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Mr. Chairman, as one charged by the President and the Congress with the protection of the environment, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before your Committee and address myself to the environmental questions which have arisen concerning the appropriation to continue the development of the Supersonic Transport.
One of my duties as environmental protector is to examine critically every proposed Federal project to determine its impact on the environment, and to oppose that project if it is not consistent with my Presidential and Congressional charge.
To be more specific, if the Congress were being asked today to appropriate monies to construct, or assist in the construction of a commercial fleet of, say 300 or even 500 SST's before many of the critical environmental questions were answered, I would oppose this request for an appropriation.
This, of course, is not what the Administration is requesting of the Congress. The request is for the money to continue in the development of two experimental airplanes to determine their commercial feasibility.
Before these two experimental planes should ever be translated into a commercial fleet, all of the environmental questions regarding noise, sonic boom, radiation effects from the possible reduction of ozone, cosmic radiation effects on passengers and crew, climatic effects from ozone reduction, increased water vapor or increased dust particles in the stratosphere, the effect of increased oxides of nitrogen in the stratosphere and any others that may arise, must be answered.
This Administration is committed to getting those answers before commercial production proceeds.
This commitment is not new. Then why, one might ask, the environmental furor?
The argument is that once the two experimental planes are built, the momentum of the program will be such that there will be no stopping it. Too much money will have been invested and too many jobs will be at stake to halt the commercial development of the SST. It must be admitted that there is historical validity to this argument. In the past the momentum of large-scale programs has had a way of insuring the perpetuation of those programs regardless of their merit.
If we subscribe to the inevitability of history being repetitive then the momentum argument is unassailable. I do not so subscribe.
Technological projects can be stopped if their continuation is found to be environmentally unsound. The recent Presidential decision regarding the CrossFlorida Barge Canal is a case in point. Indeed, they must be stopped if man is to control his own destiny. We have reached a point in the history of man and his habitat where man's activities must constantly be measured against their environmental impact.
It is our intention to insure that such measurements are made in connection with this project.
It is also argued that the environmental measurement can be made without developing the two experimental airplanes. While this statement is not without controversy, it appears that most of the environmental questions can be answered without the two prototypes. The question of whether to continue with the development of the two experimental airplanes is not an environmental one (no one contends the two planes will have any significant impact on the environment), but rather is one of economics. It is the position of the Administration that if all the environmental concerns are satisfied and our country is to remain competitive with the British-French Concorde and the Russian TU-144, we must not now cease completion of the testing of the two experimental airplanes.
I am not an economist and cannot answer all of the economic questions many of you gentlemen have. Other witnesses here today have tried to convince you of the economic wisdom of proceeding with the program. I am charged with protecting the environment.
I do not see technological experimentation as inconsistent with that charge. Nor do I believe that when there are economic reasons for proceeding we as a society must cease technological experimentation because the ultimate use of that experimentation might be environmentally damaging. If the environmental impact proves to be adverse, then the technology must not be used. Such a conclusion does not detract from the economic arguments to proceed with the experiment nor does the present environmental concern by itself warrant it.
I believe we can control our technology so as to maximize its benefits and 41 the same time preserve and protect our environment.
The mindless onrush of technology must be stopped. The rational applicatia of our scientific and technological ability, giving full attention to the environ mental impact of that application, must proceed.
It's the difference between saying "Stop the world, I want to get off," and "Look before you leap."
The latter approach must make more sense to a society that wants to survive.
Chairman ELLENDER. Any further questions?
I note that you state that a very recent Boeing advertisement criticizes it as a high-risk investment. I would think that would be under standable.
The research and development cost of practically all of our planes, including military planes, is a billion dollars or more
. There are re search and development costs now of the F-14 and 15 that we are going ahead, which are estimated at more than a billion dollars.
Do you think that because of this cost, we should quit a project such as this, when the Russians have a fighter now that flies faster and higher than anything we have?
Dr. RATHJENS. Senator, I wouldn't compare these at all. I think that one quite legitimately takes much larger risks in aircraft development when one is doing it for military purposes, and one isn't concerned about return on investment. One isn't concerned about the Government's getting a return on the money that it has to go out and borrow to finance these things, but I don't believe that the SST is an aircraft that one should look at in terms of national security at all
, The F-14 and the F-15 are very different kinds of aircraft, and I think they should be looked at entirely differently. BRITISH AND FRENCH JOINT EFFORT AND U.S. PRIVATE CAPITAL CAPABILITY
Senator Young. The British and French found their part of the SST project so expensive that two Governments joined together; neither Government felt they could finance them alone. When two Governments, sizable ones, have to join together in research and development of an SST, do you think one industry in this country could do it alone, without involving high risks?
Dr. RATHJENS. There is risk, but I am persuaded that if the ex: pected benefits were consistent with the risk, the private capital would become available in this country to finance it. It certainly has in other large projects.
We don't find the oil companies going out and trying to borrow money to develop the Alaskan oil. Now, I have my reservations about that development, but that looks like an attractive kind of proposition, and private capital is made available, and I think that I am enough of a believer in free enterprise to believe that this country can benefit by letting the market economy operate, and we will do very much better if we do.
We could do it like the Russians do, and we could do it like the British and French do. I think that would be a grave mistake.
Senator Young. I note that you are a professor of political science at MIT, presently.
Dr. RATHJENS. Yes; I am.
Senator Young. Wouldn't you consider this a high-risk issue poa litically, for a Member of the Senate like me? It is not popular in my State, but sometimes we have to make decisions that are unpopular.
Dr. RATHJENS. Well, I really didn't know whether it was popular in your State or not, Senator.
Senator Young. No; it is not too popular. It is easier to take the other side.
Chairman ELLENDER. Any further questions?
Senator MAGNUSON. I just want to ask the Doctor—you doubt that 100 planes will be sold?
Dr. RATHJENS. I do. Yes.
Senator MAGNUSON. What do you think about the fact that, and this is 4 years from production, we have 122 position places ordered ?
Dr. RATHJENS. I don't think that necessarily means that those orders will be filled.
Senator Magnuson. It means something to the planning of an airline.
You are not an economist, are you?
Senator MAGNUSON. Have you ever worked for an airline as an economist?
Dr. RATHJENS. No; I have not.
Senator MAGNUSON. Well, they have to pay attention to their profits and losses, their private enterprise. And they think it is all right, to take this step and, I don't know, maybe they should consult with you about it.
Dr. RATHJENS. Senator, I would suggest that there would be some of those orders that were probably placed when the airlines were in a lot better financial position than they are now.
Senator MAGNUSON. I don't discount your own feeling about this, but the experts in the field-not you; the experts in the airline economy field-all feel different. Naturally, they don't want to make a bad investment. I heard these same arguments before the first jets were sold, exactly the same, and I will dig them out for you. Not to clutter the record, but we had people, so-called experts, that were not in the airline business, that came down and said, “Oh, this is a terrible thing.”
And we are not experts, either, and we appreciate your testimony, but we have to weigh it, don't we, with the people who are responsible for these corporate decisions?
Dr. RATHJENS. Certainly, you do.
Senator Magnuson. The airline presidents who are going to be responsible for it. But we do appreciate your testimony, and there are a lot of people who feel the way you do, but not the corporate officials that are going to have to pay the bill.
Dr. RATHJENS. I agree. You should weigh their testimony. And they do have to pay part of the bill, but what I am concerned about
OPPOSITION TO USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS
Senator Magnuson. No; I meant went the airlines buy the plane.
Dr. RATHJENS. Yes; but I am concerned about the bill that we will have to pay before then, and I say we, the taxpayers. I don't see why we should do it. I think that those who are going to fly the airplane should pay for it, the private industry.
Senator Magnuson. You say it will never be paid back. I think it will. And we are, neither one of us, experts in airline economics are we?
Dr. RATHJENS. No, but if enough—but those people in this country who are experts in capital investment
Senator MAGNUSON. In the economy of airlines?
Dr. RATHJENS. In the economy of airlines and in the whole ques tion of getting a decent return on the dollar, I believe, would make the judgment that they do not want to finance this. That is why the (torernment is in it. And I do not believe it should be so. I think the private economy ought to carry it.
Senator MAGNUSON. Would you suggest we buy the Concorde instead?
Dr. RATHJENS. You mean whether the American airlines should buy it?
Senator Magnuson. Yes. Well, they do have orders in for it, it we don't do anything; would you suggest that they buy the Concorde!
Dr. RATHJENS. I would certainly not.
Dr. RATHJENS. It strikes me as a much less attractive aircraft than even our SST.
Chairman ELLENDER. Any further questions?
WITNESS' PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE
Senator ALLOTT. Mr. Chairman.
Senator Allort. I would like to ask you a couple of questions,
As I understand it, you were trained as a chemist. Is that correct!
Senator Allort. Are you testifying today as a political scientist or as a chemist?
Dr. RATHJENS. I would not say, Senator, that I am testifying as either. I am testifying as a concerned citizen. I have looked at the problem as best I could, taking into account the combination of largely technical considerations and economic considerations.
Senator ALLOTT. Well, you just stated that you were not an an: thority on economics
. You state now that you are not testifying either as a chemist or a political scientist, and I take it you are just testifying
, then, on a broad, general feeling as to how you feel about this thing. Is that correct?
Dr. RATHJENS. I would not say that is quite correct, Senator. I should perhaps elaborate a little on my background.
Senator ALLOTT. I have your background in the record here. Not all of it, I am sure.
Dr. RATHJENS. No. May I comment very briefly on that?
During many of those years I have been engaged in neither chemper le istry nor in political science, but in directing large groups of people
who conducted analyses of large-scale systems, military and civilian, mostly for the Government of the United States.
For example, in the Institute for Defense Analyses, I had under my direction approximately 100 people, perhaps a third of them with
Ph.D.s. These included economists, they included engineers, they inplebs cluded scientists, they included historians, political scientists, the whole
range, and by capitalizing on their diverse talents I think we were able to bring to bear on the problems which we undertook for the Defense Department more effective analytical tools than one could have done with either of the talents of a single political scientist or a single chemist or a single economist.
So while my training was originally in chemistry, I have spent most of my professional life doing analytical work for the Government on problems that are roughly of the scale of the SST decision, and in directing the work of others who were engaged in such works.
So I don't think that my background is entirely irrelevant and while I am testifying here as a concerned citizen, and partly on the basis of my gut feelings, it also is based on some background.
Senator ALLOTT. Well, I am happy to have that analysis. I think you have expressed it very well.
FAMILIARITY WITH PROJECT
Dr. RATHJENS. As I tried to respond to Senator Ellender, I believe, my only exposure, my first exposure, was when I was with the Institute for Defense Analyses, and they did some studies for the FAA on the problem at that time. I was not directly involved, but I reviewed that work.
Now, subsequently, my only connection has been in teaching at MIT, where we have in 2 successive years treated the SST problem as an interesting case study in public policy decisionmaking, and in connection with that I of course looked into it and consulted with other people and brought in other experts.
1959-1960 GOVERNMENT POSITION
Senator ALLOTT. Now, in 1959 and 1960 you were a Special Assistant for Science and Technology to President Eisenhower, according to your résumé I have in these hearings. Is that correct?
Dr. RATHJENS. No. If it says that, it is incorrect. I was on the staff of the President's Science Advisers.
Senator ALLOTT. Just so there will be no mistake about what I am talking about, I am talking about the hearings on strategic and foreign policy implications of ABM systems, before the U.S. Senate in the 91st session, and I am referring specifically to the biographical sketch that was placed in the record at that time, on page 355 of those hearings. I read from that.
And so this is not correct, the statement I read?