Good Morning. The purpose of today's hearing is to consider the President’s nominees for five positions within the Executive Branch: Sandy Baruah (BAH- RU-AH) has been nominated to be the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development; Dr. George Gray, nominated to be the Assistant Administrator at EPA for Research and Development; Lyons Gray, nominated to be the Chief Financial Officer at EPA; Ed McGaffigan who has been re-nominated to serve a third term on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and Dale Hall, nominated to head up the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Mr. Hall is a career employee at the Fish & Wildlife Service who is now the Director of the Southwest Region. I have worked closely with Dale on my Conservation Partners bill and have been very impressed with him, as have virtually all who have come into contact with him - Republican and Democrat alike . In fact, I went to the floor urging his nomination and was very pleased when he was named.
I am also pleased to see Ed McGaffigan re-nominated to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Ed has been a Commissioner since 1996 and has played a key role in making that Commission a much more effective agency. In 1997, I held the first oversight hearing on NRC in over 10 years and insisted on results - and they have delivered. Ed has been there during the transformation and I am looking forward to seeing him there for another 5 years to help NRC deal with the many challenges that lie ahead, and there are many.
Lyons Gray has been nominated by the President to be the next CFO of EPA - a position to which Mr. Gray will bring both talent and experience. He has corporate management experience as well as the public finance experience, both of which will serve him well as CFO. That experience includes having served in the North Carolina General Assembly and as Co-Chair of the North Carolina House Finance Committee.
George Gray has been the Executive Director of the Center for Risk Analysis and a faculty member at the Harvard University School of Public Health and has been nominated to be EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Research and Development. He previously served as an Instructor in Risk Analysis for the University's Department of Health Policy and Management. Earlier in his career, Dr. Gray was a Research Associate at the Center for Risk Analysis. I don’t think anyone doubts my commitment to sound science and it is my hope to work with Dr. Gray to ensure that EPA is committed to decisions based on sound science and cost benefit analysis.
Finally, Sandy Baruah, who has been nominated to be the Commerce Department’s Assistant Secretary for Economic Development. EDA will be playing a vital role in the reconstruction of the Gulf States following Hurricane Katrina. It will take both a devoted and creative leader of EDA to be effective in this task. This Committee will be working very closely with the Assistant Secretary to ensure the people of the Gulf are afforded every opportunity for economic development. Mr. Baruah will be taking over for David Sampson who is the new Deputy Secretary of Commerce. I had a very positive working relationship with Dr. Sampson and hope for the same with Mr. Baruah - this shouldn’t be to high of an expectation as Mr. Baruah was Dr. Sampson’s Chief of Staff.
I want to thank you all for being here and for your willingness to serve.