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Public Statements

Domestic Energy and Jobs Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, it is my hope that we can all simply agree to this amendment.

Among this bill's many provisions is one that creates a new interagency committee to do the impossible. It is charged with conducting an analysis of the EPA air quality rules that have not been proposed, using data that does not even exist. I'm concerned that this new interagency committee is being set up to fail.

First, the bill before us requires the new committee to examine the potential impact of several EPA air quality rules on gasoline prices. There's one significant problem. These rules have not yet been proposed.

Now, we can argue about whether they have been initiated, contemplated, discussed, mulled over, considered and so forth. But the fundamental fact is that the rules and their requirements have not even yet been proposed. The committee simply has nothing concrete to analyze.

As a result, any report that this new interagency committee would complete would be the product of a series of best guesses, estimates, approximations, and assumptions that cannot possibly provide credible assessment of a potential impact of these potential rules on gasoline prices.

Moreover, it may not even be possible for the interagency committee to complete this analysis, as insufficient as it will be, without a significant investment of resources at the Department of Energy.

We asked the Energy Information Administration what it would take to complete such an analysis. EIA, which is better positioned than any other government agency to tackle this project, said that it currently does not have the analytic capability even to conduct the State or regional level breakdowns required by such a bill.

The agency also would have to collect or purchase new data, despite the bill's hollow assurances that this isn't necessary. And the Department of Energy would have to devote significant new staff and contractor time to be able to comply with the bill's requirements. In essence, this bill proposes to devote scarce taxpayer dollars to produce a report that will not be reliable, credible, or even valuable to anyone.

My amendment simply states that if the Energy Department determines that that analysis is not feasible to conduct, requires data that does not exist, or generates results that would not be reliable or useful, then the interagency committee does not have to complete the report. If it determined that such an analysis is infeasible, the 6-month delay of EPA rules then would not go into effect.

This amendment is a good-governance amendment that ensures effective use of taxpayer dollars. It's common sense.

I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Chairman, I have no further speakers, so I am prepared to close.

Mr. Chairman, as we know and as my colleague from Colorado has just illustrated, the bill creates redundant layers of bureaucracy and requires a study of key air pollution standards that are not even yet proposed by the EPA. This is clearly designed to postpone pollution cleanup.

My amendment is a straightforward amendment which simply says if the Energy Department's analysis of the EPA's air quality rules is not feasible or not useful, we should not be spending taxpayer resources on it.

I would note again that these EPA air quality rules that would be analyzed aren't even on the books yet. We shouldn't be wasting agency time and resources on tasks like the ones proposed here. This amendment is one of common sense. It is straightforward and very simple. So I hope my colleagues will support this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Chairman, I have no further speakers, so I am prepared to close.

Mr. Chairman, as we know and as my colleague from Colorado has just illustrated, the bill creates redundant layers of bureaucracy and requires a study of key air pollution standards that are not even yet proposed by the EPA. This is clearly designed to postpone pollution cleanup.

My amendment is a straightforward amendment which simply says if the Energy Department's analysis of the EPA's air quality rules is not feasible or not useful, we should not be spending taxpayer resources on it.

I would note again that these EPA air quality rules that would be analyzed aren't even on the books yet. We shouldn't be wasting agency time and resources on tasks like the ones proposed here. This amendment is one of common sense. It is straightforward and very simple. So I hope my colleagues will support this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT


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