Mr. Chairman, thank you for calling today’s hearing.
Today we’ll hear testimony from three nominees, two for positions at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and one for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The EPA positions for which these nominees are being considered are central to how the Agency functions. The General Counsel provides legal guidance, while the Inspector General serves as both auditor and watchdog.
As we consider nominees to fill these positions, I believe we need to look at more than just their paper qualifications or someone’s expertise in a courtroom. We need nominees who understand that communities across the country face environmental problems that pose threats to the health, or even survival, of people and wildlife.
I think most people would agree that the quality of the air they breathe is critical to their quality of life. As a quasi-federal agency, the TVA is exempt from parts of the Clean Air Act. But that doesn’t mean TVA should not work with the EPA to reduce smog and carbon emissions.
I look forward to hearing Mr. Graves’ plans for the future of the TVA, particularly his plans for protecting the environment and conserving energy at TVA.
Mr. Chairman, thank you again for calling today’s hearing.