(Remarks as prepared for delivery)
Today, I am pleased to formally organize the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for the 111th Congress.
There is critical work to be done this Congress. A central focus of this Committee will be economic recovery and job creation.
This Committee has an extraordinary opportunity because public works and environmental policy will both play an important role in this effort.
We are seeing the role that public works can play as we work on the recovery package. This important role will continue as this Committee works on the next transportation reauthorization bill, and water infrastructure legislation, including the Water Resources Development Act.
We will also continue our work on global warming legislation. I intend to move legislation as soon as possible. The primary goal of this legislation will be to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid dangerous global warming while promoting economic growth and energy independence.
At this time I would like to welcome all of our membership including new Senators who are joining our Committee: Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. I would also like to welcome Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho who are not new to the Senate but are new to our Committee this Congress.
As you can see, this Committee has a lot of work to do this year, and I am pleased each of you are joining us.
The challenges of the times are reflected in the Subcommittees:
1. Transportation and Infrastructure, which will be chaired by Senator Baucus.
2. Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, which will be chaired by Senator Carper.
3. Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health, which will be chaired by Senator Lautenberg.
4. Water and Wildlife, which will be chaired by Senator Cardin.
5. Green Jobs and the New Economy, which will be chaired by Senator Sanders.
6. Children's Health, which will be chaired by Senator Klobuchar.
7. Oversight, which will be chaired by Senator Whitehouse.
Furthermore, I will maintain global warming and the National Environmental Policy Act at the Full Committee level.
Our plan for the Committee was carefully developed to reflect the needs, interests, concerns and priorities of Committee members, and to balance the workload.
I thank my colleagues and particularly the Ranking Member for your cooperation on all these matters, and as always I recognize the hard work of our staffs.
We will announce the membership of the subcommittees as soon as that work is completed.