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Road from Kyoto : hearing before the Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred Fifth Congress, second session (Volume pt. 2) online

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University. He resides in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife and three daughters.


Chairman Sensenbrenner. Thank you very much, Mr. Gardiner.

And the final witness for the Administration is Gary Bachula —
I have it right this time?

Mr. Bachula. You have it right.

Chairman Sensenbrenner. The Acting Under Secretary for
Technology at the Commerce Department. Please try to limit your
remarks to 5 minutes so that we can get to questions and really
have fun.

Mr. Bachula. Really have fun


Mr. Bachula. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

As Dr. Gibbons indicated, the U.S. Global Change Research Pro-
gram is an important part of understanding the nature of the prob-
lem. And I would just like to point out that, at the Department of
Commerce, NOAA, is a very major player in that program, both
collecting data and doing the science and doing the simulations
that have lead to our understanding.

But today, I want to focus on another aspect of science and tech-
nology relating to climate change, and that is to find solutions to
the problem. We believe that we can pursue economic growth, high-
er living standards for our people, and environmental protection at
the same time. We think that it is a false choice to say that we
must sacrifice economic growth in order to have a clean environ-
ment. We can have both, and the key is new technologies. If you
can produce the same product with less energy, with less waste,
with less pollution, a company can be more productive. You can be
more competitive; you can make and sell your products for less; you
can make higher profits, pay higher wages, and compete better in
the global marketplace.

The research that we propose to carry out at the National Insti-
tute of Standards and Technology under this Climate Change Ini-
tiative, will be good for the economy, good for industry, good for
jobs — and almost as a "by the way" — good for the environment.

Let me turn to the specific new research proposals that we have
under this Climate Change Technology Initiative. They fall under
three areas of research, and most of this is pretty basic research —
understanding and cataloguing the fundamental nature of mate-
rials, fluids, gases, and their interactions. This is what NIST does
for a living, and this is exactly what an organization dedicated to
measurements, standards, and testing should be doing.

The first area is membrane-based alternatives to distillation.
Today, about 43 percent of the energy used by the U.S. chemical
industry — which is about 9 percent of the energy used by all indus-
try — is consumed by large-scale separations of chemicals based on
distillation. You'll know what distilling is from eleventh grade
chemistry — it's essentially boiling a liquid to separate out the
parts. That heating process consumes a great deal of energy. It
turns out that there may be a better way to separate chemicals by
using membranes. The potential process would use far less energy.
It actually would produce purer separations. And the predictions


are that it will be done at a reduced cost. This could be a win-win
for the chemical industry as well as for the rest of us.

Now, what NIST proposes to do is the most basic research into
understanding the properties and nature of various membrane al-
ternatives and we will develop a data base for all to use. We will
do modeling studies of how chemicals transport through these
membranes, and we will attempt to catalogue that information so
that other researchers can carry forward the work in more applied
fashion to develop new processes and equipment to do this kind of

A second category of work will relate to alternative working
fluids for more energy efficient processes. Fluid systems are impor-
tant for a wide variety of industrial processes, such as electric
power generation, heating-cooling systems, industrial cleaning, and
micro-electronics manufacturing. Many of the fluids currently used
could be improved upon to either produce greater energy efficiency,
or to find alternatives that have less negative impact on the envi-
ronment themselves.

Let me give you one example in this category, power generation.
Right now, whether we use coal, natural gas, oil, or another source
to produce heat, what we do is we boil water. We boil water to cre-
ate steam that turns an electrical turbine — a generator. Regardless
of the source of the heat, it is the boiling of water that ultimately
moves that generator. It turns out that there are promising alter-
natives to using just water involving different thermodynamic cy-
cles, different fluids — particularly different mixtures. Carefully cho-
sen mixtures of ammonia and water, for example, may improve the
efficiency of coal-fired power generation by as much as 20 percent.
And again, NIST's role would be the most basic. We would provide
U.S. industry with the required thermo-physical property data and
models needed to design and optimize processes to exploit the prop-
erties of different combinations of these fluids.

A third area of our proposed work involves biotechnology. As you
know, plants remove CO2 from the atmosphere through photosyn-
thesis. A byproduct of photosynthesis is oxygen, so this is a very
important chemical reaction for every human being. But it turns
out that the enzyme that captures CO2 in plants during photosyn-
thesis is relatively inefficient. NIST proposes to do research that
could lead to improving its efficiency by undertaking extensive
characterization of the biophysical and biochemical properties of
the protein in concert with protein engineering efforts to optimize
it's activities. The results of this work could lead to a new genera-
tion of plants that absorb more CO2. And while this could be an
important contribution to the solution of climate change, it also
could be a boon to the agro-chemical industry gind for expanding
opportunities for developing biomass-derived products.

Mr. Chairman, the work we propose to do is basic but it can have
enormous potential impact. It is what NIST does and does best.
And it will be done, as always, in our NIST laboratory efforts in
close concert with industry. We believe that partnerships with in-
dustry work and that they can lead to not only major technical
breakthroughs, but also to ones that are relevant to the market-


At Commerce, we also chair the intergovernmental committee
that oversees the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles
(PNGV). And we operate a small secretariat in Commerce to coordi-
nate the PNGV activities. PNGV has proven that government and
industry can work together and can pursue, in parallel, both public
and private goals. And it has proven — witness the concept cars un-
veiled in Detroit a month ago — that bold technological goals, often
beyond the realm of imagination, the realm of what some think
was possible, can be obtained if we work together. Our success with
PNGV to date leads me to believe that we can tackle issues like
climate change and do it in a way that keeps American industry
competitive and ahead of the curve, keeps American workers em-
ployed, and keeps our American economy humming. With or with-
out the Kyoto accord, these kinds of investments in new tech-
nologies make sense for America.

[Mr. Bachula's prepared statement and biography follow:]

Testimony of

Gary R. Bachula

Acting Under Secretary for Technology

Technology Administration

U.S. Department of Commerce

before the

Committee on Science
U.S. House of Representatives

on the subject of

The Department of Commerce's

Current and Planned

Global Climate Change Initiatives

February 12, 1998


Mr. Chairman, members of the House Science Committee, thank you for inviting me here today to
talk about the Commerce Department's part in the President's climate change initiative.

Global climate change is the primary environmental challenge facing not only the United States,
but the world. Building on a solid foundation of climate science. President Clinton is committed to
strong and sensible action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A key element of the President's
program is a $6.3 billion investment in tax cuts and R&D for new technologies over five years.
Under the President's FY 1 999 budget, the Commerce Department would receive $7 million for
new climate change technology initiatives.

My remarks this morning will focus on the Commerce Department's current research efforts to
alleviate the causes of global climate change, as well as proposed activities under the President's
Global Climate Change Initiative.

First, however, let me begin with a few words about the Department of Commerce's National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — recognized around the worid as an authority in
the science of the environment — whose work is focused on gaining a better scientific
understanding of the nature of climate change.

NOAA has played a key role in the development of periodic state-of-science assessments and
professional literature developed by the United Nations and professional scientific bodies, such
as the recently published special report, "Regional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment
of Vulnerability," of the 1998 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. NOAA also plays a
key advisory role to the President and other Federal policy makers. For example, a NOAA
laboratory director served as science advisor to the U.S. delegation at the December 1997
meeting at Kyoto on climate change, playing a critical role in ensuring climate change discussions
were informed by objective scientific input.


NOAA programs have been monitoring, collecting data, and carefully analyzing changes in the
environment for many years. One especially valuable program periodically collects air samples
from some 50 locations worldwide to enable a better understanding of the global carbon cycle and
its effect on climate. The station at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, has maintained the world's longest
continuous record of atmospheric carbon dioxide monitoring. This information is a key benchmark
for climate change studies.

The Department of Commerce, through NOAA, is also a key participant in the U.S. Global
Change Research Program — a multiagency effort to improve our understanding of medium and
long term climate fluctuations and climate change. NOAA's work helps ensure that objective
scientific knowledge informs decision making atxiut Federal environmental policies and programs.

The Department will be happy to provide answers to any questions you may have about
NOAA's programs.

Now, before I get to a detailed discussion of the Commerce Department's programs, let me take a
minute to establish the global economic and environmental context for our efforts.

Global Economic Growth, Industrialization Stressing the Environment

Mr. Chairman, globalization and the rapid advancement of technology are driving woridwide
economic growth and rapid industrialization in nearly every corner of the world. However, robust
economies, new jobs, and individual prosperity, are also placing increased stress on our global
environment — on our lakes, streams, rivers, oceans, land, and air.

In the emerging industrial nations, economic growth is lifting millions out of poverty. In East Asia
alone, the number of poor fell from 400 million in 1970 to 180 million in 1990, and China has lifted
an estimated 175 million people out of poverty. These nations are preparing for further growth,
expanding their road systems and establishing other infrastructure. As time goes on, standards of
living will rise for more and more people and consumer demand will grow.


For example, China projects that its domestic marl<et for automobiles will grow from 180,000 autos
in 1992, to 1 .5 million in 2003— an annual average growth rate of more that 66 percent. Auto sales
in South Korea already reached 1.5 million in 1993, and 15 percent average annual growth is
projected for several years.

And while the most rapid growth is taking place in emerging economies, growth in the United
States is also having an impact on the global environment. By the end of 1993, there were 194
million registered motor vehicles in the United States. These vehicles contribute about third of our
smog-related air pollution, and one-third of our carbon dioxide emissions contributing to global
climate change. According to some projections, there could be nearly 270 million registered
vehicles in the United States by the year 2010.

Economic Growth and Environmental Protection: Compatible Goals

For decades the public debate on economic growrth and environmental protection was framed by
the belief that progress in either area came at the expense of the other. In many minds, the
linkage between global growth and environmental impact has seemed clear — more growth, more
pollution; less growth, less pollution. Those who stood strongly for economic growth were
deemed opponents of the environment, while those who stood for environmental protection were
deemed opponents of progress and prosperity.

Five years ago. President Clinton brought to office a new way of thinking — a solid belief that we,
as a Nation, could — and must — pursue both economic growth and environmental protection
simultaneously. He recognized that a choice between a higher standard of living and a cleaner
environment was a false choice — Americans want both.

And so he committed the United States to a new course, one that rejects the notion that we must
choose between jobs and the environment. In Technology for a Sustainable Future, the
President sets out the challenge before the United States and the world— sustainable
development — and the path to success— an effective partnership between the public and
private sector to develop and deploy technologies that will protect the environment while
sustaining economic growth. This path is built on a foundation of faith in our ability to "do good"
and "do well" at the same time.



Doing Good, Doing Well

We believe the record speaks for itself. During the President's five years in office, the United
States has generated 14 nnillion new jobs — over 3 million jobs in just this past year. Real GDP
grew 3.8 percent for 1997 as a whole — the highest growth rate in nine years — and measures of
income have been growing even faster. We have the lowest unemployment in over 24 years,
with the unemployment rate below 5 percent for the last eight months. Inflation has declined to its
lowest level since 1965. And this month, after years of national red ink, President Clinton has
submitted a plan that not only balances the Federal budget, but includes a surplus. And, at the
same time all this was accomplished, we were able to make substantial Federal investments to
protect our environment, including $1 1 1 billion on natural resources and the environment, of which
more than $33 billion was spent specifically on pollution control and abatement. And these
figures don't even include environmental clean-up programs at the Department of Energy and

The latest figures show that as of 1996, the U.S. environmental industry employed 1.3 million
Americans and has revenues of over $180 billion. The global market for environmental
technologies, which stands today at about $450 billion, is expected to grow to some $600 billion
by the year 2010. And as the global market grows, so do U.S. exports of environmental
technology— $1 6 billion in 1 996, a 60 percent increase since 1 993.

But despite this growth, our firms still export only 8 percent of their total production, a far smaller
percentage than our competitors in Europe and Japan. This untapped exporting potential
represents a great opportunity for our environmental industry to grow and create more high-wage
jobs for Americans.

In addition, environmental technologies contribute to the vitality of other U.S. industrial sectors by
enhancing their competitiveness in the increasingly environment-sensitive intemational


A Paradigm for Public-Private Partnerships to Address National Goals

Achieving economic growth and stronger environmental protection has meant building strong
public-private partnerships to demonstrate the reality that economic and environmental progress
can go hand-in-hand. One particular effort— the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles —
illustrates how government and industry, working together, can accomplish goals beyond what
either could achieve separately, and do it in a way that is timely, cost-efficient, and collegial.

The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles

Shortly after his inauguration. President Clinton and his team began considering how best to
address difficult policy problems involving transportation — specifically, the environmental and
energy policy problems posed by our ever-increasing reliance on the automobile. This work was
also informed by a recognition of the importance of the auto industry to the U.S. economy.

Since vehicle miles traveled has increased at a rate of about 3% per year over the last decade,
and consumers are favoring ever-larger and less fuel efficient vehicles, we recognized that the
environmental and energy policy issues were not being addressed by the marketplace. We
realized that only a truly bold research project could provide the technology to address these
policy issues, and that the auto industry needed to be committed to that project in order for it to

After six months of discussions. President Clinton and the CEOs of the Chrysler Corp., Ford
Motor Co., and General Motors Corp. announced the formation of the Partnership for a New
Generation of Vehicles on September 29, 1993, an historic partnership to develop a new
generation of vehicles with very low emissions and up to three times the fuel efficiency of
conventional cars.

Public Policy Objectives of PNGV

PNGV advances three important public policy objectives: environmental protection, energy
security, and U.S. economic competitiveness.


Environmental protection — Motor vehicles contribute about a third of the United
States' human-origin greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to global climate
change. And this contribution is growing. Since carbon dioxide emissions are directly
related to fuel efficiency, a three-fold improvement in fuel efficiency — a key PNGV goal —
would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by two-thirds per vehicle mile traveled.

U.S. energy security — The U.S. is becoming more dependent on foreign oil with each
passing year. In 1995, imports accounted for 50 percent of U.S. oil consumption.
Petroleum imports make up ten percent^of the Nation's import inventory and account for a
large percentage of the Nation's trade deficit. With domestic consumption growing 1.1
percent a year, and domestic production falling 1 .4 percent a year, the Energy Information
Administration predicts that by the year 2000, imports will make up 56 percent of our
consumption. By 2010, imports are expected to exceed 60 percent of domestic
consumption. As the economies of the emerging nations continue to grow, so too will their
demand for oil.

Fuel for ground transportation accounts for 43 percent of our petroleum-based energy
demand. When we find ways to get more for each dollar spent on a barrel of oil. It helps
us reduce our growing dependence on this finite resource.

U.S. competitiveness — The U.S. auto industry accounts for 4.5 percent of GDP, and
one-in-seven American jobs is tied to this industry. Recently, several major foreign
competitors have demonstrated advanced technologies and vehicles that significantly
improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. In the absence of a continuing, effective
PNGV program, these advances could represent a competitive challenge to our domestic
automobile companies, American jobs, and the U.S. economy.


PNGV Goals

The Department of Commerce chairs the Operational Steering Group of the Partnership for a New
Generation of Vehicles because of our long history of partnership with the private sector. A highly
ambitious 10-year research and development program, PNGV has three goals:

1 . Improve the productivity of the U.S. manufacturing base through the adoption of new

2. Pursue technology advances that can lead to improvements in fuel efficiency and
reduction of emissions in current vehicle designs; and

3. Develop the technologies for new generation, mid-size family sedans that get up to 80
miles per gallon, carry up to six passengers and 200 pounds of luggage; meet or exceed
current safety and emissions requirements; provide ample acceleration; are at least 80
percent recyclable; and provide range, comfort, and utility similar to today's models, and
cost no more to own and operate.

Under PNGV, teanis of scientists and engineers from 19 Federal government laboratories have
been working with counterparts at Chrysler, Ford and GM — under their U.S. Council for
Automotive Research umbrella organization — automotive suppliers, and universities. The
centerpiece of the Partnership is a coordinated portfolio of hundreds of research projects
underway at government, auto company, supplier, and university research facilities.

Four years into the 10-year partnership, PNGV has made solid progress toward developing the
enabling technologies for affordable, midsize, family sedans capable of achieving up to 80 miles
per gallon with very low emissions. Last month, at the 1998 North American Intemational Auto
Show in Detroit, Chrysler, Ford and GM unveiled advanced concepts that reflect our progress
toward PNGV goals.


However, while the new concepts unveiled in Detroit are impressive, significant additional
technology breakthroughs and advancements will be required to achieve the ambitious PNGV
goals. Chrysler, Ford, and GM are all working on high-mileage concept vehicles to debut in 2000,
to be followed by production prototypes in 2004. The government partners and their national
laboratories are continuing to pursue high-risk, cooperative research and development with the
auto industry to advance critical enabling technologies for possible use in these vehicles.

PNGV Benefits

Clearly, a successful PNGV program would have profound effects for the United States and the

creating a healthier global environment by reducing vehicle pollution,

improving U.S. national security by reducing our reliance on oil,

improving the Nation's balance of trade by reducing oil imports,

extending the life of the world's petroleum resources by using them more efficiently,

increasing the competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry,

opening new markets across the globe, and

protecting existing high-wage jobs and create new ones.

These factors indicate a clear convergence of public and private interests. And it is this
convergence that established the foundation for a partnership between the Federal government
and U.S. automakers to work together to achieve the technological breakthroughs required to
produce a new class of highly energy-efficient and environmentally-compatible vehicles.

PNGV Characteristics: A Model for Public-Private R&D Partnerships

But aside from the laudable goals and prospective outcomes of the program, PNGV stands as a

model for future public-private partnerships for several other reasons:

• replaces a long-running, adversarial relationship between a U.S. industry and the Federal

government, with one grounded in cooperation and partnership,



• a partnership grounded in market-based principles,

• a cost-sharing arrangement under which the Federal government funds a proportionately
larger share of fundamental research, and industry funds a proportionately larger share
of R&D as it moves closer to commercial viability,

• the virtual aggregation of multiple government R&D programs, under the management
of several Federal agencies, to create synergy and to establish a common purpose,

• the inclusion of a broad array and multiple tiers of suppliers,

• the inclusion of multiple components of America's innovation system — industry,
government, and universities,

• industry involvement in crafting an R&D agenda that spans the spectrum of R&D,
from basic science to production prototypes,

• clear goals and a clear timeframe for their achievement;

And finally, my last words on the effectiveness of PNGV come from an article published this week

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on ScienRoad from Kyoto : hearing before the Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred Fifth Congress, second session (Volume pt. 2) → online text (page 9 of 137)