The Ed Show for Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
Show: THE ED SHOW
Date: March 12, 2015
Guest: Michael McBride, Jan Schakowsky, Charlie Kernaghan, Jeff Holmstead,
Tiernan Sittenfeld, Michael Brune; Nick Hanauer
WAGNER: It is a fascinating, fascinating study.
Derrick Pitts with the Franklin Institute. Thanks for your time, Derrick.
That is all for now.
PITTS: Thank you.
WAGNER: "THE ED SHOW" is coming up next.
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW. Live from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Let`s get to work.
SCHULTZ: An exclusive on Nike`s push for an international trade disaster
in the making.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Who will benefit from the TTP?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Feeling good about the momentum that we have.
WARREN: The biggest multinational corporations in the world.
SCHULTZ: At this hour --
ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: This was not someone trying to bring
SCHULTZ: Tensions rise in Ferguson.
HOLDER: This was -- this was a damn punk. Punk.
SCHULTZ: And later, the EPA under attack.
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: This is happening now. This is not a
SCHULTZ: Plus --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Outright greed and irresponsibility in the financial
SCHULTZ: Corporate profits rise as the American worker suffers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When does the greed stop?
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for watching.
We start with breaking news out of Ferguson, Missouri. An unconfirmed
number of people have been taken in for questioning in the connection to
the shooting of two St. Louis area police officers. A manhunt is still
The shooting happened just after midnight last night outside Ferguson
Police headquarters. A crowd of demonstrators had gathered outside
following the resignation of Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson. The rally
was beginning to disperse. Witnesses described what happened next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was talking to a couple of other photogs that we`re
going to pack up and leave because everything was calm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was pretty much calm. I don`t know where you heard
like what sounded like a firework.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought at first it was fireworks. You know, I heard
one, then I heard two or three more. And that`s when I heard officer down,
officer down, and then they formed a little kind of protective shield
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Officials are calling it an ambush. A 41-year-old St. Louis
County officer was shot in the shoulder. A 32-year-old officer from the
Webster Groves area was shot in the face. St. Louis County Police, chief
of police, Jon Belmar, put the injuries into context at a press conference
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF JON BELMAR, ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE: These two officers took a very
hard hit. And any time that you`re shot in the face and have a bullet
lodged in your head, any time that you have a through-and-through wound
where the bullet enters your shoulder and comes out the middle of your
right back, those are hard hits. So we`re lucky by God`s grace we didn`t
lose two officers last night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The officers were released from the hospital sometime before 9:00
a.m. this morning.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has asked anyone with information in the
shooting to immediately come forward. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
said the news of the shooting turned his stomach.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOLDER: What happened last night was a pure ambush. This was not someone
trying to bring healing to Ferguson. This was -- this was a damn punk.
Punk. This really disgusting and cowardly attack might have been intended
to unravel any sense of progress that exists, but I hope that does not in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Holder offered the full investigation resources of the Justice
Department and of course, to find anyone who was involved in this, meaning
The parents of Michael Brown also condemned the shooting. They released a
statement saying, "Violence directed towards law enforcement cannot and
will not be tolerated. We must work together to bring peace to our
President Obama responded using the official White House Twitter account
this afternoon, writing, "Violence against police is unacceptable. Our
prayers are with the officers in Missouri. Path to justice is one all of
us must travel together."
Effective at 6:00 p.m. tonight, the St. Louis County Police Department and
the Missouri State Highway Patrol will assume command of the security
detail, regarding the protests in the city of Ferguson until further
Joining me tonight, from Ferguson, Trymaine Lee, MSNBC national reporter.
Trymaine, good to have you with us tonight. What is expected this evening?
What are officials anticipating is going to unfold tonight with protesters
and people in the community?
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: As has been the case for so long
here in Ferguson, you know, once night falls, it`s up for grabs. You don`t
know what to expect. But one thing we know for certain is that the county
police have said they`re going to approach this investigation with vigor
and they`re going to look for these men -- man or men, or whoever they may
be, who fired those shots.
At the same time, protesters are organizing tonight to try to figure out
what their next steps are. This is a terrible PR move as some have kind of
lumped the shooter in with them. What they say, you know, the shooting
happened 100, 200 yards over their shoulder. And so while there are still
so many questions, no doubt the police and county police will be out in
full force searching for the shooters.
SCHULTZ: Trymaine, why are there going to be protests tonight? The
community obviously is moving forward. The Justice Department comes
forward with a very critical analysis of exactly what life is like in the
city of Ferguson. The city manager is gone. The police chief has
resigned. What are the protests going to be about tonight?
LEE: Well, I`ll tell you, when you talk to activists and protesters,
especially those who`ve been involved in the organizing around the Ferguson
protests from the beginning, they say this is only the beginning. One,
two, three, four, five resignations does not shake up and shape the
culture. They are asking for an entire reconstruction of local law
enforcement, especially given the revelations in the Department of
Justice`s report last week, which showed such wide and systemic disparities
in the way black folks are treated.
So they say next up, they want Mayor Knowles to step down. And so they`ll
say this is just the beginning. They`re going to keep pushing until there
is justice broadly in this community. And that starts with replacing the
top with new folks.
SCHULTZ: So is that what you`re hearing on the ground, that they want more
resignations? The community wants a total house cleaning and a completely
new start for the community?
LEE: The word they`ve used almost to a person is accountability. And so
they want all those folks who took any part in what they describe in as a
scheme to separate black folks from their money and using the backs of the
poor to boost the city`s economy, they want everyone held accountable. And
that accounts for the mayor, the other supervisors and city government.
Those who help lord over the city`s finances.
And they`re going to keep going. They said last night they weren`t
celebrating. They were out here to demand more change. And then again,
this is just the beginning of a brand new chapter for them.
SCHULTZ: OK. That is very profound. That they`re not done.
Stay with us, Trymaine. I want to bring in Pastor Michael McBride. And
Pastor McBride of the National PICO Network.
Pastor, good to have you with us tonight. The folks in Ferguson appear to
be on a mission. When is the mission accomplished? Is that what it is?
Everyone is going to have to resign in city government? Or there`s going
to -- may have to be a total turnover of personnel before these protests
are not in existence anymore?
REV. MICHAEL MCBRIDE, NATIONAL PICO NETWORK: Well, first our condolences
go to the officers and all of the protesters and citizens who were there
last night. It is clear that everyone there was deeply traumatized.
Certainly the officers were physically injured by acts of brazenness, by
fringe elements that none of us are aware where they have come from.
Certainly in all of my days there from August through Thanksgiving, verdict
season, we had all kinds of provocateurs. We had the Ku Klux Klan. We had
militia individuals. We had people we had to expel out of our own protests
who were there with different kinds of agendas.
So part of what we know and believe, all of us who have been intricately
involved on the ground is that people who have been overwhelmingly
committed to non-violent protests, that are constitutionally protected by
the Constitution of the United States, and practiced by the civil rights
movement of our ancestors, we have been consistently there practicing that.
And to see this video of all of these protests --
MCBRIDE: -- and police officers hitting the ground, it is very disturbing.
And many of us are really wanting justice. Even in this case. We demand
those folks be brought to justice. This is not the way that we believe we
continue to get what everyone wants, all of the justice that is deserved to
the people in the city of Ferguson and in the counties of St. Louis.
SCHULTZ: So the dynamic here, Pastor, is this. The protests themselves
have become targets of outside influences that are trying to disrupt
progress in Ferguson. Now how do you address that? Saying that there`s
outrage and having law enforcement go after the perpetrators, I understand
all of that. But -- and not to broad brush this, but there`s probably some
folks across the country tonight, saying well, you`ve got a new police
chief coming in.
You`ve got a new city manager coming in, progress is moving forward. And
there`s still trouble in the streets. I mean, how do you fix this?
MCBRIDE: Well, I think what you said earlier is critical. We should not
broad brush. We should have a steely resolve to make sure that we keep our
eyes on the prize. I believe that the report that is being put out, as
Trymaine referred to earlier, must be the thing that continues to drive all
of the responses of all of us who care about justice. Not just in
Ferguson, but all across the country.
MCBRIDE: I believe people must continue to show restraint and discipline.
And make sure that we are committed to a kind of reform and even revolution
that does not require the loss of lives. We believe that justice is on our
side and history is on our side.
MCBRIDE: There are many, many individuals you can talk to on the ground
that could repeat these things and we encourage you to seek those voices
out, but let`s not broad brush this. This is not something that any of the
protest movements that we`ve seen and trained and been involved in have
been support of. Even in Ferguson, in New York or any other place. And
it`s important to drive that point home.
SCHULTZ: OK. Well, if they`re an attractant of these outside influences,
is a protest necessary? And I`m going to be up front on that. I mean, I
think that there`s going to be some people around the country saying, but
what are you protesting for at this point if you`re getting what you want
and the protests are becoming a target?
And I also want to bring forth this, Pastor McBride. Where -- what, when
do black leaders in this community say we`re making progress? Do you think
we have -- has Ferguson made progress?
MCBRIDE: So, let`s -- let me tell you two things. The first thing, let us
not be historical about the process of how progress happens in this
country. All during the civil rights movement we`ve always had
provocateurs, implants, people in our movement who seek to derail them,
hijack them. Move the public sentiment off of the center course. We must
keep our eyes on the prize and not be a historical as if this is the first
time some kind of provocateur has attempted to hijack a very justice and
MCBRIDE: And let me also say that Reverend Sekou, Reverend Mike Kinman,
Reverend Traci Blackman, many of the protesters have been on the ground and
they`re present tonight. I believe they`re actually doing a prayer vigil
to maintain the kind of consistency but spirit of nonviolent protests. Of
course progress has been made in the judgment.
MCBRIDE: But there still is a long way to go. We must keep our eyes on
the prize and respect the process as it goes along.
SCHULTZ: All right. St. Louis County Chief of Police Jon Belmar spoke
about the difficulties for police. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BELMAR: It`s difficult for the officers to discern within a crowd of folks
that are perhaps there for the right reason exactly who is doing what. I
would have to imagine that these protesters were among the shooters that
shot at the police officers. It`s very difficult for the officers to
really understand what they`re looking at, at the time, and really to be
able to evaluate any type of threats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Trymaine, this may be an off-the-wall question. But do the
police need to be there? I mean, if they`re on a track, if they`re on a
target, do the police need to be there while the peaceful protests are
LEE: Yes, I wouldn`t take the kind of leap to determine whether the police
should be there or not, but to Chief Belmar`s point, I might imagine it
would have to be difficult. You`re talking to 100, 200 people out there.
They`re in dark corners. People say they saw a muzzle flash 125 yards up a
hill in the darkness. So clearly it`s difficult.
But I would say that the idea that there`s a shooter among the protesters
concerns the protesters as well. I think as Reverend Sekou and some other
have said all along that they`re promoting kind of militant nonviolence.
And so I`ve been talking to some of these young organizers and protesters
for the better part of seven months. And none of them wish violence upon
But I think in this environment, and going back to the DOJ report, when
they say that the -- because of the culture within this department and its
leadership and the police officers, for going to trump up charges and
unwarranted arrests, and you know, the municipal budget buoyed on the backs
of poor black people, it created this kind of toxic environment that simply
will not change with the resignation of a handful of people.
Now when you talk to people on the ground who are following this, they`re
waiting for the hammer to drop from the Department of Justice. Does that
mean a federal consent decree? Does that mean that the Ferguson Police
Department and the city of leaders agree to some major reforms? Is that a
We have not gotten to that point at all because we`re only about a week and
some change out from the initial report being released. But that`s the
kind of change that those people -- young people especially who are
sophisticated and following what the Department of Justice is doing and
what the city leaders here are doing, they`re keen to what`s happening.
Are they going to dig -- simply going to dig their heels in? Are they
going to walk with the Department of Justice? It`s yet to be seen.
SCHULTZ: All right. On the scene in Ferguson, Missouri, Trymaine Lee,
MSNBC national reporter, and Pastor Michael McBride, great to have both of
you with us tonight. I appreciate the conversation. Thanks so much.
You can share your thoughts with us on Twitter at ED SHOW and on Facebook.
You can get my video podcast at wegoted.com.
Coming up, just don`t do it. Nike pushes for the closer ties with one of
the sweat shop centers of the world.
Plus, a new scandal for the Secret Service.
That`s all coming up. Stay with us. We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.
Corporations are coming out swinging for Trade Promotion Authority. They
want it. A group of more than 250 business groups formed the Trade
Benefits America Coalition. Their only mission is to push through Trade
Promotion Authority. The coalition hired Kevin Madden, the former
spokesperson for Mitt Romney`s campaign.
The GOP operative is in charge of shepherding the job-killing legislation
through Congress. Businesses are putting muscle and money behind the toxic
legislation. Now one of America`s largest retailers has started to push
Trade Promotion Authority at the grassroots level.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congress should act on
something called Trade Promotion Authority.
SCHULTZ: Trade Promotion Authority is still on the president`s agenda.
KERRY: We actually hurt ourselves if we wind up trying to micro-manage it
through congressional day-to-day without the TPA.
OBAMA: That doesn`t mean we should close ourselves off from new
opportunities and sit on the sidelines while other countries write our
future for us.
SCHULTZ: Large corporations will benefit. They formed the Trade Benefits
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trade Promotion Authority is the key to open markets
and stronger rules for American businesses in today`s global economy.
KERRY: 95 percent of the world`s customers are in other countries.
WARREN: Who will benefit from the TTP?
SCHULTZ: Nike sent an internal letter declaring their support for Trade
WARREN: The biggest multinational corporations in the world.
SCHULTZ: The company urged their employees to do the same.
"We need to hear your voice as a Nike employee on the issue, and I
encourage you to contact your congressional representative to share your
support for this trade initiative."
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: People can say these trade agreements
grow GDP. These trade agreements help corporate profits.
SCHULTZ: Nike is no stranger to poor labor practices.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The protests are part of an ongoing dispute at a
textile factory which produces goods for U.S. sportswear company Nike.
Angry workers venting their frustration in front of the provincial
courthouse in southern Cambodia. They`re demanding better conditions and
SCHULTZ: Unions are unified against Fast Track.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the first time that every single member of
every single union at the AFL-CIO promised a full-out battle to stop Fast
SCHULTZ: Trade Promotion Authority endangers workers in America and
SCHUMER: While all the litigation goes on, our people get clobbered and
our workers lose jobs.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The unfair game would continue the downward pressure
SCHULTZ: We reached out to Nike for a comment on their e-mail to their
employees. They responded to us in a statement. They said, "We believe
that Free Trade Agreements allow companies like Nike to do what we do best
-- innovate, expand our businesses and drive economic growth. We have
communicated to our 26,000 employees in the United States that Nike depends
on free trade and the ability to reach athletes in the 190 countries around
the world to sell our product."
Joining me tonight, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois. Also with
us, Charlie Kernaghan who is a director of the Institute for Global Labor
and Human Rights.
It`s great to have both of you with us.
Congresswoman, I really want to focus in first on this term stronger rules.
No one has explained what rules they`re talking about in this trade
What are they? Do you know?
REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Well, I certainly haven`t seen stronger
rules, although we haven`t seen much of anything, Ed, because it`s been
pretty much behind closed doors. Very difficult even for members of
Congress to see it.
But, you know, when we`re competing with countries like Vietnam that have
minimum wage between 49 cents and 70 cents an hour, and this is an
agreement that covers 12 countries, 60 percent of the global GDP, we --
what we`ve heard has not been good for labor.
SCHAKOWSKY: You know, even sometimes when there are strong rules. What
about enforcements? Often it just defaults to whatever law they pass in
their country. But there`s no enforcement to make sure that those laws
really protect workers.
SCHAKOWSKY: What we know of, this is a bad deal for American workers.
SCHULTZ: All right.
SCHAKOWSKY: And for American consumers.
SCHULTZ: And Congresswoman, what about the coalition that has been formed?
Is that a signal that they`re in trouble? That they really don`t have the
momentum? I mean, the election was back in November. It was one of the
first things that Mitch McConnell talked about. We`re now in the middle of
March and this hasn`t happened yet. What do you make of this?
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, I think most people may not understand that the first
step is what is called a vote on Fast Track. Trade Promotion Authority.
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, we give the White House the ability to negotiate this
deal, and then it`s just an up or down -- up or down vote. I don`t -- they
do not have the votes that I can see for this.
SCHULTZ: So if the vote were held today in Congress, it would not pass?
That`s what I`m hearing.
SCHAKOWSKY: I don`t see it.
SCHULTZ: If the vote were held today in Congress, it would not pass. You
don`t think so?
SCHAKOWSKY: I do not see it. No.
SCHAKOWSKY: I agree with you.
SCHULTZ: OK. Mr. Kernaghan, the -- Mr. Kernaghan, talk to me about Nike.
Do they care about fair labor practices? All the things that the anti-Fast
Track and TPP are talking about?
CHARLIE KERNAGHAN, INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL LABOR AND HUMAN RIGHTS: No, not at
all. In fact, Vietnam is one of Nike`s largest exporters to the United
States. And more than 40 percent of Nike shoes are made in Vietnam. And
right now we know on March 7th, 2015, Nike exported 52,000 pairs of
sneakers in Vietnam to the United States and what Nike paid for these
garments, these shoes, were $1.93. This is an enormous markup on their
And Vietnam right now, it`s a human rights situation which is in disaster.
It`s deteriorating very quickly. There`s bans on labor unions, political
parties, human rights organizations. Meanwhile, Nike has $25 billion in
revenues. So this is a bad deal all around.
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, what Mr. Kernaghan just said, did you know that
about Nike and Vietnam? And we keep hearing the White House talk about
SCHAKOWSKY: Yes, I was watching the video earlier today about some of the
working conditions at the Nike sweat shops around the world.
This would be our competition. And these would be standards that would
allow us to have to compete with those countries in a way that`s absolutely
impossible and would cost American jobs. I think that`s the really big
There`s nothing in the agreement about currency manipulation. There`s in
the agreement would allow corporations like Nike. If there were laws in
our country that would affect their bottom line, their profits, they could
actually make a protest against our own laws. Drug prices, we think are
going to go up around the world for consumers. Not only abroad, but even
here at home through this agreement.
These are all things that we have heard about, some have seen within the
agreement. And so, why would we want to have another bad trade agreement?
SCHAKOWSKY: This time affecting 16 percent of the GDP worldwide and 40
percent of the population.
SCHULTZ: And Mr. Kernaghan, explain to our audience, where is the upside
for American jobs?
KERNAGHAN: Zero. In Mexico workers are getting 54 cents an hour. In
Peru, they`re getting $1.16. These are all groups that are on -- in Chile,
$1.70. In other words we`re racing to the bottom. This is not a good
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Charlie Kernaghan, I appreciate
your time tonight.
We don`t know when the vote is going to take place. But all this debate
has been backed up to April. And clearly the grassroots effort against the
Fast Track, which of course connects the TPP, Fast Track will give the
president authority to say yes to this trade deal.
The pushback has been extraordinary. It is bipartisan pushback. And it`s
not over yet. America needs to pay attention to this.
Coming up, fighting against the Environmental Protection Agency. A new
mayor lawsuit challenges environmental standards. "Rapid Response" panel
weighs in on that.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. We have some breaking news at this
hour. Another American has been infected with Ebola. The individual was
volunteering at an Ebola treatment union -- unit in Sierra Leon, West
The worker will be transported back to the United States in isolation
tomorrow. The patient will then be admitted to a special unit at the
National Institute of Health in the state of Maryland.
We will keep you up to date on this story as it develops.
The Secret Service is working through yet another new scandal. Two high-
level agents have been reassigned. The Obama administration is
investigating whether the agents were drunk when they crashed their vehicle
through a security barricade at the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE: The
shine of the Secret Service has been rubbed off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News that the
men involved are George Ogilvie, a senior supervisor, and Mark Connolly,
the second in command on the president`s detail.
And in Minnesota, there are e-mail troubles for Governor Mark Dayton.
Republicans are upset because the Minnesota governor, who has created more
jobs than any other governor in the region, is using a private e-mail
We expect at any moment for Governor Dayton to be called in front of the
Benghazi Committee to see what he knows.
We love hearing from our viewers. Tonight in our "Ask Ed Live" segment,
our question is from Eugene.
Do you think the president can change his mind on the Transpacific
partnership? Like you did on the Keystone XL pipeline?
Do I think he can? Yes, I do think he can. And it would be easily
justified. Do I think he will? That`s the $64 question. But there is a
history of the president following the facts in the past, so I won`t give
Keep putting the pressure on the White House. They`re not perfect. We
have to make sure they do things right for American workers, as I see it,
and American the economy.
Stick around. "Rapid Response" panel is next.
SCHULTZ: And we are back. Republicans are crying over a new plan to cut
carbon emissions in America. This summer the Environmental Protection
Agency plans to enforce the Clean Power Plan on power plants. Now the new
regulations would aim to cut power plant emissions nationwide 30 percent by
the year 2030, compared to 2005 levels.
It`s the most sweeping federal regulations of power plant emissions in U.S.
history. Republicans are doing everything they can to block it. They
claim it kills jobs. And increasing power costs and on Wednesday the chair
of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said this plan is
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: While the EPA is busy selling this as a
plan to save the world from global warming, we know that this rule will
have minuscule impacts on the environment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Remember, James Inhofe is a science denier who throws snowballs
on the Senate floor and thinks global warming is a hoax.
That aside, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging states to fight the
EPA. Last week he wrote an op-ed urging state officials to hold back on
the costly process of complying. Some governors are listening. At this
point 18 state governors have been critical of the new EPA regulations.
Twelve states have filed a lawsuit against the EPA saying that they clean
power plan is illegal.
EPA administrator Gina McCarthy is pushing back. On Wednesday she said the
EPA will start regulating the clean power plant this summer. She said,
quote, "If folks are thinking any of those pieces aren`t going to happen,
they need to look at the history of the Clean Air Act more carefully. This
isn`t how we do business."
So we can come to the conclusion that the EPA is going to move forward and
there`s going to be a big legal fight ahead.
For more on this, let me bring in Jeff Holmstead. He is a pro-coal
attorney and former assistant EPA administrator. Tiernan Sittenfeld, joins
us tonight. She`s with the League of Conservation Voters, and Michael
Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.
Great to have all of you with us.
Mr. Homestead, you first. I broadcast for many years in North Dakota. I
know the coal situation there. The state has enough coal to power this
country, to turn the lights on for the next 900 years. And I have
researched the capturing of carbon emissions. I researched the scrubber
technology that has been put into the industry to the tune of millions.
Where does this take us? If the EPA moves forward with this, where is the
job killer? Because I`ve seen them move in the past to make adjustments.
Why couldn`t they move forward to make more adjustments when it comes to
I want to give you a chance to respond to that because I`m curious about
where the problem is here. Good to have you with us.
JEFF HOLMSTEAD, COAL LOBBYIST: Well, thanks. It`s great to be here.
First, there`s very little chance that this will actually be implemented.
It goes so far beyond anything that EPA has ever tried to do under the
Clean Air Act. I think the chance that it actually ends up -- stands up in
court are pretty small.
That said, I mean, I do agree with you. I think that the history of
technology has shown that we can develop new technology to make sure that
we continue to have affordable, reliable power, but the deadlines and the
haste with which this plan has been prepared doesn`t really let that
So, you know, I really do think that this is almost certainly illegal. And
I think when EPA comes out with a final rule this summer, it will look a
lot different from the proposal. Because they`ve heard from many, many
states. Even states that support EPA, that it just can`t be implemented.
SCHULTZ: The bottom line here, and to tell our audience, is that there`s a
computer model that the government has, and these plans have emissions, and
the emissions have to fall within that model.
Michael Brune, is the model changes? How drastic is this model going to
change? What does it mean?
MICHAEL BRUNE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SIERRA CLUB: Not that much. So, Ed,
here`s what`s been happening over the last five years. What we have seen
is that there has been a coal plant that has been announced for retirement
every 10 days over the last five years. And the reason for that is that
coal is one of the most dirty and dangerous and increasingly outdated forms
of energy that we have.
And almost every other form of energy is becoming more affordable, more
accessible, and more attractive to utilities across the U.S. We know on
the one hand that coal contributes to four out of the five leading causes
of death, and on the other hand, we know that solar is cheaper. Solar is
growing at 20 times -- 20 times faster than the rest of the economy. Wind
is often cheaper. The cost of wind has dropped by 90 percent.
So what you`re seeing is that utilities and now the EPA with the Obama
administration, is choosing to invest in the future rather than clinging to
SCHULTZ: OK. So, Tiernan, where`s the job -- where are the job killers
here? And how are the energy cost -- the opponents to these EPA
regulations say that energy costs are going to go up. How is that?
TIERNAN SITTENFELD, LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS: I think these are all
very good questions, Ed. This clean power plant is a common sense cost-
effective proposal. It gives states tremendous flexibility. And Mike was
just talk to -- speaking to the benefits of clean energy, renewable energy,
energy efficiency. States actually when they come up with their own
implementation plans have a lot of flexibility to meet their targets
through things like efficiency and more sun and more wind.
So we think this is win, win, win. This is really creating the good, clean
energy jobs of the future. It is going to protect the planet. It`s going
to protect public health. Especially society`s most vulnerable, the
elderly, children, people with breathing issues. This is a really common
A lot of people actually think that the EPA is already cutting carbon
pollution in the way that they`re cutting other hazardous pollutants. So
we are delighted to see --
SITTENFELD: -- the EPA building on its leadership and moving forward with
this plan. And we`re actually quite confident that it will be implemented.
SCHULTZ: So -- yes. Mr. Holmstead, where is the illegality here? What`s
illegal about this that the EPA is trying to implement?
HOLMSTEAD: EPA has taken a very small section of the Clean Air Act and
tried to turn it into a very expansive power that lets the EPA basically
restructure the way electricity is generated in this country. That`s not
what the provision was designed to do. It`s very clear from the history of
the provision. It`s been in the Clean Air Act since, what, 40 years. And
it does is it allows EPA to have states set a standard for an individual
power plant to reduce its emissions based on what you can do to reduce
emissions at that power plant.
EPA has taken that and said we`re going to use this and we`re going to
require states to build new wind and solar, and we`re going to require them
to take generation from some plants and give it to others. So those things
are actually happening in some states. I agree with that. And I think the
market is moving in the direction that people want in many ways but this
proposal goes so far beyond that. It`s just -- so what EPA is trying to do
just doesn`t work under the Clean Air Act.
SCHULTZ: Tiernan, what do you make of that?
SITTENFELD: Well, I have to respectfully disagree. I think that this, as
I said, a really common sense proposal. And I think the question for
states now is, are they going to side with a climate change denier, like
Senator McConnell, who is telling them to just say no. It`s not enough
that he said he wants to block the law in the Senate. He`s now urging
states not to do what`s in their own common interests to really be able to
build their own clean air economy that is unique and helpful for their
So I think they have a choice before them. Do they look to a clean energy
economy that`s going to protect consumers and that`s going to be good for
the economy and it`s going to protect the planet, or do they continue to
double down on the dirty energy of the past?
SCHULTZ: Yes. So, Michael, you think this can be implemented?
SCHULTZ: I mean you -- this is the biggest pushback I`ve seen on this.
BRUNE: You know, it`s just a lot of hand ringing. And particularly from
people like Senator McConnell, who are just doing the bidding of the big
polluters that help to put them into office. The Clean Air Act was a piece
of bipartisan legislation signed by President George Bush. The EPA has
used that legislation to regulate a whole host of sources of water and air
The Supreme Court has ruled that carbon pollution should be regulated by
the EPA. And that is what it`s doing.
BRUNE: What it is also doing is finding ways to encourage energy
efficiency, to encourage solar energy to be installed in more places across
the country, to encourage wind and energy storage to be used, and when we
do that, we`re not only do we keep the air clean, keep the water clean,
have a shot at fighting climate change, but we actually create more jobs
that can be found in the coal industry.
BRUNE: And we cut costs for -- for consumers across the country. It`s a
win, win, win.
SCHULTZ: You don`t agree with that, Mr. Holmstead?
HOLMSTEAD: Well, I think that`s just silly. If all that were to happen,
if this is really such a great deal, people would be doing it anyway. You
don`t need an EPA regulation.
BRUNE: And they are. They are.
HOLMSTEAD: Well, great.
BRUNE: Oklahoma, Oklahoma is retiring its coal plants.
HOLMSTEAD: No, no -- absolutely. People are retiring coal plants that
don`t make sense economically. That`s certainly true.
BRUNE: OK. Well, let`s talk about what`s happening in Iowa and in
Oklahoma and in Kansas and in Nebraska, South Dakota and Texas, where coal
plants are coming down, wind is being installed. Solar is being installed,
and rate payers are paying less money. Less money. We are saving money by
getting off of coal while we protect our health.
I understand that somebody --
SCHULTZ: Mr. Holmstead, I`ll give you the last word.
BRUNE: That`s you, Jeff.
SITTENFELD: I`ll take the last word.
HOLMSTEAD: Michael is very clever, but -- if, in fact, all those things
are true, we wouldn`t need an EPA regulation. EPA admits --
SCHULTZ: All right. Great to have all of you with us tonight. We`ll have
you back talking about this. All of you. Thanks so much.
The fight against corporate greed. Keep it right here. We`re right back
on the ED SHOW here on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: And tonight the two-minute drill, a heartwarming story out of
Wisconsin. Middle school basketball players in Kenosha are taking a stand
against bullying. When a cheerleader with down syndrome was being bullied
by someone in the crowd, players intervened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: These three boys were in the middle of a game when
they heard something upsetting directed at one of their cheerleaders, a
girl who dances to her own beat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So when I heard that they were talking about her, like,
it kind of made me mad.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Basketball players stepped to action, walked off
the court and asked the bully to stop.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not fair when other people get treated wrong
because we`re all the same. We`re all created the same. God made us the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Desiree and the boys on the basketball team are now friends. And
they walk to class together.
We`ll be right back on THE ED SHOW.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. This is the story for the folks who
take a shower after work. The income inequality gap is just not closing in
this country. Wall Street is still helping the rich get richer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Profits have kind of edged down, and yet the bonus pool
continues to move up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Despite falling profits, the average bonus on Wall Street rose to
nearly $173,000 last year. It`s the highest average payout since 2007
right before the financial crisis. The 2014 bonus pool is double the
annual pay for more than one million American workers who work full time
for $17.25 an hour.
To put it in perspective, the bonus pool was so big, it would be more than
enough to lift 6.6 million minimum wage workers up to the $15 per hour
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM WEBB (D), FORMER VIRGINIA SENATOR: If you have capital assets, chances
are you`re doing fine. For most U.S. workers real wages have been flat or
even falling for decades. The average wage peaked about 40 years ago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The profits are only helping a small number of shareholders.
Corporations are helping themselves by doing stock buybacks. Last year
corporations spent about $700 billion propping up share prices by
repurchasing their own stock.
On Monday, for instance, General Motors announced a $5 billion stock buy-
back. The buy-back combined with high dividends is expected to result in
$10 billion for shareholders through 2016, essentially rewarding the
investors and throwing taxpayers who bailed the company out in 2009 right
under the bus.
Nick Hanauer is a venture capitalist and tech entrepreneur, he joins me
tonight on this subject.
Nick, good to have you with us. There`s a lot of good numbers in this
NICK HANAUER, VENTURE CAPITALIST AND TECH ENTREPRENEUR: Yes.
SCHULTZ: You know, we`re scratching 18,000 again on the stock market, the
market up today, 259. A lot of good numbers, a lot of inequalities. What
fixes this, Nick?
HANAUER: You know, you know, the central claim of the trickle-down crowd
is that concentrated capital, the profits of corporations are the things
that drives growth and creates a thriving middle class. And indeed, as you
know, profits for the last 30 years have doubled from about 6 percent of
GDP to 12 percent of GDP. That`s another trillion dollars.
And so the idea is that the more money corporations make, the more jobs
they create, the higher wages they pay, and the more they invest. And the
thing that is just shocking is that that is a complete lie, that every year
today American public corporations are spending $700 billion not on wages,
not on investments in plant and equipment, but in buying their own stock
back to jack stock prices.
And Ed, this explains why the stock market can be at 18,000, but business
in middle America is still crummy. And that`s because essentially there`s
a $700 billion a year game of financial keep-away being played between
America`s biggest companies and Wall Street.
SCHULTZ: What`s your reaction to the perspective on the GM stock buy-back?
HANAUER: Yes --
SCHULTZ: I mean, this is an industry that was helped by the taxpayer, now
look at it.
HANAUER: You know, Ed, this is just typical. GM -- as shocking as those
numbers are, GM is not a standout. Wal-Mart has spent about $65 billion
over the last 10 years on stock buy-backs, too, at the same time that they
impoverish most of their workers. At the same time that the public spends
about $6 billion a year on food stamps and other programs that are required
by Wal-Mart workers because they`re so underpaid.
I mean, this problem is endemic, and just to be clear, I want to be
transparent. I am now and have been before director of public companies.
I`ve done stock buy-backs, too. As a director of a public company, you
can`t -- you basically cannot avoid it anymore. It is pervasive, and it`s
a practice that needs to stop.
SCHULTZ: We are going to have you back to talk more about this. This is
part of the economy that does not get enough attention.
Nick Hanauer, your experience certainly appreciate it on THE ED SHOW
tonight. Thanks so much. We`ll do it again.
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Shultz. "POLITICSNATION" with Reverend Al
Sharpton starts right now.
Good evening, Rev.
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