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Senate | July 22, 2015 | Committee Room | Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee

Full MP3 Audio File

Good morning welcome to the senate agriculture environment natural resources committee today our sergeant at arms Terry Bornhard It's a man, right back there that's a man, Catan Luis, there he is. Halod, here we go we will protect we got some pages today if you would I want to call your name jump up and say hi tell us a little bit about yourself I will appreciate that first is Mary Kushion, does she know that alright thank you. Next one we have is Joe Roday? Rodrey okay. Thank you, Justin Burr. Chase Cross. Thank you Riz Nerserly. Alright. Taylor Dozier. Alright welcome. Last but not least Sam Stein. Say do we know your father? That worked out well then didn't it? Thank you all for participating, I hope you enjoy your week. Alright Sen. Brock now we can start, Hi lets get it on first one up is HB553 ordinance regulating animals Rep. Mcgready Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the committee this is a bill that will broadly restrict local government regulating livestock including cows, chicken sources, the bill is an attempt to ward off a spade of local ordinances that could set different standards for housing feeding and caring of livestock, a little background Buncombe County passed an ordinance that tried to establish a standard of care for livestock including horses. And this bill makes clear that responsibility for setting a standard of care for animals lies with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture And Consumer affairs. I think what's important is, to know is the bill specifically doesn't restrict local governments from using their police powers do deal with issues related to public safety or health. In other words a city could address an issue where horses weren't being properly feed or emaciated. This is really trying to hit that sweet spot on the one hand we don't want a spade of ordinances that would set different standards of care for let's say horses across the state or cows across the state, believing that that appropriately ought to be determined in one place by the state department. On the other hand I was county commissioner And I know we sometimes deal with animal welfare issues, where owners of animals aren't taking care of their animals. The bill isn't intended to get into that area, nothing here restricts the city or county from using the powers that they've currently got. They've also got zoning powers. So again, it's hopefully hit the switch rod. To my knowledge there was no opposition stated to the bill when it came before the house, brought support obviously within the agricultural community, and

Representative Whitmire is one of my co-sponsor with me, I just want to recognize he's here and I'll stop right there Mr. Chairman. Thank you, I believe we've an amendment. We do Mr. Chairman. Please. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Members, I've an amendment that sort of clarifies what a farm, the definition Farm animals and what we're doing is excluding poultry flocks comprised of fewer than 20 birds from the definition of farm animals and we appreciate your support. Is there any discussion or comments on the amendment? Mr. Chairman, again I really don't have any opinion on the amendment one way or the other. I don't think it seriously affects the bill, and so I'm fine with it. Thank you, Senator Rabin. Thank you. This is a question if I may direct it through the Chair to Senator Jackson. Yes Sir please do. I'm reading this poultry flocks on Page 1, line 26, would line 15 need the same clarification or not? Mr. Chairman, to my knowledge this clarifies what we need to clarify to appease the folks in the cities that want to regulate fewer than 20 birds. Thank you Mayor, may I just follow up with a statement? Please do. My question was maybe we should have stuff to look at this, section one and section two seem to read the same as we clarify poetry [xx] and I don't know whether as a matter of facts that we should clarify on both places or not may be I'm missing the point I don't know it doesn't matter I just want them please stop. Would you agree with the amendment, cause I agree with the amendment. I would agree with Senator Ray Ban and lets see what stuff he has to say for this Thank you Mr. Chairman, certainly could be amended to apply both I think in this case it only applying into the cities just because the proximity to other properties in Counties you tend to have bigger properties while it might not be quite as necessary to for example to regulate you know the construction of the shelter, housing the amount space needed or anything like that where in cities you may need more restrictions on the type of shelter, that for example of a a small of flock at the backyard chickens would be kept in. So your recommendation  is to probably amend the amendment? No No? That's not positive. Thank you Mr. Chairman I'm happy with that, thank you. Thank you. So the amendment is before us, all in favor say aye, Aye I'll again say no PI7 and the it's included we're back on the Bill as amended. Anybody have any questions or comments? Senator Paul. Thank You Sir. Seeing no others the Bill is before you, all in favor say Aye! Aye! Oppose, No! Thank you very much. Thank you senator. Bill passes thank you for your time. we're going to change a little bit, we're now going to 638. I believe representative Chris Mills is going to talk to us about this? Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I will be very brief and be happy to answer any questions that you all may have. It is already existing federal law as well as state compliance that, if there's any impact to federally regulated wetlands that we as a state or individuals have to mitigate for those whether the DOT projects go through or the aspects of private development, there's the combination that is existing law of a state aspect of actually providing mitigation and we also have private mitigation bankers. All this bill seeks to do is to capitalize on the we fact that we're already doing these mitigation bags and DOT is doing is charging Dinner to coordinate with wildlife so third party groups interested in actually capitalizing on these existing platinum banks to create sports men and hunting opportunities for the aspects of waterfowl and other game. It costs no tax dollars whatsoever we actually believe it could lead to more efficiency especially coordinated with the

army [xx] of how they treat our district in what actually achieves let the mitigation credits and what does not also it disallows wildlifes monies to go further instead of them creating types of water [xx] and poulets[sp?] from scratch they can now coordinate by way of these banks as well as a lousy third party groups these nonprofits then to invest to actually provide the groceries for the actual wildlife in actually allow their monies to get further, so I think its a win-win for everybody I will ask you to look at page one line 14 to 15 we make sure that it's in the charge that federal mitigation credits will be pursued without increasing the cost of achieving those credits so no bureaucracy created No additional costs and we hope this coordination provides more efficiency and more opportunity for a narrowly cheaper mitigation critics, for DOT and proud individuals, but also more sports and opportunities for our citizens. Thank you Representative Mills. Is there any questions or comments? Yes sir, Representative Reuben. Thank you Mr. Chairman, yes I do have a question and I know this will be a bit convoluted, but we've recently passed or at least voted on some legislation, directing the department of transportation to work with the private sector or individuals, rather than with or, along with working with Dinah on certain projects. My concern is the following not every county has private mitigation lands in it and so I can see a problem arising, if we have Dina[sp?] sell their property or liquidate their property in certain areas because there may not be mitigable properties in that county or in that drainage, as we go forward in developing our infrastructure. I don't know, it's just a thought that popped in my head and I would think that, [xx] do you have any thoughts on that? Senator great comments and I fully agree with everything that you shared here. This language here does not yet impact any aspects of that dispute or those aspects between public or private, this basically just allows wildlife and Dina[sp?] to coordinate together whether it's a pubic mitigation bank or a private mitigation bank, it's just to capitalize on it and to coordinate their efforts in order to them provide sport turn opportunities. The aspects on page two that has anything to do with actually providing the option, that option still stands for public or private, but has the proper permitting transfer and long term operation and maintenance, it just allows this non profits if they are alike, especially when you come in to whether is a private sportsman opportunity or a public sportsman opportunity to take down those lands but nothing changes about the credits, it's after the credits are achieved and the project is in long term operation maintenance, but the great comments. I understand it. Thank you Mr Chairman. Thank you, is there any other comments or questions? Representative Steinburg  Excuse me Senator, I din't mean to upgrade you. Thank you Mr Chairman, I appreciate that, you use the word forced, forced and through forced when you said a minute ago forced litigation. Mr Chair may I. Please. I don't recall, this basically doesn't force anybody, were already forced by federal law that if we impact federally regulated weapons, whether through DOD transportation projects or through privatized specks but we have to mitigate and therefore that creates the fact that this one of the mitigation banks are already there current law, we're just looking to capitalize off of them voluntarily, this bill only has to do with voluntary measures in core nations. The federal law outside our preview is whats enforced upon us. Okay, would you talk just for a moment about the forest federal aspect just for our information. Please do sir. Great question Senator [xx], I'm more than happy to talk about that, its a bit outside the purview of this bill but in terms it is related in terms of context, if we one of the state or the aspects of private individual impact what is considered waters of

the US in is actually delineated and approved by the army core of engineers as being a federally regulated retnance, you cant impact it but if you actually are able to get a permit to impact it then you have to mitigate. You have to basically provide water mitigation elsewhere and that hits is the reason why that in water sheds like Senator Raymond shared with us that don't have private mitigation banks the state by what those public mitigation banks publicly that way we can do transportation projects as well as private development on but again that's forced upon us by the feds and that's kind of how an individual who is not the director [xx] briefest response given to you how that kind of plays out of creating the banks but again ill stress without creating the banks we're just capitalizing off of it and allowing our wildlife dollars and sportsman dollars to go further  Thank you sir, are there any questions and comments?  Senator please thankyou thank you Mr chair. Just curious is there any opposition to this Great question I have not received the opposition to this I wasn't in-house we heard some of the [xx] groups so make sure and clear that the actual permit and the requirements in long time operations minutes is conveyed if this actual obligations to change hands as a part of getting us opportunities but we clarify that and I believe we have got few supporting green lights all the way round. Please So regarding the concern that you heard the access, to continue to access the computer earlier if there's having a [xx] number three ready to continue the level of access. So even if it were to change hands to another private industry that as to maintain continuous the public will continue to have the access?  Yes. Please answer. Yes in response to that this measure was vetted by those who had issue and those issues were addressed containing the aspect of access as well. A Again since we are actually dealing with public and private at the same time we are going to make sure we are not transferring something that is not exist before. So the answer to your question is yes that has been addressed and it is reflected in this current language. Any further questions or comments? Senator Ford. Thank you Senator Cook do we have any one in the audience who wish to speak on this bill? Is there any one in the audience who wants to speak on this bill? [xx] and Jordan Bryant did you have something? I was going to make a motion for favorable report. Thank you appreciate we have motion for favorable report all in favor say I, I! All opposed say no. Passes, thank you sir. [xx] alright he's going [xx] Alright next on our agenda will be the house bill 571. Senator Trudy Wade was going to present. Thank you. There is a PCS on, is that right? Yes sir. Motion to accept the PCS, Senator Raven thank you. All in favor say I, I! All oppose like samer[sp?] thank you very much please begin sorry. Thank you very much. Well this PCS does one thing. It simply prohibits any state agency, board or commission from adoptive role expending funds or taking any other action to develop a state plan or implement the EPA clean power plan. Until such a time as federal, judicial review has been fully resolved or July 1st, 2016, whichever is later. Basically it's a wait and see what's going to happen with the new EPA claim power plan. We know there's got to be litigation over this, and before we expand a lot of resources and money

implementing the plan that we don't know what's going to happen before it goes through the courts. We're just asking that we wait until we see what happens and that's all that this does.comments and questions Senator Stan B, you're now a senator. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Senator, this plan is this, could you just briefly, comment on the plan say of maybe just a few comments may be 500 pages [xx] it may take a half a day but is that something you two could possibly do? I'm just curious. Senator [xx] would you like to do that? Would you like somebody from staff to do that? No, I'm okay. Senator this plan is not completed yet and it might be completed by August and it continually changes, and it's about carbon emissions from power plants. Any further question or comments from the, yes sir senator Jackson. Senator Wade I understand what you're trying to do with this bill and I'm not saying that I'm against it, there is just one section that I'm worried might cause the state some money in litigation that's section two. So the basic ideas that as u said that there won't be religation about this matter now I am 100% certain that you are right about that and we are going to wait until that litigation results in order to implement this steps and I think there is physical argument for doing that whoever the concern is that the very last line says until this federal judicial review is resolved, or July 1st, 2016 whichever is later my concern is that if the judicial review is resolved before July 1st, 2016. We've now kind of forced a little constitutional crisis here, because now say it's resolved and not in our favor, I have no idea how it'll be resolved, say it's resolved not in our favor. But that happens before July 1st 2016 and we invoking this refuse to implement any of these rules. We've now opened ourselves up to litigation brought by the federal government and all they would have to say is more Bury verses Madison we're in willful disobedience of a lawful federal order. And I guess my question is shouldn't be whichever is sooner rather than whichever is later. I would suggest that we get back into session next May, so we could change it, but Senator Trudy Wade please say a respond. Thank you Mr. Chairman and that was exactly what I was going to say it could be changed at any time, and we know there's probably going to be more than one lawsuits since there's already been one already in the rules haven't even been completed. And the way things are going we probably be here straight on through. Just a good tool at this remark. Any other comments or questions? Senator Angela Bryant. Thank you Senator Cook. I was going to ask Senator Wade, our staff, if we weren't doing this bill and we weren't waiting and seeing what will our obligations be, under of whatever is the latest version of the plan or the requirements. So we'll know what we're not doing if you know what I'm saying. So you want to have the staff to respond to that? Yes. Yeah, please. As Senator Wade noted the EPA is still working on the plan and the details changed so I don't know what the exact requirements are, the general outline of the various versions have been there several years for the states to start developing plans and to comply with state plans to comply with the federal requirements. States could have the option for various reasons of asking for extensions but I think, the initial step with states would start developing plans to respond to the deadlines that were probably two or three years from the EPA requirements so they probably not going to require states submittal plans for several years but states will start working on those. Okay, follow up? Please, please. So I'm I taking it from that answer that a year from now is not a major impediment to whatever will be probably obligated to do. Please respond to that. I don't know that I can answer that question, I don't know what the plan is going to look like, the federal requirements, I don't know how long it might take a state to prepare a plan, so I can't really answer that. One more follow up Mr. Chair? Follow up please. I see that Senator Wade wants

to respond which is great, but I also wanted to see if Dina had a position on this since they might know what it takes as well as any our people, members of the public. Thank you  Thank you. Did you want to say something? Yes, thank you Mr. Chair. Certainly if we don't develop plan in time, we will have the federal plan, so we won't be without a plan. And as far as The Secretary [xx] be here, but he has testified before congress several times on the [xx] and if he's here I'll let him speak but [xx] please join us at the podium and give us your thoughts. Chairman thanks very much for allowing me to just chat here is very complicated rule making process both on the federal and the State side. The rule in itself just answer that question is pretty simple, it converts our electricity system from a least cost system from a dispatch standpoint to carbon based system that's extremely expensive, it will increase our electricity rates, it will make our manufacturing sector more difficult to compete and will impact our poorest signatory the most. What the problem is as I've stated in front of the congress a couple of times is that the EPA has chose the wrong vehicle to implement this on the cleaner act and we have asked and received support from our federal delegation a bill that was passed out of the house. All 10 of our 13 Representatives voted  in favor of it for exactly what gentleman [xx] is asking at the State level. Unfortunately a stay at the state level will eventually tie our hands in our efforts to successfully litigate this. I've been working with other states to try to respond to this plan by submitting the only part of the plan building block one that could considerably be considered legal, and so we need to have that prepared and then if the EPA rejects it, we'll have another chance to challenge the rule. We certainly appreciate the efforts of Chairman [xx] and others on trying to get the EPA's attention on this thought out rule and we have to remember from an environmental stand point North Carolina is going to meet President Obama's stated initiative. Over 30% reduction in GHTs from 2005 baseline date. So we've managed to do that without any federal help. Thank you very much so the environmental aspects of this bill are non-consequential, but it is consequential on that if we cannot put forth any plan at all will be allowing the EPA to take over the world's greatest electricity generating system. So I'm very concerned about the approach we can describe steps that we can take to do our best in trying to correct this rule if it comes out as proposed and I'm happy to take any question, but thank you very much for the opportunity to speak. I believe Senator comment. Thank you Mr. Secretary and just to make sure that I'm clear on this, does not this more have to do with the we kind of wait to see the next EPA plan because the original plan that they submitted was challenged in court, Michigan the EPA and on June 29th the Supreme Court told the EPA to go back and rework their plan, and before the state spends a lot of resources in putting the plan together we should just wait to find out what the EPA's final plans fall on a day before we go down that road.  Actually that was another it's alright, please. Actually that was another rule, that was a perfect illustration of what we're facing now. That was a rule that attempted to control mercury from coal fire power plants. It took years to litigate, in the meantime our utilities had to submit plans and spend money to comply with the rule, that was ultimately overthrown, overturned. And that's exactly what Chairman Treaty and what we're trying to do in this case to prevent. Unfortunately only because this

is a federal rule. We're going to challenge the rule as soon as it comes up, but o give us the best and the most number of chances of correcting this, we need to also submit a plan that we think is consistent with the Clean Air Act so that the EPA doesn't simply have to say, North Carolina didn't submit anything and so we can immediately impose the federal plan on our utilities. I think we can work together to get those working in the right direction but because of the dual nature, the fact that the federal government can impose these plans with or without our participation. We need to submit building block one. Thank you secretary. Are there any further folks in the audience who want to make any comments or speak? anybody else? Yes sir, please give me your name and represent who? Yeah, thank you Mr. Chair and the committee members for allowing me to address this committee substitute. Good morning my name is Harby Richman I live in Kari, North Carolina I retired five years ago from the US EPA office of air and radiation and currently I'm a volunteer leader with the North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club and I serve as the co-chair of the Sierra Club Clean Power Plan for North Carolina committee. I'm here this morning to urge the committee to oppose the PCS that's been offered. The original bill 571 passed overwhelming with five Patterson support in the North Carolina house. The original bill clause on Dina to develop a claim power plan for North Carolina in consultation with the environmental management commission and the utilities commission as well as creates an advisory board and a process to involve all major stakeholders that have a role in or are impacted by energy policy in our state. Other South Eastern state are already ahead of North Carolina in creating mechanisms to include stakeholder involvement, South Carolina has been holding monthly meeting and Georgia has had a stakeholder group since last August and it's met three times since then. It's time for North Carolina trying to initiate a public stakeholder process so that the clean power plan develop for our state is done in a transparent way that includes both public and private interests and how we'll produce electricity in the years to come. As the secretary just said if Dina does not develop a suitable clean power plan for North Carolina within one year from EPA finalizing its rule which is expected in the next few weeks, then EPA will end up writing and implementing a federal implementation plan or fit for North Carolina. As much as I respect my former colleagues at EPA I'm confident this committee and North Carolinians will be much happier with a plan developed by Dina with public stakeholder input. It is in the best interest of North Carolinians that North Carolinians develop and implement a clean power plan for our state and not the federal government. This PCS enacts moratorium on work on the clean power plant until litigation is completed. Having worked on the national air and quality standard which were often litigated and and that process of this sector takes many years took four to five years in each case to get to the supreme court generally federal courts have not allowed injunctions during these legal challenges, so the requirement is submit a plan or the theft would still remain. HP571 is passed by the house off as a balanced and sensible approach to develop a clean power plan that will move us forward and provide economic and environmental benefits and regatory certainty, for the electricity sector in our state. Thank you for allowing me to address the community this morning. Thank you. Is there anybody else? Yes sir. Please come to the podium. Mr. Chairman, the committee, thank you. My name is Donald Bryson State Director for Americans for Prosperity. On behalf of thousands of Americans for Prosperity's gregarious activists across North Carolina, thank you for this opportunity to voice our support, this proposed committee substitute for House Bill 571. The most pressing energy issue facing North Carolina is the negative impact of the Obama administration's clean power plan specifically the 111D regulations on the existing power plants. These rules go far beyond a typical OEPA rural can included into the wind pipe every North Carolina resident and business who rely on electricity. Everybody manufacturing agriculture Joules will be impacted as a result of the emission reduction requirements under the proposed 111B regulations. North Carolina consumers are expected to see a spike of 14% in wholesale electricity prices, such an increase in household prices will increase the household budget and will have profound impact on low income and elderly north Carolinian on fixed incomes. The further really straight the point, the institute for 21st century energy analysis on EPA rule state quote, overall South Atlantic would be the hardest hit in terms of the GDP in employment declination. Its GDP losses make up about one fifth of total

US GDP losses, end quote. under the EPA's new regulations, these PCS will ensure that North Carolina electric consumers are the senior of the decision making process [xx]. People will continue to talk about stake holder meetings on energy, stake holder meeting on energy, the most important stake holders in North North Carolina is energy the rate payers. You can also read that as tax payers the people you represent and so you actually represent the most stakeholder in the room. Forget everybody else, forget VPA, forget VINA, forget power systems, you need to talk about the people who end up paying the bills at the end of day, that's who we need to concentrate on. Consumers already like confidence in EPAs are in the Obama administration new energy regulations, a survey from the American Energy Alliance, the national survey found that nearly two thirds or 65% of Americans want their state not the federal government to determine the best energy sources to power their electrical supply. It's also bad using North Carolina's limited land supply, for example here's a quote from a letter from a consortium of governors, all right, I'll stop in a sec including government report to the Obama administration about these regulations. Quote one nuclear plant producing 1800 mega watts of electricity occupies about 1100 acres, while winter runs producing the same amount of electricity would require hundreds of thousands of acres, end quote Thank you again for the opportunity to testify today, America Prosperity urges you to support PCS. Thank you sir. Anybody else in the audience who want to speak? Alright. please give your name and represent who Hey, I'm Brooks Rainey Pearson, I'm an attorney with the Southern Environment Law Center I didn't plan to speak but I did want to counter the false information that the green power plan would increase cost for businesses and energy consumers in North Carolina, North Carolina can already achieve beyond it's green power plan target for 2030, based on action already taken by utilities and by meeting requirements of existing good state laws implemented by you guys, no new commitments are even needed to comply, and here is how it happened Reductions already planned by utilities. 7% are existing energy efficiency programs, 3% from coal plant retirements and improvements, 43% from existing and under-construction natural gas, 5% from eligible nuclear energy, 7% from existing wind and solar resources and 45% from existing renewable energy portfolio standard the requirements. Assuming the standards are met through 10.5% renewable and 2% annual incremental energy efficiency savings. That number you will notice actually totals 110%. We can achieve 110% of the target rate through existing actions and simply meeting existing state laws. Thank you. Thank you, does anybody else want to speak from the audience? How about from our committee members, Senator Ingram? Thank you Senator Cook. I just have a concern, one of the things that I've loved about North Carolina is that we seem to be ahead of the game when it comes to clean energy and promoting a wonderful environment for citizens, as I look across the United State and see what other states are doing, we have at least nine states that have already engaged the stakeholder this and am leading with as well the public and putting together our plan. As it is presented it sound like what we are tying to do is just hold off from what we done and wait and it just seems like procrastination are you sure that this is not being penny wise but pound foolish Senator Wayde I would say after especially after hearing from the secretary Odino[sp?], that we've already met the goal I can't see how it's a problem at this point. Is anyone else? Senator Stam Mr. Chairman, I was just going to move for a favorable report. Thank you, I believe Senator Anjela Briant has some remarks I just wanted to say that I'm very concerned about moving forward with this version, given the secretary's request that he at least to be allowed to prepare one type of plan. And I would hope that we could sponsor, we'd consider at least amending this moratorium to allow our lead expert in the state to take at least the steps he thinks need to be taken to put him in the best position to

protect us from perhaps Federal regulations that we would not even want to be subject to. So I hope you would consider some language and maybe being open to some language, to at least allow not to tie his hands from representing the state and what he would recommend would be the best way so I hope we can do that. Senator [xx]. Thank you Senator Brain and I think between hopefully we can pass this bill out today of committee and before it goes to the floor I would like some of our attorneys which we have an ambadancy of get together with the secretary and see what the implications are and if there is really a problem if we don't do the building block I think there are some discrepancy there, whether there is or there isn't but I would like for that after and before reaches the floor we could pass it to the committee today. Senator Hatsaw Thank you Mr. Chairman that's really what I wanted to to get out, because I'm so totally confused in this situation right now, it is ridiculous and I say that for this reason I heard what the secretary he said we are 30% ahead of where we are supposed to be anyway so I'm not trying to find out okay what does that mean? Does that mean we should do something, Does that mean we need to take any action at all and further more when I look in the actual language the actual language it says to develop a state plan or, all I got to do is change some words in what they're doing it and we solve this anyway and because I'm the specificity that's here all you gotta do is call something different and you take care of it and I'm really, I don't know why we need do anything either way on either the base bill of this one but if we do I'm not sure that either one does is what we want it to accomplish and that's my concern. Senator Wayward[sp?]?   I think we can have this conversation between now and when it reaches the floor we can pass committee today. Senator Hood did you have to comment? Just quickly senator we will appreciate your efforts on and one of the things that I am going to take away is the sector that we said that we're 30 % ahead and you listen to this year club we're already doing the existing laws, we are in need of exceeding those clause and I'm struggling with colleagues one must continue to do more if we are already doing what we are supposed to do Senator Wayward[sp?]  I'm just say senator Ford, that I'm ready to operate there's a goal to have a 30% reduction from 2005 and I think that's what we were referring  to from the secretary, but we are not really sure the rules keep changing in the plant, so we are not really sure what the APA going to come up with, so hard to seattle just like he said at this point because we don't know what they are. Anyone else, comments, questions? So none, we will vote, all in favor say aye aye all opposed, no aye's have it Bill passes, thank you, please yeah absolutely, We're adjourned.