WASHINGTON, D.C. – Right now, the Senate Atmosphere and Public Works (EPW) Committee held a business meeting to contemplate a number of nominees, together with:
- Alejandra Castillo to be Assistant Secretary for Financial Improvement of the Division of Commerce
- Jane Nishida to be Assistant Administrator for Worldwide and Tribal Affairs of the U.S. Environmental Safety Company (EPA)
Following the enterprise assembly, the committee additionally held a hearing on the nomination of Michael Connor to be Assistant Secretary of the Military for Civil Works on the U.S. Division of Protection.
Beneath is the opening statement of Rating Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), as ready for supply:
“Thanks, Mr. Chairman, for calling this enterprise assembly and listening to at the moment.
“First, I want to converse briefly on the 2 nominations we’re voting on at the moment.
“I’m happy to help the nomination of Alejandra Castillo to be Assistant Secretary for Financial Improvement on the Division of Commerce.
“I appreciated Ms. Castillo’s help for among the key initiatives that impression West Virginia, like broadband growth.Z
Z“I’m additionally happy to vote in favor of reporting the nomination of Jane Nishida to be Assistant Administrator for Worldwide and Tribal Affairs on the Environmental Safety Company.
“I admire the service Ms. Nishida has given over time and her responsiveness to my questions for the report.
“We additionally collect at the moment to contemplate the nomination of Michael Connor to function Assistant Secretary of the Military for Civil Works.
“Welcome, Mr. Connor.
“I appreciated the chance to speak with you earlier this week.
“As you agreed throughout our dialog, the U.S. Military Corps of Engineers can and will enhance its operations and extra effectively ship necessary water sources initiatives, each in West Virginia and throughout the nation.
“Tasked with overseeing the Corps’ Civil Works Program, the Assistant Secretary place for which you’re nominated is integral to selections pertaining to our nation’s water sources and infrastructure.
“The Corps’ actions by navigation, flood threat administration, and ecosystem restoration allow financial development, save lives, and help conservation.
“In 2019, roughly 2.3 billion brief tons of waterborne commerce moved within the U.S., facilitated by our nation’s ports and an inland waterways system dredged, constructed, and maintained by the Corps.
“This consists of every part from vitality commodities to the products Individuals rely upon of their each day lives.
“The Corps’ flood threat administration actions supplied $348 billion in advantages to the nationwide economic system in 2019 alone.
“These are along with different necessary mission areas, from hydropower to recreation and environmental infrastructure.
“These initiatives and actions are licensed and directed below the biennial Water Sources Improvement Act, or WRDA, which is laws developed by this committee.
“As I said at our most up-to-date assembly, I look ahead to constructing on the bipartisan consensus that we’ve got already achieved on water and floor transportation infrastructure laws on this committee and shifting a WRDA invoice to enactment.
“The cooperation of the assistant secretary’s workplace will likely be integral to this course of, in addition to the power of this committee to trace implementation of prior WRDA laws.
“That being stated, I’m troubled by language included in help paperwork for the president’s Fiscal Yr 2022 Finances that devalues funding in Corps initiatives that facilitate American vitality independence.Z
“This can have real-world impacts for my state of West Virginia and, as we discovered from a Corps stakeholder at a latest assembly, will hinder growth of key infrastructure and vitality initiatives, like offshore wind initiatives, crucial to this administration’s professed local weather targets.
“I’m additionally very involved about this administration’s latest choice to repeal and exchange the 2020 Navigable Waters Safety Rule, in addition to the shortage of transparency within the decision-making course of and the rationale supplied by the Corps and the EPA.
“Underpinning the administration’s choice have been a number of assertions which have but to be substantiated by proof of sensible environmental hurt.
“As an alternative, the absence of federal jurisdiction is cited as de facto proof of environmental hurt.
“It additionally stays unclear which stakeholders have been consulted prior to creating this choice.
“I look ahead to listening to Mr. Connor’s views on these issues and different points pertaining to the Corps.
“His years of expertise each within the personal sector, this physique, and in management positions on the Division of the Inside converse to his functionality and data of water sources points.
“The missions of the Corps and the Bureau of Reclamation do differ in sure respects, and I hope to be taught extra about how he’ll strategy the necessary place for which he’s nominated.
“Thanks, Mr. Chairman. I yield again my time.”
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