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U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, "Hearing: China's Energy Policies and Their Environmental Impacts," August 13, 2008

This hearing was conducted by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on August 13, 2008. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission was created by the U.S. Congress in 2000 to monitor, investigate, and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
August 13, 2008

August 13, 2008
562 Dirksen Senate Office Building
1st Street & Constitution Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20510

Hearing Co chairs: Commissioners William A. Reinsch and Daniel M. Slane

Opening Statement of Dr. Larry Wortzel, Chairman

Good morning and welcome to the ninth hearing of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2008 reporting cycle. We are pleased that you could join us today.

At this hearing, we are continuing the Commission’s assessment of U.S.-China relations by exploring China’s energy policies and the environmental effects of those policies. This topic is of critical importance to both the United States and China, given that both countries are the top two consumers and producers of coal and that China has now surpassed the United States in the production of greenhouse gas emissions. However, despite emerging challenges to energy security, there are shared interests and opportunities available for cooperation in research and policy.

Today’s panels will assess the reforms of China’s energy and environmental policymaking structures; the effects of China’s greenhouse gas emissions and its approach to climate change; and U.S.-China civil nuclear cooperation. During this hearing, we hope to hear suggestions of how to maximize cooperation with China on reducing its emissions and energy intensity, and also how to ensure that American security and technology interests are protected as China expands its civil nuclear industry.

Key members of the Administration, and expert witnesses have been invited to present testimony on these important issues, and I am looking forward to their remarks. I’ll now turn the proceedings over to Commission Vice Chairman Carolyn Bartholomew for her opening statement.

Welcome, again, to all of you and thank you for your interest in the Commission’s work.

Opening Statement of Carolyn Bartholomew, Vice Chairman

Thank you, Chairman Wortzel.

Good morning, and welcome to the U.S.-China Commission hearing on “China’s Energy Policies and Their Environmental Impacts.”

In the months leading up to the Beijing Olympics, the environmental impact of China’s energy use has become the object of intense scrutiny. While Beijing’s smoggy skies may be less of a concern for those of us seated in this room than they are for that city’s residents, China’s impact on our own environmental health is becoming harder and harder to ignore. Recent reports have suggested that China has now passed the United States to become the world’s leading emitter of carbon dioxide, and pollutants from Asia have been detected in the air and water supplies in the Western United States.

Given these challenges, it is essential that we foster greater cooperation between the United States and China on the environmental issues that concern us both. Some of our expert witnesses today will share their views on the state of energy and environmental policy in China. We hope that they can give us guidance on the ways in which the U.S. could favorably impact Chinese environmental and energy policymaking, as these are important issues for the Commission to consider as we shape our annual report to Congress.

I want to express my thanks to the panelists who have taken the time to appear here today, and to the members of the public who are attending the hearing. With that, I’ll turn the microphone over to Commissioner Reinsch, who is one of the co-chairs of today’s hearing.

Opening Statements
Opening Statement of Chairman Larry Wortzel
Opening Statement of Vice Chairman Carolyn Bartholomew
Opening Statement of Commissioner William A. Reinsch
Opening Statement of Commissioner Daniel M. Slane

Panel I:  Administration Perspective
Ms. Katharine Fredriksen, Acting Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC
Mr. Scott Fulton, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for International Affairs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC  

Panel II:  China’s Energy Policymaking Structure and Reforms
Dr. Erica Downs, China Energy Fellow, The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC
Mr. Edward A. Cunningham, Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA  

Panel III: China’s Environmental Policy and Activities to Address the Environmental Impacts of its Energy Use
Dr. Joseph Aldy, Co-Director, Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements and Fellow, Resources for the Future, Washington, DC
Dr. Mark Levine, Director of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, and Group Leader of the China Energy Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA
Dr. Jonathan Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations, State University of New York at New Paltz, New Paltz, NY

Panel IV:  The Effects of China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and China’s Approach to Global Climate Change
Dr. Joanna I. Lewis, Assistant Professor of Science, Technology and International Affairs, Georgetown University, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Washington, DC
Dr. Dan Jaffe, Professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Chemistry, University of Washington-Bothell, Bothell, WA

Panel V:  U.S.-China Energy Technology Cooperation: Civil Nuclear Energy
Dr. Andrew C. Kadak, Professor of the Practice, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Mr. Stephen Mladineo, Senior Program Manager, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Falls Church, VA



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