Blogs - Blogs
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Vitter Summary Statement for Subcommittee Hearing on Climate Change
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety “Climate Change: The Need to Act Now”
Thank you, Subcommittee Chairman Whitehouse, for convening today’s hearing. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses here today: Dr. Daniel Botkin; Dr. Joseph Mason; and the Honorable Luther Strange. The science, economic consequences, and legal underpinnings of the EPA’s actions to advance the President’s Climate Action Plan are topics the Administration does not want us to discuss. However, their unilateral actions will increase America’s electricity bills, decrease a family’s disposable income, and result in job losses for little or no measurable impact on our ever changing climate.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vitter Summary Statement for Oversight Subcommittee Hearing on EPA's Superfund Program
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Oversight “Protecting Taxpayers and Ensuring Accountability: Faster Superfund Cleanups for Healthier
Thank you, Subcommittee Chairman Booker, for convening today’s hearing. In this committee we often do not conduct the appropriate level of oversight, particularly of EPA and the programs it administers, so I appreciate you scheduling this important hearing.

According to EPA figures, Louisiana has 26 Superfund sites. These sites are an uncontrolled or abandoned place where hazardous waste is located, all of which can be found on the National Priorities List. Ensuring that these sites are cleaned up expeditiously is of great interest to both me and the people of Louisiana.

It seems clear to me that there has been widespread fraud, waste, and abuse by the EPA, and our number one priority as the committee of jurisdiction over the Agency should be to curtail these abuses and ensure that, at a time when Americans are forced to operate on tighter budgets, our government refrains from improperly wasting their hard-earned tax dollars.
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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Breaking Down the Economics of Obama’s Waters of the U.S. Rule
In late March 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced the proposed “waters of the United States” rule, which defines various terms, including “tributary,” “adjacent waters,” and “neighboring waters” that would fall under federal authority under the Clean Water Act. These definitions greatly expand the federal government’s power over ditches, floodplains, and other areas through which water may flow. Along with the proposed rule, EPA and the Corps released an economic analysis, which claims that the proposed rule would result in a 2.7% increase in jurisdictional waterbodies and only 1,332 acres of land across the country would be subjected to new permitting requirements.

Independent analysis shows that the EPA and Corps severely underestimated the economic impacts of the proposed rule. Specifically, a review of Agencies’ economic analysis by Dr. David Sunding, founding director of the Berkeley Water Center and Professor in the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley, shows significant shortcomings in their methodology, which undermines the credibility of the agencies’ economic analysis.
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Vitter Summary Statement on NRC Oversight Hearing
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works “Oversight Hearing: NRC’s Implementation of the Fukushima Near-Term Task Force Recommendations and Other Actions to Enhance and Maintain Nuclear Safety”
Lately, various members on this committee have been very proactive in attempting to change how the NRC manages itself and our nation’s nuclear-powered electricity generating facilities. In recent months, we have seen legislation, letters, and statements from my colleagues in favor of new, and might I add, mostly unnecessary regulations.

Today I want to urge our commissioners to be precise and direct in their thoughts on these initiatives and to commit to using the best available science and facts to ensure that any new rules and regulations are actually necessary for our fleet, which happens to have a long track record of safety.
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Vitter Summary Statement for Subcommittee Hearing on Farming, Fishing, Forestry & Hunting
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Green Jobs “Farming, Fishing, Forestry and Hunting in an Era of Changing Climate”
Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you for holding today’s hearing that focuses on the impacts of our ever-changing climate. I have encouraged this Committee to take a precise look at the purported impacts of carbon dioxide (CO2) on climate and to compare those to the empirical evidence. Rather than speaking in hyperbole, I think it is important for members of the Senate and members of the media to speak in a precise, direct manner.
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Friday, May 30, 2014

Eye on the EPA: Unearned Bonuses, Paychecks for Nothing, and Credit Card Abuse
Your Taxpayer Dollars at Work... Or Not
Fraud at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is nothing new. John C. Beale, a former high-ranking official at the EPA and fake CIA agent, was convicted for stealing nearly $1 million from American taxpayers. Beale received hundreds of thousands in unearned bonuses and would skip entire days, even weeks and months from the office, while still receiving a full paycheck. While all this is outrageous, it is clear that his crimes were just the tip of the iceberg. EPA’s lax internal controls and substandard management allow Agency employees to regularly take advantage of the system and benefit themselves at taxpayer expense. Unfortunately, it is difficult to quantify at this stage the true amount of waste of taxpayer dollars, meaning more oversight is needed.
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Friday, May 23, 2014

ICYMI: Hollywood Anti-Fracking Environmentalists Happy to Team with Fake Middle Eastern Oil
This week, an investigative video was released showing Hollywood film producers eager to accept Middle Eastern money to produce an anti-fracking video. The actor, portraying a wealthy Middle Eastern investor, is clear that he wants to ban hydraulic fracturing in America because it hurts the Middle Eastern oil industry, and he wants to pay the Hollywood producers to make the movie. The producers not only agree to make the movie, but they have no qualms with hiding his financial involvement behind a wall of far-left environmental activists and non-governmental organizations. The producers make it clear - this is not their first time.
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

How the Obama Administration’s Clean Water Act Abuse Impacts Local Governments
While concern over the size and scope of our federal government grows, so does the government’s ambition to welcome itself into your backyard
The Obama Administration is currently attempting to expand the federal government’s power under the Clean Water Act (CWA). EPW Republicans are concerned with the way this Administration’s water-related policies threaten our nation’s economy, families, farmers, and small business owners. Click here to read more.

If finalized, the proposed “waters of the United States” rule will result in a significant expansion of federal authority under the CWA. As the number of waters considered jurisdictional under the CWA increases, so do the impacts on our cities and counties. The term “navigable waters” appears more than 70 times through the CWA, and the proposed rule would redefine navigable waters every time it appears. Each time a water body is deemed to be a “waters of the United States,” costly administrative and regulatory actions are imposed, and it is our local governments, and in turn, fellow citizens, who will bear a significant portion of the burden. Additionally, if finalized, the proposed rule would also subject our local governments to even more lawsuits from radical environmentalists. Here are a few concerns local governments should be aware of:
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Vitter Summary Statement for Nuclear Reactor Decommissioning Hearing
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works “Nuclear Reactor Decommissioning: Stakeholder Views”
The regulations enforcing security and safety standards during the nuclear reactor decommissioning process are very important to the people who live around and work in these facilities, a factor we must consider as more plants are forced to shut down due to an erratic regulatory environment.

This is why today’s hearing is crucial. Before changes are made to the nuclear decommissioning process, we must hear from those directly impacted to ensure a safe and viable way to move forward.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Vitter Summary Statement for Water Subcommittee Hearing on Stormwater Runoff
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife “Solving the Problem of Polluted Transportation Infrastructure Stormwater Runoff”
Mr. Chairman, thank you for calling today’s hearing. Thank you as well to our distinguished witnesses for providing testimony this afternoon.

It is no secret that the current Administration sees Congress as an obstacle to its hostile regulatory agenda, and that President Obama and his Environmental Protection Agency are willing to ignore multiple agency guidelines and federally mandated transparency laws in order to appease the environmental left. It was only last week that White House counselor John Podesta indicated that there is a “zero percent” chance that President Obama will refrain from imposing misguided climate regulations, as soon as this year--even if that means further undermining our energy security and economic recovery, and even if that means higher energy prices and more unemployment for the American people.

Unfortunately, the Administration’s policy of “legislation by regulation” is pervasive, and it has reached the subject of today’s hearing: stormwater runoff. There is no question that, under the Clean Water Act, Congress provided EPA with the authority to address and mitigate the discharge of pollutants into navigable waters. However, the EPA has been testing the limits of this authority recently in an ongoing effort to regulate water bodies that were clearly left to the states and private landowners to manage. Some of the more egregious examples have been highlighted by EPW Republicans.
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