Blogs - Blogs
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

ICYMI: Economist: “Consumers will pay more for electricity” under Power Plant Rule
During today’s Senate Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety hearing entitled, “Climate Change: The Need to Act Now,” Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) discussed the impact of the President’s recently announced rule on existing power plants will have on jobs and economic growth with Dr. Joseph Mason of Louisiana State University.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

ICYMI: Former EPA Administrators Disagree with Obama Statement on Climate
During today’s Senate Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety hearing entitled, “Climate Change: The Need to Act Now,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the Subcommittee’s top Republican, asked four former Administrators of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to raise their hand if they agreed with President Obama’s statement. None of the four witnesses raised their hand, and all remained silent.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fact Check: Two Former EPA Administrators Agree U.S. Action Alone Will Not Impact Global Climate Change
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fact Check on EPA's Power Plant Proposal
During today's Senate Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety hearing entitled, "Climate Change: The Need to Act Now," the Honorable Christine Todd Whitman, former Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said in her testimony: "There is, of course, honest disagreement about aspects of the Agency's power plant proposal, including whether it may be stretching its legal authority a bit too far in some parts of the proposed rule."
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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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