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Hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee - Nomination of Gina McCarthy to EPA Administrator


Location: Unknown

"Ms. McCarthy, I enjoyed meeting with you a few weeks ago, and as we discussed I enjoyed a constructive, candid relationship with Lisa Jackson. If you are confirmed, I look forward to having a similar relationship with you.

"But I am very concerned about the direction the EPA, and particularly the Air Office, has gone under your leadership. Americans want energy independence, and I believe we have the domestic resources to achieve that goal today. And while the President says that he also wants to achieve this goal, he is doing all he can to shut down traditional sources of energy. We know we have the largest combined resources of coal, oil, and natural gas in the world, but if we can't legally extract or use them, they don't do us any good.

"The President's campaign against oil, gas, and coal has been a government-wide effort, but the regulations coming out of your agency have had the most damaging effects. In just the last few months you put out the Utility MACT (which would cost $100 billion and 1.65 million jobs); the Boiler MACT (which would cost $63 billion and 800,000 jobs); and the PM2.5­ (soot) Rule (which will put dozens of counties out of attainment and basically keep businesses from expanding there). Many of these rules were rushed, did not have their full cost accounted for and significantly overstated the health benefits, which are all significant problems.

"But the President has saved many of the worst regulations for his second term, and the simple fear of these regulations becoming final is having a sustained chilling effect on achieving the goal of domestic energy independence. One is the Ozone NAAQS that is probably being developed as we speak. This rule could shut down oil and gas activities across the country. Additionally, because of the NSPS for electric generating units you proposed last year, utilities cannot build new coal fired power plants. So coal, the source that you said in this room would remain "vital…for a long time," is now on the path to becoming obsolete.

"I am also concerned about the way the EPA has maintained its relationships with the states. Cooperative federalism is a key component of the Clean Air Act, but your agency has often acted secretly with environmental groups to impose damaging regulations on traditional utilities to further your political goals.

"Similarly, I see your EPA making an earnest effort to seize regulatory power over the hydraulic fracturing process away from the states, which has been done safely since its first use near Duncan, Oklahoma in 1949. The unbalanced study you're moving ahead with does not respect the fact that under state regulation, there has never been a confirmed, documented case of groundwater contamination caused by hydraulic fracturing.

"Further, this Administration's EPA has a reckless history of using the discretion it has been given in a non-transparent way to pursue the most radical policies possible, policies that make it too expensive to run this machine called America and impossible to achieve domestic energy independence.

"There is a lot to be concerned about at EPA, and I look forward to hearing your testimony and the Q&A to see if you plan to take the agency in a different direction."

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