyard where license plate from SUV involved in bomb scare was traced to STORYLINE: Police investigating a terror attack that could have set off a deadly fireball in Times Square focused on Sunday on finding a man who was videotaped shedding his shirt near the SUV where the bomb was found. They also were trying to determine whether more than 100 pounds of a fertiliser-like substance in the vehicle could have made the crude device even more devastating. The video shows an unidentified white man in his 40s slipping down an alley, taking off one shirt and revealing another underneath. In the same clip, he's seen looking back in the direction of the smoking vehicle and furtively putting the first shirt in a bag, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. The homemade bomb was made largely with ordinary items including three barbecue grill-sized propane tanks, two 5-gallon gasoline containers, store-bought fireworks and cheap alarm clocks attached to wires. If successfully detonated, police said at a minimum it would have sprayed shrapnel and metal parts over one of America's busiest streets, full of Broadway theatres and restaurants, on a Saturday night. "The intent of whoever did this to cause mayhem, to create casualties," Kelly said. Authorities didn't know how deadly the bomb could have been, how it failed or who was responsible. The bomb at Times Square, one of the flashiest and best-known places on Earth, was found at the height of dinner hour before theatregoers headed to Saturday night shows. The city's busiest streets, choked with taxis and people on one of the first summer-like days of the year, were shut down for 10 hours, unnerving thousands of tourists attending Broadway show, museums and other city sights. Police on Sunday still hadn't identified every piece of the device - including eight bags of an unknown substance found in a gun locker. The substance weighed more than 100 pounds, and Kelly said it "looks and feels" like fertiliser. Tests were pending. Timers were connected to a 16-ounce can filled with the fireworks, which were apparently intended to set the gas cans and propane afire, Kelly said. He said the bomb "looks like it would have caused a significant fireball" had it fully detonated. He said the vehicle would have been "cut in half" by an explosion and people nearby could have been sprayed by shrapnel and killed. A Pakistani Taliban group claimed responsibility for the failed attack in a 1-minute video. Kelly, however, said police have no evidence to support the claims, and noted that the same group had falsely taken credit for previous attacks on U.S. soil. The commissioner also cast doubt on an e-mail to a news outlet claiming responsibility. The New York Police Department and FBI also examining hundreds of hours of security videotape from around Times Square, Kelly said. Police released a photograph of the SUV, a dark-coloured Nissan Pathfinder, as it crossed an intersection at 6:28 p.m. (22:28GMT) Saturday. A vendor pointed the SUV out to an officer about two minutes later, Police said they had identified the registered owner of the Pathfinder, but hadn't spoken to him yet. The license plate found on the vehicle did not belong to the SUV; police said it came from a car found in a repair shop in Connecticut. Speaking at a briefing in Venice, Louisiana, US President Barack Obama said he would 'do what it takes at home and abroad to safeguard the security of the American people." Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: infoaparchive.com (ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory. APTN APEX 05-02-10 2103EDT ------------------- END -- OF -- ITEM ------------------- AP-APTN-2330: Internet Pakistan Taliban Sunday, 2 May 2010 STORY:Internet Pakistan Taliban- REPLAY +GRAPHIC+ Purported Pakistani Taliban msg claims NYC car bomb attempt LENGTH: 01:18 FIRST RUN: 1830 RESTRICTIONS: See Script TYPE: Natsound SOURCE: SITE STORY NUMBER: 644515 DATELINE: Unknown date and location LENGTH: 01:18 ++PLEASE NOTE THIS VIDEO CONTAINS SOME GRAPHIC IMAGES OF DEAD BODIES++ SITE INTELLIGENCE GROUP - AP CLIENTS ONLY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HAS NO WAY OF INDEPENDENTLY VERIFYING THE CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS VIDEO PLEASE DO NOT OBSCURE ON-SCREEN LOGO AND CREDIT SITE INTELLIGENCE GROUP IN ANY ACCOMPANYING VOICE-OVER SITE INTELLIGENCE GROUP IS A WASHINGTON-BASED MONITOR OF MILITANT WEB SITES THE TRANSLATIONS OVERLAID ARE NOT AP TRANSLATIONS SHOTLIST ++VIDEO SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH THROUGHOUT. PLEASE NOTE: THE TRANSLATIONS OVERLAID ARE NOT AP TRANSLATIONS++ 1. Slate reading (English) "Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) Claim of Times Square Attack. May 2, 2010 SITE Intelligence Group" 2. Text in gold letters on a black background celebrating the "jawbreaking blow to Satan's USA." UPSOUND: Unidentified speaker 3. Various of dead bodies, some purported to be slain militants, according to speaker. Second image (man with red background) is of slain Al Qaida leader in Iraq Abu Ayyub al-Masri. Image of woman is alleged al-Qaida associate Aafia Siddiqui seen in the custody of Counter Terrorism Department of Ghazni province in Ghazni City, Afghanistan in 2008. UPSOUND: Unidentified speaker 4. Various of purported NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) meeting UPSOUND: Unidentified speaker 5. Graphic montage of various images, including picture of US President Barack Obama UPSOUND: Unidentified speaker STORYLINE The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility in a video released on Sunday for the attempted car bomb attack in New York City's Times Square. Despite the claim of responsibility, New York City's police commissioner said there was no evidence of a Taliban link to the failed car bomb. In the 1 minute, 11 second video allegedly released by the Pakistani Taliban, the group says the attack is revenge for the death of its leader, Baitullah Mehsud, and the recent slayings of leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq - Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri - killed by US and Iraqi troops last month north of Baghdad. An unidentified speaker on the tape also says the attack comes in response to American "interference and terrorism in Muslim Countries, especially in Pakistan," and cites US missile attacks in Pakistan's tribal areas that have targeted Taliban leaders hiding there. If the claim of responsibility is genuine, it would be the first time the group has struck outside of South Asia. It has no known global infrastructure like al-Qaida. In at least one past instance, the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for an attack it played no role in. The claim, which was posted on militant websites and uncovered by the US-based SITE Intelligence Group, could not be immediately confirmed. The tape makes no specific reference to Saturday's failed attack in New York; it does not mention that it was a car bomb or where the attack took place. At the start of the video, a text in gold letters on a black background celebrates the "jawbreaking blow to Satan's USA." As the speaker delivers the message, images of the purported slain militants referred to flash across the screen. English subtitles are provided at the bottom of the screen. The video also includes a 2008 still of alleged al-Qaida female associate Aafia Siddiqui seen in the custody of Counter Terrorism Department of Ghazni province in Ghazni City, Afghanistan. Siddiqui was accused of grabbing a US Army officer's rifle in Afghanistan in July 2008 and firing at US soldiers and FBI agents. The voice also calls on NATO countries to oppose "evil US policies" and "sincerely apologise for the massacres in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistani tribal areas." The video was uncovered Sunday by SITE, which monitors militant websites. The claim came a day after police in New York found a potentially powerful car bomb that apparently began to detonate but did not explode in a smoking sport utility vehicle in Times Square. Thousands of tourists were cleared from the streets for 10 hours after two vendors alerted police to the suspicious vehicle, which contained three propane tanks, fireworks, two filled 5-gallon gasoline containers, and two clocks with batteries, electrical wire and other components, officials said. The Pakistani Taliban is one of Pakistan's largest and deadliest militant groups. It has strong links to al-Qaida and is based in the northwest close to the Afghan border. The group has carried out scores of bloody attacks inside Pakistan in recent years, mostly against Pakistani targets, but it has made no secret of its stance against the United States. Last year, its then commander, Baitullah Mehsud, vowed to "amaze everyone in the world" with an attack on Washington or even the White House. But Mehsud also reportedly said his men were behind a mass shooting in March 2009 at the American Civic Association in Binghamton in April 2009. That claim turned out to be false. Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: infoaparchive.com (ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory. APTN APEX 05-02-10 2042EDT ------------------- END -- OF -- ITEM ------------------- AP-APTN-2330: Gaza Football Sunday, 2 May 2010 STORY:Gaza Football- REPLAY Gaza's World Cup kicks off, teams compete for rubble trophy LENGTH: 02:45 FIRST RUN: 2130 RESTRICTIONS: AP Clients Only TYPE: English/Nat SOURCE: AP TELEVISION STORY NUMBER: 644519 DATELINE: Gaza City, 2 May 2010 LENGTH: 02:45 AP TELEVISION NEWS - AP CLIENTS ONLY SHOTLIST: 1. Pan of Gaza soccer stadium ahead of ceremony opening the Gaza version of the World Cup 2. Palestinian spectators cheering and waving Palestinian flags 3. Balls set on field next to Palestinian flags 4. Mid of mock "Netherlands team" marching 5. Mock "South Africa" team walking into field 6. Tilt up of mock "Italy" and "USA" teams marching with flags 7. Wide of teams walking on field as dancers perform traditional dance 8. Various of members of different teams standing in field with flags 9. SOUNDBITE (English) Patrick McGrann, Organiser and American aid worker from Minneapolis, Minnesota: "We thought about it, since Gazans aren't welcome to go to the World Cup we should do our own World Cup. So I think the Gaza world cup came about because there were a lot of foreigners and a lot of Gazans that realised that we can benefit from spending more time together." 10. Wide of players for "Italy" and "Palestinian" teams standing together before match 11. SOUNDBITE (English ) Victor Arigani, Italian NGO worker: "I don't understand why Israeli teams they go to play in champions league, like Maccabi, but the Gazans can't go to play or play in al-Kutz in Jerusalem), Inshallah this can be a very good feast." 12. Player for "Italian" team sitting on court side during match 13. Various of match between "Palestinian" and "Italian" teams 14. Mid of spectators 15. SOUNDBITE (English) Anna, no last name given, Italian NGO worker: "I hope we will win the game, because anyway whether Italy wins (or not) it will be both the Italian team and the Palestinian team because the Italian team is full of Palestinian players. So I hope we will win I am very proud of my team today." 16. Various more of match 17. End shot of referees walking underneath sign reading "we are playing for Gaza" STORYLINE Fans in the Gaza Strip kicked off their own version of football's World Cup on Sunday, pitting 16 teams of local and foreign players in a contest to win a trophy made out of twisted metal and rubble from last year's war with Israel. The "Gaza World Cup" is meant to highlight a three-year blockade that has prevented most of the tiny territory's 1.5 million (m) residents, including athletes, from being able to travel abroad, said organiser Patrick McGrann, an American aid worker from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Israel and Egypt have tightly blockaded Gaza since the militant group Hamas seized power in June 2007. "We thought about it, since Gazans aren't welcome to go to the World Cup we should do our own World Cup", said McGrann, 34, who works for Kitegang, a charity that helps traumatised children. The group helped pull together Sunday's games under the slogan "We Play for Gaza." Thousands screamed, shouted and waved small Palestinian flags in a sports stadium in Gaza City as they watched the first game of the two-week competition: a match between the "Italy" and "Palestine" teams. Most of the teams are named after international football powerhouses like Brazil, Spain and France. The squads have a small contingent of foreigners from these countries - mostly international aid workers based in Gaza. Organisers collected buckets of destroyed remains from Israel's three-week war in Gaza that ended in January 2009, and a metalsmith forged the bombed-out rubble into the winning prize, McGrann said. Most of Gaza's bombed out buildings have remained that way since the war ended, because Israel prevents raw materials from entering the strip. The tiny coastal territory has some 50 football clubs, and most residents are mad about the sport. Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: infoaparchive.com (ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory. APTN APEX 05-02-10 1932EDT ------------------- END -- OF -- ITEM -------------------
WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING / HD
FTG OF DAILY WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING WITH WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY IN THE WH BRIEFING ROOM Wednesday, February 05, 2014 TRANSCRIPT: White House Regular Briefing with Secretary of Agriculture Thomas (Tom) Vilsack and Press Sec. Jay Carney SLUG: 1300 WH BRIEF STIX RS37 73 AR: 16X9 DISC# 999 + 094 NYRS: WASH 7 13:13:09 JAY CARNEY: I'm bringing guest stars. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here for your daily briefing. As you can see, today I have with me Secretary Vilsack. You may have seen reported this morning that the secretary is establishing -- and the administration is establishing -- climate hubs in various regions across the country. He'd like to provide some information to you about that. He can also give you a little insight into the bipartisan farm bill that has passed Congress. If you have questions for him on those subject areas, please address them at the top of the briefing to the secretary, and then he can go on with his day and I'll remain here for questions other subjects. With that, Secretary Vilsack. 13:13:59 SECRETARY THOMAS (TOM) VILSACK: Thanks, Jay. Appreciate the opportunity to be with you this afternoon. It may come as a surprise to you, it certainly did to me, that 51 percent of the entire landmass of the United States is engaged in either agriculture or forestry. This is a part of our economy that is significant. Sixteen million people are employed as a result of agriculture. It represents roughly 5 percent of the gross domestic product. And 14 percent of all manufacturing in this country is related to agriculture, forestry and food processing. So what impacts agriculture and forestry matters. We've obviously seen a significant number of severe storms, very early snowstorms that devastated livestock in the Dakotas, the recent drought in California, which is now going into its third year but now very intense. It's a reflection of the changing weather patterns that will indeed impact and effect crop production, livestock production as well as an expansion of pests and diseases that could compromise agriculture and forestry. President's been quite insistent in Cabinet meetings and in private meetings that he expects his Cabinet to be forceful and to act. We can't wait for congressional action. So pursuant to his climate action plan, we established a number of climate change hubs. 13:15:16 They're located in seven states, and there are three subhubs. The seven states are New Hampshire, North Carolina, Iowa, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico and Oregon. The substations are located in California, in Michigan and in Puerto Rico. These climate change hubs and the substations are going to do a risk analysis of crop production and of forestry in terms of changing climates. It'll establish the vulnerabilities that we have in each region of the country. We'll determine from those vulnerabilities strategies, technologies and steps that can be taken to mitigate the impacts and effects of climate change as well as adapting to new ways of agriculture. 13:16:03 It will take full advantage of the partnerships that we have at land grant universities, our sister federal agencies, as well as the private and nonprofit sector. And each -- every five years these climate hubs will be reviewed. It will be a coordinated effort between our Agricultural Research Service, our Forest Service and NRCS, the Natural Conservation Resource Service. This will allow us to identify ways in which we can make a difference and then use the tools that are now being provided with the passage of the farm bill. The farm bill passage is a reflection of the president's commitment to working with Congress to getting things done. And I'm excited about the opportunities that this bill provides in terms of the issue of climate: The establishment of a new research foundation, which will identify up to $400 million of additional resources to go into agricultural research. This will add to the $120 million that we're currently spending on a wide variety of climate-related issues, as well as other agricultural issues. 13:17:06 The opportunity to restore disaster assistance. Livestock producers throughout the last couple of years have been unable to access disaster assistance because the programs expired under the previous farm bill have now been restored. The ability to create new market opportunities to use what is being grown and raised in creative ways. Manufacturing is going to come back to rule America. The establishment of a bio-based manufacturing opportunity where we take crop residue and livestock waste, turning it into chemicals, polymers and other materials will create new job opportunities in rural America. The opportunity to work with conservation. And specifically, partnerships that are being formed in large watershed areas of significance to this country will also allow us to adapt and mitigate to climate, whether it's in the Chesapeake Bay or the Great Lakes or the Everglades, the Upper Mississippi River Basin, the Gulf Coast or the California -- (inaudible). 13:18:00 So, combined with the new farm bill and the new opportunities it creates, these climate hubs I think will equip us to make sure that the 51 percent of the landmass of the United States is protected against changing climates, allow us to maintain the economic opportunity that agriculture creates in this economy, oftentimes underappreciated and underrealized. But it is a significant factor and frankly will also allow us to continue to be what I like to refer to as a food-secure nation, for the United States is blessed because we basically create and grow just about everything we need to survive as a people. Hardly any other country in the world can say that. So we want to make sure we continue to be in that strong position. So with that, I'm glad to answer questions. MR. CARNEY (?): Debra (ph). Q: Just -- (inaudible) -- is this something new that the government is doing, or are these activities that they already do and research that's already done being combined into one central -- 13:18:52 SEC. VILSACK: It's a combination of both. It's taking existing avenues, research service or forest service, and charging them with a new responsibility to basically take a look at precisely what risks are currently being recognized and what's the vulnerability to agriculture and to forestry in each region of the country. The reason we have seven of these major hubs is because each region of the country does things a little bit differently in terms of agriculture and forestry. Each of them are faced with slightly different circumstances. Warm weather in the Northeast may be a different consequence than in the Southeast, for example. So they will basically take existing structures, add to the additional responsibilities pursuant to the president's climate action plan, do this assessment and then identify technologies and practical science-based guidance that will say to farmers, for those who own forested areas and to the government, this is how you need to manage, this is how -- these are the steps you need to take to utilize water more effectively, these are seed technologies and biotechnology that you might use to respond to less water or too much water, this is what you can do in terms of forest restoration -- and then using the new programs being established in this farm bill that don't get a lot of attention; focus is oftentimes on subsidies and the -- and the SNAP program. But in between that is this research foundation, new market opportunities, local and regional food systems, et cetera, creates a whole new opportunity to revitalize and restructure the rural economy. So these climate action hubs -- you know, these climate hubs are really part of the president's climate action plan. And it's directive to us to actually act, not wait for Congress, not wait for laws to be passed, but to -- but to do it on our own. Q: Is there a cost for this? Is there some spending in the farm bill on this? 13:20:37 SEC. VILSACK: We currently have $120 million that we've dedicated of our research budget to climate; this will add on top of that -- it's difficult to assess precisely how much money will be spent, because it depends on what the risks are and how significant they are and what conservation programs will be used. But I can tell you that it will be a significant investment made in each region of the country, because of the importance of it. When you got 5 percent of the gross domestic product, when you got 16 million people employed here who are dependent on this, you got 51 percent of your land mass, you'd better be paying attention to it. Q: And finally, could you just say what you think the impact of the food stamp cuts will be on the Americans who rely on that? 13:21:16 SEC. VILSACK: Well, first of all, I think it's important to identify precisely what we're talking about here. What we've essentially done and what the Congress has essentially done is they've basically said, look, those people who qualify for food stamps and for SNAP program, who have been qualifying because they've already qualified for low-income eating assistance, are going to have a slightly higher bar to cross before they qualify. In the event that that slightly higher bar basically will mean that someone may lose their coverage, then it is up to us at USDA to ensure that we fill in the gaps, that we do a good job of making sure folks know how to apply in the normal process so that we are in a position to cover as many people as possible. I am very thankful that we're dealing with that kind of reaction to the SNAP program, as opposed to the $40 billion cut that was proposed in the House, which would have taken 2 to 3 million people off of the program, and we wouldn't have had the opportunity to bring those people into the program. This is a program that impacts senior citizens, people with disabilities and working men and women and their children. Ninety-two percent of SNAP beneficiaries are in those four categories. And the bill also allows us to do a more creative job in working with states to get folks who are able-bodied who are looking for work, who want to work, giving them a better opportunity to get work. In the past, states have administered this program. They've got a workforce development office over here who knows where the jobs are, they've got a human services office over here that knows where the SNAP beneficiaries are -- who they are, but they never talk to each other. We're going to now be encouraged to get them to talk so that the job opportunities will be linked to the people looking for opportunities. And I think that's probably the best way of reducing the SNAP rolls, and the most effective way, because it doesn't really harm people. So we are going to -- we're going to deal with this the right way, and we're going to continue to use this program for the people that it was entitled to -- it was -- it was meant for. Q: Mr. Secretary, is what you're saying on the SNAP reduction that you'll be able to absorb this and cover most or not -- or virtually all of the people who are still receiving? 13:23:29 SEC. VILSACK: I think we will be able to cover quite a few of them. I don't want to say today that we will be able to cover most because I don't know precisely how many folks will lose their benefits completely. But what I can say is those who lose their benefits because they know longer qualify under the LIHEAP exemption or exemption or program now may still be able to qualify under the normal way of applying for SNAP. And we want to make sure that those people don't fall through the cracks because they need help. And the -- a significant percentage of those people are in the categories I've identified, and those who aren't, they don't stay on the SNAP program for very long. So it's important for us to continue administer this program as effectively as we can. Q: And back to the climate hubs. Is it accurate to say that number one job is to teach people how to -- how to adjust to climate change within their agricultural, forestry or livestock line of work, potentially? Is that the ultimate goal? 13:24:24 SEC. VILSACK: The ultimate goal is, first and foremost, to understand precisely what the risks are. To be able to do a better job of forecasting when those risks might be a reality. Q: (And drought principles ?). SEC. VILSACK: Right, or, you know, a significant infestation of pests because climates are either warmer than anticipated or something along those lines, and then be able to equip -- Q: (Off mic.) SEC. VILSACK: Yes. And then be able to equip those folks who are in that region who are impacted by that risk to be able to either adapt and shift to a different crop that they produce or use a different seed technology, biotechnology, whatever they might, to eliminate the risk, or if the risk is not something that can be eliminated, how we mitigate the impact of it. And then to be able to accumulate all that information and have one repository at the hub, so that folks who are researching, folks who are looking at ways to perfect work that we're doing will be able to access that information. And each region of the country will have its own separate analysis, which is important. Q: Now many land grant universities have large agricultural educational systems. They do all this work themselves already, don't they? Is there anything duplicative about this? 13:25:42 SEC. VILSACK: It's not duplicative. It's focused. It is using our resources at ARS, which is our internal research service, in partnership. It will allow us to fund additional research. It will allow us to go deeper. Land grant universities are often pooled based on their own level of expertise. You may be a land grant university in California that's got (specialty ?) crop understanding. But you also have dairy, you have livestock interest in California. This regional hub in Oregon working with the Davis County California operation will basically focus on the entire range. And oftentimes forestry is not considered, unless you have a significant number of national forest or BLL (ph) land, but you still have forest in virtually every state, and that's important to maintain. And you got private force that need to be maintained. So this is really not duplicative. This is really focusing. It's very consistent with the president's instruction, which is we have got to make this country more resilient, we have to make it -- be able to adapt and mitigate because if we don't, our economy is going to be impacted. Those 16 million people who are depending upon agriculture and forestry, they want to make sure that they continue to have a job because we're continuing to produce and create new products. Q: (Inaudible) -- I was just going to say California being such a critical farming hub, are there any immediate steps that you can take to help alleviate the problem out there? 13:27:12 SEC. VILSACK: Well, we've taken steps this week, and we'll continue to take steps. Yesterday we announced a $20 million resource directed to the most heavily stricken areas, drought-stricter areas. That's going to provide farmers and ranchers and dairymen the opportunity to do a better job of utilizing scarce water resources. It's going to do -- allow them to look at their water storage facilities, maybe upgrade them. It's going to allow them to take a look at possible other forage opportunities, so that has been put in place. Today, with the Department of Interior, we developed a smart water program where $14 million of federal resources being applied. These hubs -- well, obviously, one of them is going to be located in Davis, California, and that obviously will be focused on specialty crop and the impact of drought. We'll continue once the farm bill is signed by the president. There is disaster assistance that will allow us now to provide assistance to (dairymen ?) and to livestock operators to provide them resources that they didn't have, that I couldn't provide. That's why this bill is so important to have gotten done now. So those are our three or four concrete steps that we have taken. Other agencies are looking at ways in which they can provide help and assistance. And our rural development folks are looking at the impact -- when agriculture suffers, it has a rippling impact and effect in small towns that are dependent on agriculture in part, so we're taking a look and making sure that our rural development programs, our loan programs are ready, willing and able to provide help and assistance, if that's necessary. Q: Mr. Secretary, are you seeing farms go under now, because of the effects of climate change? Or is this something that's focused on a future threat? I mean, is this something that the department believes is happening now? 13:28:55 SEC. VILSACK: I can tell you without any hesitancy that because we didn't have a good assessment and didn't have good forecasting and didn't have a disaster assistance program that some of the livestock producers in the Dakotas, for example, just couldn't make it. When that snowstorm hit, it didn't wipe out just a few animals; it wiped out the entire operation. Nobody anticipated and expected that severe a storm that early. That's one impact. I can tell you that the folks who live in the western part of the United States who have been dependent on timber and forestry are deeply concerned about the impact of the pine bark beetle and diseased trees. We have roughly 45 million acres of diseased trees because the pine bark beetle was not killed during harsh winters, as in the past. That's having an impact. That's making forest fires significantly more intense, and that's creating not just a fire hazard, but flooding hazards following the fire. So there are ramifications today that impact operators. Q: And you're convinced this was not just severe weather patterns, that this is the effects of climate change? 13:30:11 SEC. VILSACK: When you take a look at the intensity of the storms that we have seen recently and their frequency of them, the length of drought combined with these snowstorms and the subzero weather that we've experienced, the combination of all those factors convinces me that the climate is changing, and it's going to have its impact and will have its impact and is having its impact on agriculture and forestry. If we are not proactive, as the president has directed, we will find ourselves five, 10, 15, 20 years down the road wishing we had done what we're doing today, wishing we had assessed the risk, wishing we had created and identified the vulnerabilities and wishing we had created programs and responses to those vulnerabilities to dampen the impact and effect. MR. CARNEY: Roger. Q: Mr. Secretary, agribusiness has a big stake in the stability of agriculture. Is there any thought being given to having a partnership form between the government and agribusiness on floods, droughts, other kinds of research? 13:31:10 SEC. VILSACK: Well, I would say two things. First of all, the president instructed internally within the federal government for us to work in a much more collaborative way. That's why he instructed us to put the drought resiliency task force together, which is allowing us now to respond more aggressively to the California drought situation. That's internal. These climate hubs will, as part of their mission, be partnering with the private sector, the nonprofit sector and land grant universities. They will assist us in identifying technologies -- could be biotechnology, could be seed technologies, it could be stewardship or conservation practices that are identified through the research. They will assist us in getting the message out to producers that you ought to think about doing X instead of Y. So there will be a tight partnership here. And there is some accountability on our part. We will review these internally each year, and we will have a significant review every five years to make sure that they're on mission and doing what we are asking them to do. We're very serious about this. We're going to dedicate a lot of people-hours to this and a lot of resource because it's important. Q: And because of these programs, these hub programs here, this maybe requires a crystal ball on your part, but could this change the face of agriculture as we know it? 13:32:38 SEC. VILSACK: Well, I think it could. I think it opens up new opportunities, and I think, you know, frankly, what changes the face of agriculture in the immediate term is this new farm bill. When I made reference to local and regional food systems and the bio-based economy in manufacturing new products, this opens up a whole new vista of economic opportunity that has not existed before. And this farm bill makes an historic investment in both of those things. And so I'm excited about that. I have been in plants that have taken crop residue and turned it into a bottle that Coca-Cola's using to produce their water products. I've seen -- in Ohio the other day, I saw a 3-D printing machine produce a skull that's used by brain surgeons in brain surgery. It was made from crops. It's a whole new day here. And it -- the great thing about this is it could bring manufacturing into the rural communities. We're seeing a rebirth of manufacturing in the last couple of years, which is great. But a lot of it's focused in urban and suburban areas. Now we have a component opportunity here with the resources of this farm bill and the direction of this farm bill to go out into rural areas and bring manufacturing back. And that's a huge opportunity for us. And it's an opportunity for this reason, and a lot of people don't realize this, but if you take a look at the people who actually produce most of what we grow, it's about a million farmers. Of that number, 70 percent require off-farm income to keep the farm. In other words, they're having a harder time just on farming alone. It's one of the reasons why, where I travel, you know, the Affordable Care Act thing doesn't get as much grief because people now see this as an opportunity to maybe not have to have themselves and their spouse working off-time -- off-farm job because of the most of the time it's for health insurance. Bringing a -- bringing a manufacturing opportunity into a community like that creates a chance for that farmer to substantially expand his market opportunity or her opportunity at higher value added opportunities, not commodity prices but ingredient prices, and it creates an opportunity for a son or a daughter or spouse, if they wish, to work in a manufacturing job that's a much higher-paying job than what's being created in a lot of rural communities today. So this farm bill is extraordinarily important. And unfortunately, the focus has been on -- you know, on crop insurance, which is important, and on SNAP, which is important, but there's a whole lot in between that folks are missing. And it's the whole lot of in between that creates just enormous opportunity. MR. CARNEY: Couple more. In the back, and then Christi. Q: Mr. Secretary, you said you're happy with the farm bill. And yet twice you repeated the mantra, we're not going to wait for Congress, we're not going to wait for a law to be passed. I mean, why do you feel the need to diss the Congress and the legislative process twice and yet praise the farm bill? You seem to be sending out a conflicting message. 13:35:36 SEC. VILSACK: Well, I don't think it's a conflicting message at all. I mean, we -- the president instructed us to work very closely with Congress to get a farm bill. He understood how important it was to rural America and to all of America. And I will say that we had a lot to do with the passage of this bill because of the president's direction. We worked with Congress. As the president has said repeatedly, if there's an opportunity to work with Congress, we will work with Congress. And we did. We've been waiting a while for Congress to act on climate. Fair enough. Multiple reasons why they haven't. But in the meantime, we're going to take action because 51 percent of the land mass of the United States is a lot of land. It's over 1.2 billion acres of land, to be exact, and it's important for us to be really focused on making sure that our farmers and our -- and those who ranch and those who have forests are given every tool to be able to respond to adverse weather, which we're seeing. And there is a negative economic impact if we don't do this. So I don't think it's inconsistent at all. I think we're trying to work with Congress when we can and where we can't or won't -- they won't -- we're going to continue to act. And that's, I think, what the American public wants us to do. MR. CARNEY: Christie (sp). Q: Actually, that was my question. What legislative action in particular do you think would be helpful here, or are you highlighting on purpose? 13:36:52 SEC. VILSACK: Well, I'm just going to -- I'm -- you know, I don't know all of the -- my sister agency's wishlist, but I would tell you this. One thing I would like to see is work on infrastructure. Our ability to respond to climate, our ability to maximize our agricultural economy and our forestry, depends to a certain extent on our ability to grow and raise things, which -- with reservoirs and lock and dam systems and rail systems and airports that are improved -- imports that are improved -- we can actually potentially grow more and we can actually get product to market more quickly. That would be something that I would hope Congress would do. This is not in the climate area, but agriculture is faced with a serious workforce shortage, which is why we're very interested in making sure that immigration reform happens. And we'll work with Congress to help make that happen, and in fact, we already have by offering USDA as a way -- the Department of Agriculture as a way of dealing with agricultural workers. So there's a huge wishlist here, but if it were up to me, I'd like to see some kind of mechanism to invest in infrastructure because we need it, and I'd like to see security and safety in workforce, which is going to require immigration reform. MR. CARNEY: Last one, Mike, and then we'll let the secretary go. Q: Mr. Secretary, you mentioned crop insurance, but a lot of critics of this bill say this is another missed opportunity. There's a lot of waste in this bill. There are crops. There are special interests that are supported. It was a wasted opportunity for reform. And in particularly they talk about the sugar industry. When will that opportunity ever come? And does it not cost American consumers money to support these industries when they don't need to be supported? 13:38:29 SEC. VILSACK: Well, the president was very clear when he campaigned for this office in 2006, 2007 and 2008 that he wanted to see an end to direct payments. This was a system which was very difficult to explain to ordinary folks when were basically, as a government, spending money and sending checks to producers when crop prices were at all-time highs. I mean, when corn was selling for $8 a bushel, soy beans were at $15 a bushel, we were sending $4 billion of direct payments out all across the country. This bill ends direct payments. That is a significant reform. I can remember speaking to the cotton growers -- my first speech as secretary of agriculture. I was bold enough to suggest that we needed to get rid of direct payments. I can't tell you how much criticism and concern was expressed -- that can't happen. We're too dependent on direct payments. That's gone, and that's good. Issue of crop insurance. We raise about $62 billion of product every year. That's a huge risk. And the reality is that if we didn't partner with farmers -- by the way, farmers pay premiums for crop insurance -- if we didn't partner as a government with farmers, not a lot of farmers would be able to afford crop insurance because their premiums would be dramatically higher than they are today. Which means that in the face of a California drought, in the face of livestock disaster in the Dakotas, in the face of what happened in Hurricane Sandy in Upstate New York, in the face of the drought of 2012 that devastated the Midwest, as a government we would have been confronted with a requirement and demand by Congress for a disaster bill that would have been substantially more expensive. Actually, I'll give Jay a chart that shows you, in the '80s and '90s, when we didn't have this kind of system, we were spending hundreds of billions of dollars -- hundreds of billions of dollars -- on disaster programs. Today, it's at an all-time low in terms of what we're actually spending, in terms of government subsidies and assistance. So there has been reform; there's a reason for the crop insurance program, and I might point out that this administration renegotiated the standard reinsurance agreement with the insurance companies, saving 6 billion (dollars), which is on top of the 23 billion (dollars) that sequester and this farm bill has saved from agriculture. That's a total of $30 billion. So I'm happy to talk to folks about why it's important to have crop insurance, that there is reform in this bill and I think it's a -- it's a good balance. Q: Is sugar a sacred cow? SEC. VILSACK: Is sugar a sacred cow? Q: Yeah. 13:41:09 SEC. VILSACK: Well, I don't -- I wouldn't say that it's a sacred cow. I think there are a lot of folks who are asking questions about sugar, and those are legitimate questions that should be asked. And at the end of the day, it's not easy to put a farm bill together; it requires a coalition and I think that Congress did the very best job they could under very difficult circumstances, given the fact that this was a bill unlike any other farm bill, where it wasn't about adding additional money; it was about subtraction. And you know what? They subtracted, between the sequester and the bill, 23 billion (dollars); we added another 6 billion (dollars) in crop insurance savings. That's $30 billion; that's a good start. Thank you all. MR. CARNEY: Thank you, Mr. Secretary, I appreciate it. SEC. VILSACK: Thank you. 13:42:01MR. CARNEY: I forgot to leave it on at the podium. All right, well, thank you for hearing what Secretary Vilsack had to say. We'll go back to regular order. Nedra. Q: Since we aren't going to be allowed in the meeting today with the Senate Democrats, can you just tell us what the president's message is to them? And are there things that he's hoping to hear back from them? 13:42:20 MR. CARNEY: Well, Nedra, I think the message the president has for Senate Democrats is very similar to the message he had for House Democrats yesterday. It's the message that he has been delivering to members of Congress and others around the country about looking for ways that we can work together to expand opportunity and make sure that hard work is rewarded, that folks who take responsibility for themselves and their families are given access to opportunity. That's the sort of overall thematic approach that the president is taking to the work we can do this year, both with Congress but also with governors and state legislators and mayors and in partnership with the private sector. You've seen examples of this already play out in the last days and weeks. So that's what he'll be talking about. He'll be talking about, as he did with House Democrats, the ways that they can advance the priorities that they share, he, the president, and Senate Democrats, legislatively, because this is Congress. And I think that goes to the point that Secretary Vilsack just spoke about in response to a question. This reinforces that the president's approach is not an either/or proposition. It's not either we do everything through Congress or we -- he does everything he can through the use of executive authority. He believes he'll do everything he can on both tracks, and where Congress is willing to cooperate, as Congress was in the farm bill, in the budget bill, in the omnibus, then we can get some stuff done on behalf of the American people that's good, that's bipartisan, that's effective and that expands opportunity and rewards hard work. Where Congress won't act, or where the president has unique powers because of his office to act that -- in ways that Congress couldn't even if it wanted to, the president will take advantage of that unique authority that he has. And you've seen that in the way he gathered commitments from the private sector to address the long-term unemployment problem and the skills summit with college universities that we had here at the White House earlier this year. Those are the kinds of approaches that the president's going to take. And it's not -- it's not because Congress won't act at all. It's because there are opportunities available to him to advance an agenda that helps the American people. Q: He needs Congress on trade. Is that on the agenda? Does he plan to push on that? 13:45:06 MR. CARNEY: We have been very clear about the fact that getting trade agreements with our Asian partners and European partners are priorities for the president. And you know, this is a topic that is frequently discussed. Again, I don't have a -- I can't predict what will be discussed in this particular meeting, but that's -- we've been clear for a long time now about the need for us to -- in the example of Asia, this is the fastest-growing region in the world. It's the region of the world that presents the greatest amount of economic opportunity. It's a region of the world that if we do not maintain our competitive edge in, we will cede that competitive edge to China. We need to act to make sure that those markets are open to American exports and that in -- by opening those markets to American exports, we are creating good-paying American jobs here at home. Q: It seems surprising -- MR. CARNEY: So that's something we have to do. Q: It just seems surprising that didn't come up in the meeting with Senator Reid after -- 13:46:16 MR. CARNEY: Well, here's the fallacy of the reporting on that. The idea -- I mean, the president speaks with Senator Reid all the time. The White House speaks with Senator Reid all the time. You know, that meeting was about -- I mean, I think Senator Reid spoke about the subject matter in that meeting, but that -- you know, that meeting was with Senator Bennet. And, you know, these are conversations we have all the time. As I said last week, anybody who was surprised that Senator Reid held the views that he expressed on trade hasn't been covering Senator Reid and doesn't know Senator Reid. So we believe that it's important to continue to make the case and to work towards ensuring that we can get trade agreements that protect American workers, protect the environment and advance the American economy through growth and exports. Q: Finally, Senator Begich said he doesn't want President Obama to come campaign for him. I'm wondering if that's a sentiment that the White House has been hearing from other swing state Democrats, and what kind of campaign travel we can expect -- (off mic). 13:47:19 MR. CARNEY: I don't have a preview of the president's schedule for the year. But I can tell you the president will, as he already has, be actively involved in assisting Democrats up for re-election or running for office in the Senate and the House, as you would expect. And the fact is that's because these candidates and these incumbents share the president's priorities when it comes to -- on the vast number of issues when it comes to taking steps to expand opportunity, reward hard work, invest in an economy so that it grows not just now but in the future. So, you know, he'll be doing everything he can to assist Democrats, as he already has. Q: Any response to Senator Begich, who doesn't share his priorities, it sounds like from what he was saying, in some ways? 13:48:05 MR. CARNEY: Well, I'm not sure about that. I think there's a question about -- I would just say that the president is assisting Democrats in ways that they ask him to and obviously, ways that he can as president. Yeah. Q: Along those lines, you had a meeting Monday, yesterday and now, today, why shouldn't we see this as an effort to craft the strategy for the midterms? 13:48:27 MR. CARNEY: Well, I think again, the president met with Senator Reid and Senator Bennet. The meetings with the Senate Caucus and the House Caucus are about the president's and their priorities moving forward in 2014. Those are priorities that can be acted on in Congress. There is two things out there that offer a real opportunity for Congress to demonstrate that it cares about expanding opportunity for the American people, creating jobs and rewarding hard work. That's extending emergency unemployment insurance and raising the minimum wage. Those are two things that I am sure the president will, as he has with Democrats already, discussed today and that present an opportunity for Congress to act on behalf of the American people and the middle class. So we hope -- we obviously hope to see that action. Q: And on Syria, the Syrians missed another deadline in turning over chemical weapons. Is the -- are you worried about this? Is the effort in danger of failing? 13:49:41 MR. CARNEY: Well, I think we made very clear that the Assad regime has a responsibility to live up to the commitments it made. And those governments and nations that were instrumental in bringing about the agreement by the Syrian regime to give up its weapons for destruction need to fulfill their obligations. And I would note that Russia has said it expects the Assad regime to deliver a substantial portion of its chemical weapons stockpile in the relatively near future. And we obviously believe that's very important. Russia has a lot at stake here. Russia has staked a lot of credibility in the role that Russia played in helping bring about this agreement. Remember Syria never acknowledged -- in fact, refuted -- suggestions that it had a chemical weapons stockpile, and in fact the world knew that it had one of the largest chemical weapons stockpiles. And now it has acknowledged that that stockpile exists and agreed to dispose of it. And Russia played an important role with the United States in helping bring about that agreement, and all of our partners on this matter are going to continue to insist that the Assad regime fulfill its obligations. Jim. Q: President Obama has referred to President Clinton as the secretary of explaining stuff, and President Clinton will be over at that retreat as well today. Is he there to help the party explain stuff in this midterm election year? 13:51:20 MR. CARNEY: You'd have to ask President Clinton about what his remarks might contain. I think he's -- obviously remains a prominent figure within the party, and I'm sure that members look forward to hearing from him. Q: And I know you've been asked about this by -- (inaudible) -- but it's sort of -- isn't this kind of stretching things a bit to expect people not to read into these meetings that there is some midterm election planning going on? 13:51:49 MR. CARNEY: But, wait. I thought (the hold and ?) the tenor of the conversations, the questions, the insistence that I was obfuscating about what the nature of the meeting between Senator Reid and the president was going to be about, then it turns out it wasn't about that at all, so both can't be true. I think that obviously the president -- Q: It is on his mind, this midterm -- MR. CARNEY: He's the head of his party. Of course it's on his mind. But it is far from the only thing on his mind. What is principally on his mind is the opportunity available to us and available to him to advance an agenda that expands opportunity and rewards hard work; that says to -- if you're out there working hard on behalf of yourself and your family, doing right by your community, you should be rewarded for that. You should have access to opportunity. And that's what the agenda the president laid out in the State of the Union address envisions, and that's what he intends to act on, with Congress and using the powers available to him when Congress won't act. Q: Does the president want to hear from some of these Democrats in the Senate who have been making some of these statements, like Senator Begich? There have been others. Senator Landrieu would like to see Keystone passed right away. Is this a bit of a listening session as well? 13:53:05 MR. CARNEY: Well, again, I think, as others have noted, the president's been having conversations with members quite a lot in recent days and weeks, in the run-up to the State of the Union address and in the aftermath of the State of the Union address. The fulcrum on which that timeline is balanced is the State of the Union address, which wasn't an election speech, it was a policy agenda speech. And that's what he is principally talking about with members of Congress. That's what he did last night. That's what he'll do this afternoon. And he'll continue to do that, because that's what's on his mind and -- which is not to take away from the fact that of course he'll be, you know, playing a significant role in assisting Democrats come election time. But right now he is focused principally on ways to move this agenda forward, and I think you've seen it in a -- in a wide variety of ways in recent days and weeks. And the opportunity he has on Friday to sign the farm bill is a way of reminding folks that this is not an either/or proposition; this is cooperate -- find areas where Congress is willing to work in a bipartisan way to advance the interests of the American economy and the American people, act on them, deliver on that possibility, that potential with Congress, and then use every other power you have as president to advance the same agenda. That's what he's doing. Q: And just very quickly, getting back to the discussion on the CBO report and the effects of the Affordable Care Act, at a -- at the House Budget Committee today -- you're probably aware of this -- Douglas Elmendorf, the head of the CBO, originally said that the Affordable Care Act creates a disincentive for people to work. He was asked about that later on and clarified that and said, well, it's less of an incentive for work. Getting back to the discussion, I know the fact checkers and so forth have lined up with the White House and saying, no, there aren't jobs being cut as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but what about that component that there might be a disincentive for work? 13:55:08 MR. CARNEY: Well, here's what I'd say. First of all, I want to commend the many news organizations that in a very forthright manner issued corrections to initial headlines that misrepresented on a factual basis what the CBO reported. Those headlines continue to be spouted by Republicans and some networks as fact, but they're just false. As you heard in testimony today that you just cited, that is not what the report says. The report says that in addition to substantially cutting the deficit, in addition to spurring job creation and economic growth in the near term, in addition to insuring millions of Americans, the Affordable Care Act in later years will provide freedom, choice and opportunity to Americans that they did not previously have. It will allow people who are locked in jobs because they desperately needed health insurance and couldn't get it any other way to have the peace of mind of being able to get affordable, quality health insurance through the exchanges instead and to start a business, perhaps, or to stay at home and take care of kids instead of having to work. I think Secretary Vilsack just talked about rural families where this is something that he sees all over the country in agricultural areas where the income from the farm is not enough to sustain income that would allow them to purchase insurance so that one of -- you know, a member of the family has to go work simply to get health insurance. That means -- that has consequences. That means that person can't, you know, find a different job or start a business. That means, you know, that father or mother can't stay home with the kids. I mean, these -- so it is remarkable to me, and this has been pretty well commented on in the wake of the report, that a Republican Party that used to herald freedom, choice and opportunity, that used to call for specifically an end to job lock created by the need for health care and health insurance is now finding in this report, which is overwhelmingly positive when it comes to its assessment of the Affordable Care Act, a political, you know, slogan that happens to be factually challenged. So you know, I think everybody's learned a lot in the last 24 hours about what the report actually says versus what it was said to have reported. I just wish all news organizations would get to the facts. John (sp). 13:57:38 JON KARL: A couple quick follow-ups. First, Steve's question about the Syria, chemical weapons issues. I think the question was, is the White House concerned that that agreement is falling apart? 13:57:50 MR. CARNEY: Absolutely not. We're not concerned it's falling apart -- falling apart. We're concerned -- we are ensuring and making our views known that Syria must abide by its commitments. And that is a few that I believe that they must. I believe that the regime must. We have heard from the Russian government that it is their expectation that the Assad regime will be delivering a substantial portion of its chemical weapons, supplies and equipment in the relatively near future. We certainly expect and hope that that's the case. And I noted that Russia obviously has a great deal at stake here when it comes to Syria fulfilling -- the regime fulfilling is responsibilities. 13:58:34 JON KARL: OK, and on the issue of trade, you eloquently spoke about the need for the trade promotion authority in these agreements with Asia. How important is it for the White House for this to happen soon? Can you afford to wait until after the midterm elections, as some are suggesting on the Hill? 13:58:51 MR. CARNEY: Well, look, I don't have the privilege of scheduling votes. All I know is that the president has - JON KARL: Midterm elections are months and months and months away. I'm just -- I'm not asking your schedule; I'm saying, how important is it for this to get done, you know, in a short time frame? Are you willing to wait until the end of the year? MR. CARNEY: Again, I don't think I get to decide or the White House gets to decide. I think that what the president is committed to is making the case about why these trade agreements are good for the economy and good for American workers, why these trade agreements will protect the American workers and the environment, why, especially when it comes to the TPP and Asia, you know, this is about, you know -- this has huge implications for our economic competitiveness in the 21st century. And you know, we're going to steadily make that case. I can't predict the legislative calendar. What I can say with great clarity is what the president's position is, understanding that there is a diversity of opinion on this matter in both parties, and that's why it's important to, you know, focus on the facts, look specifically at the agreements, talk to members about, you know, the upside of moving forward and then continuing that effort. 14:00:08 JON KARL: But is the president making the case that this needs to be done soon, or is he saying, hey, whenever you get around to it, if it's the end of the year, that's fine? I mean, what -- is he making the case this is an urgent priority, something that needs to be done on a quick timeline, or is the timeline doesn't matter? 14:00:24 MR. CARNEY: Well, I'd say two things. I've never known Congress to act quickly on almost anything, A. B, so I would hesitate to suggest that we could get Congress to act urgently on almost anything. We have an urgent need for unemployment insurance to be extended. We have an emergency need for million -- you know, more than a million families out there, and that is yet to happen. What I can tell you is that what the president can control is the foundation of the arguments for what, you know, he believes is the right thing to do here, and he's going to continue to make that case. 14:00:57 JON KARL: But it sounds to me like you're saying the White House has no objection for this waiting until after the election? 14:01:01 MR. CARNEY: You can try to put as many words into my mouth as you like. That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that we're going to work with Congress to make the case. And obviously the legislative calendar is set by Congress. We're going to press for what we believe is the right priority. 14:01:17 JON KARL: And one last thing on Keystone. Former Secretary of Energy Chu said that this decision on the Keystone pipeline is a matter of politics, it's not a matter of science. Do you agree with that? 14:01:28 MR. CARNEY: Well, I disagree with that. I can tell you that there has been a lot of politics around this, and perhaps that's what he's referring to. I think we saw Congress take a very political approach -- Republicans in Congress take a very political approach -- that then precipitated a delay in the consideration of the pipeline. What is happening and what has been happening is a process that has been conducted according to the rulebook, according to established procedure by previous administrations of both parties. We have now reached a point where there has been an environmental impact statement issued by the State Department opening up a time frame in which the public and other agencies comment on and are -- on that EIS and are heard from, and those views are incorporated. The State Department continues to own the process. And that's the way it should be. In fact, the process is designed to be insulated from politics. That doesn't' prevent people from trying to politicize it, but it does insulate the experts from, you know, the politics that have obviously surrounded this issue. Ed Henry. Q: Thank you, Jay. On Keystone, another -- I guess this is a day for former secretaries to weigh in. Ken Salazar, the former interior secretary, this morning gave a speech in Houston at an energy conference. And he not only said that he thinks Keystone should be built, but he went on to say that on the issue of fracking, he thinks it's, quote, safe, and said, quote: There's not a single case where fracking has created an environmental problem for anyone; we need to make sure that story is told. My question being, do you agree or disagree with him? 14:03:07 MR. CARNEY: On the second part? Q: Fracking. MR. CARNEY: Well, I haven't seen those remarks, so it's hard for me to comment specifically on them. The president believes that natural gas is an important part of our future and that the methods that we use to extract it need to be safe and secure. We believe that they are and can be, but we obviously have to take steps to ensure that's the case. So I don't know -- I'm not qualified to judge a statement about what impacts there have been. What I can tell you is what the policy approach that this administration is taking is. Q: On Keystone, he specifically said, quote: Is it better for us to get the oil from our good neighbor from the north or to be bringing it from someplace in the Middle East? Is that a view that the White House would agree with? 14:03:49 MR. CARNEY: What I can tell you is that under this president, for the first time in 20 years, we are producing more oil in the United States of America than we are importing. That is a fact. And that is a big deal. And it has been true now for several months and will continue to be true because, in no small measure, of the all-of- the-above approach the president has taken to our energy needs. And that approach includes renewables and include the historic standards car rule -- standards that the president put in place for mileage that reduce car emissions, reduce our dependency on oil in general and therefore reduce our need to import foreign oil. That's good for our national security. It's good for our economy. That's the approach the president's going to take. The assessments about impacts related to that pipeline are being made by experts. And that process is underway. And I -- you know, as I just said, there's been a lot of effort to politicize it, to, you know, pull it out of the framework that exists precisely because these decisions need to be isolated from politics. And you know, the president's intent is to let that process play out the way it has in the past under Republican administrations and Democratic administrations. And we're midstream. A milestone has been crossed with the release of the EIS, but we're not -- the process isn't completed yet. And until it is, we're going to keep it insulated in the way it should be. Q: On the CBO report, you're correct that the CBO is saying that unemployment actually on jobs may come down because there's demand being created. As people go on Medicaid, they have more money to spend, et cetera. But is the president comfortable with the CBO, which is seen as an independent umpire by both parties, saying that a signature achievement creates a disincentive to work -- not that it's killing jobs, but that it creates a disincentive -- 14:05:45 MR. CARNEY: The president is comfortable that, much as Social Security did and continues to do, much as Medicare did and continues to do, a program which provides greater security, freedom -- including freedom from fear -- is a good thing for our economy and the American people. You know, there's been a lot of false reporting, and some news outlets continue to falsely report on what the CBO said. The fact of the matter is the opportunity created by affordable, quality health insurance allows families in America to make a decision about how they will work and if they will work. And there is no question if we did away with it, in addition to jacking up the deficit, something Republicans aren't supposed to want to do, in addition to throwing a lot of people off health insurance, we would add folks to the labor force. The same would be true if we abolished Social Security, OK? But what's happening with the Affordable Care Act -- I mean, if you -- is that you are, in the near term, according to the same CBO report that Republicans like to cite, we're actually -- the ACA is adding impetus to economic growth and job creation, OK, and that therefore -- Q: (Off mic.) MR. CARNEY: OK -- so -- no, right, in the near term. The -- it is also providing the freedom, opportunity and choice that Republicans, including the Heritage Foundation not so long ago, used to say was very important and related specifically to the job lock caused by people's need for health insurance and their fear of leaving a job because they couldn't afford to. There was an interesting statistic I saw in relation to this just earlier today that said that folks in America who are, say, 63 waiting to get on Medicare are far less likely to start a business than those who are 65 because they have the security of health insurance provided by Medicare. So there's a little mini-explosion in entrepreneurship at 65. Why? Probably not because they had great ideas at 65 that they didn't have at 63, but because they have that security. That's good for the economy. And what I think Jason Furman noted yesterday and I need to re- emphasize today is the CBO clearly states that it did not take into account very important factors that influence even that labor participation figure, and that is the dramatic economic beneficial impact of reduced growth in health care cost, the dramatic beneficial impact of reduced absenteeism and, you know, reduced instances of depression and injury that -- and illnesses that come from additional people being covered by health insurance. You know, these are positive benefits that, you know, are a strong countervailing force against even that particular development that CBO identified or projected. And if you take all of that into account, it reinforces what the CBO report says, which is that the ACA is benefiting our economy; it's providing access to health insurance to millions of people who didn't have it, and is giving families across the country and individuals across the country the freedom and choice and opportunity that they lacked before it passed. I don't feel strongly about this at all. (Scattered laughter.) Peter. Q: Following up briefly on that, though, I want to talk about the budget deficit. I know over the next couple of years, they're going to drop, I think 514 billion (dollars) was the estimation for 2014, 470-something billion (dollars) for 2015. It's more ominous after 2017, because of baby boomers retiring and shrinking labor force. Isn't another force at play there, however, the "Obamacare" system, which then does reduce the labor force in some form, in that some people may be reducing their hours? 14:09:40 MR. CARNEY: Peter, you clearly didn't read the report, which clearly states, as the CBO has previously estimated, that -- Q: (Off mic) -- Jay, let's be fair. We've read -- we've read as much of the report as we can, and we've listened to more than enough briefings on this. But what -- MR. CARNEY: Peter, we -- (inaudible) -- Q: -- we (don't ?) disagree, though, that if there are fewer people working -- if fewer people are working fewer hours and more people are working fewer hours, by design, explain in simple terms why that doesn't provide less tax revenue and somehow doesn't hurt the economy, if fewer hours are being worked? 14:10:06 MR. CARNEY: That's not -- first of all, let me just correct you. You asked about the deficit. As the CBO reported yesterday, consistent with what it's reported in the past, the CBO projects that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit by a trillion dollars. In other words, you abolish the ACA and therefore don't have the effect that you're talking about in terms of people choosing not to work or reducing their hours, and you jack up the deficit by a trillion dollars. So let's just be clear about the impact on the deficit, OK? The CBO said yesterday, again, as it has in the past, that the Affordable Care Act reduces the deficit over the 20-year window by a trillion bucks, one. Two, when it comes to the economic impact, as the head of the CBO said today and as the report clearly states, there are other factors when it comes to labor force participation and hours and its impact on job creation that are not accounted for in the study. Jason talked about this yesterday. And I think one hugely significant one is the historic reduction in health care inflation that we've seen. We've had the slowest rate of health care cost growth in 50 years since the Affordable Care Act was passed, a -- which directly contradicts the predictions of those who oppose the Affordable Care Act -- just saying, but it's out there, it's a fact -- and that has enormous positive economic benefits for our businesses, for individuals. I mean, if you're -- if you're projecting -- if you were five years ago somebody responsible for health care costs for employer-provided health insurance at a major company and you had to project what those costs would be for the next five years, you were going to base it on, you know, the consensus estimates on what the growth in health care costs were going to be for the next five or 10 years. You have found out in the interim that you've saved a bunch of money because, as it turns out, the growth has been much slower, and the Affordable Care Act has contributed significantly to that reduction in growth. That in turn has significant positive economic benefit on growth and job creation. So again, I think the -- it is impossible read the CBO report and not recognize that it contains point-by-point rebuttals of a lot of the critiques that we have heard over the years from Republicans about what the Affordable Care Act would do to the economy. The affordable -- the CBO report says specifically that contrary to everything Republicans have said, the Affordable Care Act is not and will not significantly reduce -- cause, you know, employers to reduce hours, to throw people in part-time -- into part-time employment. Q: A point that Paul Ryan among others reinforced, as you guys indicated today. But he also said that it encourages Americans, in his words, not to get on the ladder of life, to begin working, getting the dignity of work. What's the White House's position on that language, at the bottom for those -- at the bottom, not the -- (inaudible) -- 14:12:55 MR. CARNEY: I understand that this -- that the report, for those who actually see it for what it is is complicated if you still want to be an opponent of the Affordable Care Act -- Q: (Inaudible) -- someone who makes not so much money, so, you know, I'm not going to work as much because I'm benefiting, I'm basically getting new income in the form of subsidies. 14:13:11 MR. CARNEY: Well, look, what I would say, Peter, is that the benefit of having the freedom and choice of -- and opportunity that health insurance security provides through the Affordable Care Act, how it weighs those considerations, because if you're -- if you're somebody who's locked in a job and has to keep that job in order to make sure that your family has health care but you either can't stand the job or you have a great idea to start a business but you can't go out and start it because you'd lose health care if you quit your job, this creates opportunity for more entrepreneurship that did not exist prior to the Affordable Care Act. That should be something that conservatives celebrate, you know, free market enthusiasts celebrate. I mean, we certainly do. It's great for entrepreneurs. It's great for those farm families and others where you have, you know, the mother and father working full time in part because only one of them gets health insurance that they need for their family, and now that's no longer something -- they now have the choice to continue working. To go -- to go to the point that we talked about yesterday, this isn't forcing people to give up their 60-hour-a-week job if they want to keep it, because as the report clearly states, the Affordable Care Act does not cause businesses to shed jobs -- again, contradicting the accusation that critics have been making for years. Q: On Syria quickly, with another deadline passing today without action by the Syrians right now, I want to get a sense whether any punitive actions are presently in the works. 14:14:43 MR. CARNEY: On the chemical weapons issue? Q: Yeah. MR. CARNEY: I really don't have anything to add except that we're watching very closely and working with our international partners, including Russia. Q: How long do we give them? I mean, how open are we -- (off mic)? 14:14:54 MR. CARNEY: Again, I think Russia has obviously a huge stake in this and is the primary interlocutor with the Syrian regime, and they announced to the world that they expect the regime to deliver a substantial portion of its stockpile in the relatively near future. We'll watch to see that that happens. Q: On a lighter note, the Olympics begin for a lot of athletes tomorrow in Sochi. I'm curious if the president's had any conversations with, among others, the flagbearer, Tom Lodwick, or any of the other athletes who begin their competition tomorrow. 14:15:25 MR. CARNEY: I don't know of any conversations he's had with athletes in the runup to the Olympics, at least certainly not in the recent past. He's -- I think like everyone who loves to watch the games, he's looking forward to them getting underway and is very proud of the athletes that will represent the United States, very proud of the diversity that they represent, because that is such a strength in our country, and looks forward to many of our athletes bringing home gold, silver and bronze. Q: Has he spoken to Billie Jean King, who is not going to be traveling? 14:16:07 MR. CARNEY: I don't think he -- I'm not sure that he has. I don't think he has. He has spoken to her in the relatively recent past. I know because I saw her here, I don't know, some time late last year. Well, I don't know that she met with him, but I know she's spoken with him. I don't know that she's spoken with him about the Olympics or the delegation. We did announce that because of a serious illness in her family she's not able to be part of the delegation for the opening ceremonies. But we're very grateful that Caitlin Cahow is -- who was going to participate in the closing ceremonies, is going to take her place. Jessica. Q: Question on the smoking announcement -- (inaudible) -- White House this morning. MR. CARNEY: Which one? Q: CVS's decision about cigarette smoke. I'm just -- it was interesting to me that the statement for the White House didn't have anything personal from the president. I'm just wondering if there's anything further, as a former smoker, that he has a personal interest in making sure that smokers have different choices when they go to a drug store? 14:17:07 MR. CARNEY: Well, I don't know that this was a personal matter. I think that as somebody who used to smoke and used to, at least when I was living in the United States, buy a lot of cigarettes at CVS, I think it's a good thing. I think it's a great thing. And we obviously reflected that view. Q: You smoked? MR. CARNEY: I did a lot, you know. So we obviously think this is an important decision because of the impact that smoking can have on the nation's health and on especially American children. So the president is, like I, a reformed smoker, but you know -- and I think he recognizes, like everyone who's quit recognized, it's not an easy thing to do but it's the right thing to do for your own health, for your family and for the nation's health. So we -- you know, I would point you to the statement for why we think that is a very welcome development. Christie (sp). Q: Did the president have anything to do with that, with that afternoon phone call to CVS to consider that? 14:18:08 MR. CARNEY: You know, I would refer you to CVS. I think that they should be commended for the decision they're taking. Q: Thanks, Jay. MR. CARNEY: Andrei. Q: Thank you. One NSA, one on Olympics. On NSA, is the White House concerned that the NSA reportedly spied on German Chancellor Schroeder when he was chancellor and that this may further hurt the bilateral relations with Germany? 14:18:34 MR. CARNEY: As you know, Andrei, we don't comment on specific allegations and reports of that nature. I can tell you that the president has delivered a pretty big speech on this issue that included his -- the reforms that he wants to see instituted and the changes that he is instituting in our signal intelligence. So when it comes to some of the issues that have been raised in some of the reporting as relates to our bilateral relationship with individual countries, those are issues that we take up directly through traditional diplomatic channels with those countries, and including at the level of president to chancellor, as you know, with the president and Chancellor Merkel. So -- but I don't have anything specific on a specific report like that. Q: And on the Olympics, yesterday the president of the International Olympic Committee made an interesting observation that some politicians rejected an invitation that they didn't even have, and reporters who covered the speech assumed he was referring, among others, to President Obama. So my question is does President Obama have an invitation to attend the Olympics? 14:19:44 MR. CARNEY: You know, I didn't see those remarks. I can tell you that the president, like so many Americans, will -- looks forward to watching the games and is very proud of the delegation that is representing the United States at both the opening and closing ceremonies. Thanks, all, very much. (C) 2014 Federal News Service