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I am pleased to see we have such a distinguished panel of
witnesses before us this morning. I look forward to hearing
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Roemer?
Mr. ROEMER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In the interest of time, I will be very brief.
I think two of the questions that I would like to see answered from today's panel would be, on the one hand, how can we coordinate government approaches to overcome some of the American companies' traditionally reluctant nature to get involved in these processes and invest in the cutting edge technologies and conversion services?
And secondly, in addition to the partnerships that we need to look at to develop green technologies, what do we do at the governmental level to provide leadership?
I remember attending a conference a year and a half ago where we heard that Japan and Germany had 20- and 25-year plans to develop these green technologies in energy and environmentally related areas. They are doing it to help Third World nations and also because they are finding that this is increasing productivity and that it is increasing business investment and interest as well.
So I guess those would be primarily my two questions, and I look forward to the testimony from our panelists today.
Thanks, Mr. Chairman, for having this hearing.
And the chair is happy to recognize at this time the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Klein?
Mr. KLEIN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I too join with my colleagues in congratulating both Chairman Brown and you, Chairman Valentine, for your leadership in connection with the area of legislation dealing with green technology. I am particularly delighted in view of the fact that we had the opportunity to participate together in a hearing on that subject in my home district just a few weeks ago.
I am also very happy to join in cosponsoring the chairman's legislation and in sponsoring legislation of my own dealing with financial assistance for green technology adaptation to promote exports. I think the opportunities for the United States in the enormous and burgeoning world market for green technology is tremendous.
Yesterday, we heard so much about world trade and the United States role in world trade. Well, if ever there was an opportunity for the United States to be a leader in world trade, it is in the area of green technology, where the total world market has been estimated to be in excess of $800 billion annually. If we can seize a portion of that, a significant portion of it, it will go a long way toward stimulating our economy, providing jobs for our people, and certainly we need to provide assistance to ensure that we will achieve our share, our proper share of that world market.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF DAVID T. BUZZELLI, VICE PRESIDENT FOR EN
VIRONMENT, HEALTH AND SAFETY, DOW CORPORATION,
I expect great things to happen in Washington. I didn't expect to get_my doctorate degree this morning. I am afraid I am not a Ph.D., so I would like to at least correct the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you raise your right hand, please, sir? [Laughter.)
Mr. BUZZELLI. I appreciate the invitation to join with all of you here today to share my views with you. And let me commend this committee for having the foresight to take and to look at environmental policy-making processes in our country, especially as it relates, as the chairman said, in relating our environmental goals to our economic goals.
In the past, I think a lot of environmental policy was crafted in a very different fashion than it is being done today. And I think in the last few years we have all seen significant change, and it has been a change for the better. It has been a change where all sectors are becoming more involved in environmental policy and decisionmaking. And the fact is that the more balanced inputs we get into this process the more balanced ultimately our environmental policies and regulations are going to be.
In my mind, that is the key to environmental progress, and that is really finding the balance.
The CHAIRMAN. Not to worry. Only someone has escaped. (Laughter.]
Mr. BUZZELLI. Somebody has just gotten another honorary degree.
The CHAIRMAN. We will have to depart and vote, but we can stay another 5 minutes.
Mr. BUZZELLI. No problem.
Today, what I would like to do is kind of give you a 3-point approach that in my opinion is an approach that might change the way we are doing some things. I am going to talk about each one of the points briefly and then come back and give you a few examples.
First, I think our country's new approach is going to require that we embrace sustainable development, which is a fundamental change in the relationship and the way we think about the environment and the economy together.
Secondly, I think we need to call for the creation of innovative strategies to convert sustainable development theories directly into action.
And third, I think our new approach needs to eliminate barriers that will hinder our progress toward sustainable development.
There is a growing recognition, in the business community at least, that there really can't be environmental reform without economic development, and, in fact, we can't have economic development without environmental reform. This is really the basis for sustainable development.
Sustainable development, I think, represents a terrific opportunity for our country. Fortunately, this administration recognizes this and I think has taken a significant step forward in moving us down that path by creating the President's Council on Sustainable Development. I would like to explain the President's Council just for a moment, because I think its work may change the framework in the way we make some of our environmental decisions and some of our environmental policy.
On June 14th, 24 members were named to the new President's Council, and they were asked to serve on the Council for a twoyear, renewable term. The members of this Council represent members from industry, government, environmental, conservation, labor, and civil rights organizations, and together these partners are really looking to develop new approaches to integrate economic and environmental policies and practices.
One of our key goals is to sponsor projects that demonstrate and test the viability of new sustainable practices, and I can assure you that we will need the assistance of Congress to support these demonstration projects. In some cases I believe we are going to have to ask for some flexibility in order to test some of the new concepts that we are beginning to develop, so that we can demonstrate them and then at some point in time they might be able to be converted into legislation.
The President's Council is very eager to work with Congress. Cochairman Jonathan Lash, who is President of the World Resources Institute, and I especially want to meet with members who have a strong interest in sustainable development, and we really do look forward to opportunities to keep all of you apprised of our progress and to work with you as a partner.
As I mentioned, the first three of my points is to embrace the concept of sustainable development as a Nation, and we are certainly making progress. But simply believing in the idea of sustainable development is not enough. We need to translate that belief into action, which really brings me to the second of my three points.
Over the next few years our country needs to adopt innovative strategies if we are really going to kind of make the progress that we want to make. As Members of Congress, you are going to have a major role in considering, and hopefully adopting, these innovative strategies.
Your challenge, as I see it, is to demonstrate to every interested sector that there is a decision-making process in which the environmental community, business, academia and government can sit down together and to begin to work and develop consensus policies.
That process needs to be guided by three fundamental principles. The first one is that we absolutely have to establish clear environmental priorities based on sound science and risk assessment. And, Mr. Chairman, I was pleased to learn that you held a hearing just two days ago and Congressman Swift held one yesterday on this subject, and as a matter of fact, the Senate Energy Committee has just held a hearing on risk assessment involved in environmental decision-making.
I think we have to keep in mind that not all issues are created equal, and we have to address them logically and on a global basis. We simply need to do a better job of setting priorities and focusing our efforts on the first of these priorities.
We have another interruption?
The CHAIRMAN. We are going to have to suspend temporarily. So, if you will just abide with us, we will have to leave here and go vote and come back. Be back in about 10 minutes or so.
Mr. BUZZELLI. Very good. [Recess).
The CHAIRMAN. We will try to get started. Ladies and gentlemen, we had another vote over there. That explains why we were gone a little bit longer.
Mr. BUZZELLI. Thank you. Thank you. The next time I come to town maybe we will settle on the name of general or something. We will see.
As I was saying, there are three areas, three principles that I think we need to use on environmental policy. The first one I mentioned, which was we have to establish clear priorities based on sound science and risk assessment.
The second area is something that I really believe strongly in and that is that we simply have got to begin to focus more of our policies and technologies on pollution prevention rather than endof-pipe treatment. This really has to be our ultimate goal. We really need in industry to embrace new and environmentally advanced processes and technologies and products, but we really need to focus them on the prevention side.
In our own company we believe in that. Let me give you a couple of examples because I think, unfortunately, today we are required to spend an awful lot of our environmental capital dollars on regulatory-driven as opposed to pollution-prevention initiatives. Just a couple of quick examples.
In 1992, when we go back an take a look at the amount of capital that we spend, the environmental capital in our company, which is about $200 million a year—in 1992, when we look at the portion of it that was spent on—which was required by regulation, we lost 16 percent for every dollar we invested. And when we look at the amount of money that we put in pollution prevention, which is usually our own voluntary programs—in fact, always is-last year we gained a positive return on investment of 53 percent. So when I look at that, quite frankly, the answer to me is quite simple. We need to get industry to switch to pollution prevention as a goal.
We really need to as a country find a way to motivate and encourage pollution prevention rather than continually focus on endof-pipe treatment, because I believe that the return to the environment will be higher and I know that the economic return will be higher.
And the third area which I believe we need to focus on is employing market initiatives that really put in place lasting environmental solutions. We are just beginning to start to look at areas like full cost accounting and full cost pricing, and starting the de