Blogs - Blogs
Monday, February 24, 2014

ICYMI: Wall Street Journal Editorial "The EPA 'Spy' and Double Standards"
In recent weeks, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, has been questioning the methods used in recent investigations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG), specifically in the aftermath of the John C. Beale investigation. Below is a column by the Wall Street Journal on the “double standards” at the EPA.
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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Eye on the EPA: Less Than Thorough - Flaws in Recent EPA OIG Investigations
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was designed to be independent of political influence while investigating and preventing waste, fraud, and abuse at the Agency. Recent reports coming from the OIG have raised concerns from the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) Republicans due to a lack of transparency and potential bias when crafting and researching their reports. Below are three examples showing how the OIG has failed to impartially investigate the Agency and has simply rubberstamped EPA’s controversial practices. EPW Republicans believe it is time for Congress to have more scrutiny over what is going on in the IG’s office at EPA.
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Vitter Summary Statement for Hearing on MAP-21 Reauthorization
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works “MAP-21 Reauthorization: The Economic Importance of Maintaining Federal Investments in our Transportation Infrastructure”
It is good to be turning our attention to the reauthorization of MAP-21. And from discussions with Senator Boxer, we expect this hearing to be the start of another busy year focused on infrastructure, this time working together on polices to address the challenges facing our highway transportation infrastructure. Infrastructure is a critical component of our nation’s economy and our quality of life. A first-class infrastructure is fundamental to connect people and communities, and is a critical building block in developing, sustaining, and growing an economy. In 2011 alone, the US transportation system moved 17.6 billion tons of good valued at an estimated $16.8 trillion dollars. However, just last week CBO came out with their updated projections for the Highway Trust Fund. Unfortunately, the Trust Fund is accelerating towards bankruptcy faster than anticipated and action must be taken before the end of the fiscal year to avoid a nearly 100% drop in new federal funds for FY’15.
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Friday, February 7, 2014

Eye on the EPA: Others Involved in Beale Saga
In an effort to further inform the public on how convicted felon and former senior official of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), John Beale, got away with fraud and theft for at least thirteen years, EPW Republicans have conducted an exhaustive review of materials obtained through its own investigatory efforts to untangle the web of unaccountability that permeated the Agency. Specifically, EPW Republicans have put into context the actions of additional EPA officials who played a prominent role in shaping EPA’s response to Beale’s fraud.
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Eye on the EPA: Robert Brenner's Role in John Beale Saga
In an effort to further inform the public on how convicted felon and former senior official of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), John Beale, got away with fraud and theft for at least thirteen years, EPW Republicans have conducted an exhaustive review of materials obtained through its own investigatory efforts to untangle the web of unaccountability that permeated the Agency. Former EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator Robert Brenner, Beale’s colleague and self-described “best friend” played a large role, either knowing or unknowing, in the Beale fraud.
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Vitter Statement for Committee Business Meeting
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Business Meeting
Madame Chairman. I would like to begin by thanking you for holding today’s mark up. I’m pleased that we are able to begin the process of moving this important legislation through our Committee. As I mentioned in Tuesday’s hearing, the Committee process is a crucial part of the legislative process. I’m also pleased that we’ll be holding a markup next month on legislation that did not make it on the today’s agenda.
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Eye on the EPA: Bob Perciasepe’s Role in John Beale Saga
In an effort to further inform the public on how convicted felon and former senior official of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), John Beale, got away with fraud and theft for at least thirteen years, EPW Republicans have conducted an exhaustive review of materials obtained through its own investigatory efforts to untangle the web of unaccountability that permeated the Agency. Former EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe supervised Beale in the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), serving as a strong advocate for Beale’s promotions and bonuses.
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Eye on the EPA: Gina McCarthy’s Role in John Beale Saga
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Vitter Summary Statement for Hearing Examining the Safety and Security of Water in West Virginia
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife “Examination of the Safety and Security of Drinking Water Supplies Following the Central West Virginia Drinking Water Crisis”
Thank you, Chairman Cardin, for convening this important subcommittee hearing today on the West Virginia chemical spill. My thoughts certainly go out to the more than 300,000 individuals affected by this accident and I hope that today’s panel can help us better understand the circumstances surrounding this spill to enhance response and prevention in the future.

I’d like to begin by commending Senator Manchin and all those who have worked tirelessly in the wake of this unfortunate spill. Senator Manchin, along with Senator Boxer and Senator Rockefeller, have introduced legislation in response to the spill, and while I am supportive of their efforts, I have some concerns with how their legislation is drafted which I have shared with Senator Manchin and his staff.
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Vitter Summary Statement for Oversight Hearing of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety “Oversight Hearing: NRC’s Implementation of the Fukushima Near-Term Task Force Recommendations and Other Actions to Enhance and Maintain Nuclear Safety”
Thank you, Chairman Boxer, for convening today’s hearing, and I would also like to thank our NRC commissioners for being so accommodating with your schedules after this hearing was postponed to facilitate the Majority’s vote on the nuclear option.
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