Click here to watch Chairman Barrasso’s remarks.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks at a committee business meeting, where the committee considered the following items:

  • S.2800, America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018
  • S.2602, Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act
  • S.2734, a bill to designate the federal building and United States courthouse at 1300 Victoria Street in Laredo, Texas, as the "George P. Kazen Federal Building and United States Courthouse"
  • S.2377, a bill to designate the federal building and United States courthouse at 200 West 2nd Street in Dayton, Ohio, as the "Walter H. Rice Federal Building and United States Courthouse"
  • PN 1542, John L. Ryder, of Tennessee, to be a member of the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority
  • 3 General Services Administration resolutions

The committee advanced all of the items on the agenda. To watch the full business meeting, click here.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks:

“Today, we will consider bipartisan water infrastructure and carbon capture innovation legislation.

“As well as one nomination, two bills to name federal buildings, and three General Services Administration resolutions.

“The first of these bills is S. 2602, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies or USE IT Act.

“The bill’s called the USE IT Act because it would encourage the commercial use of man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

“The bill supports innovative research at projects that capture carbon dioxide.

“My home state of Wyoming is already a leader in supporting carbon utilization research.

“Just last week, the Integrated Test Center outside Gillette opened its doors to support innovative research on how to use carbon dioxide.

“In Congress, we need to support efforts like the Integrated Test Center so America can maintain its leadership in carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration technologies.

“The USE IT Act does that.

“The legislation also facilitates permitting for capture projects and carbon dioxide pipelines.

“Innovation is how America will be a leader in reducing emissions.

“I introduced the USE IT Act with committee members Whitehouse, and Capito, as well as with Senator Heitkamp.

“The bill is now also cosponsored Senator Duckworth.

“Together with Ranking Member Carper, we have introduced a manager’s substitute amendment to make the bill stronger.

“I encourage committee members to support this important legislation.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this legislation and get it to the president’s desk.

“This morning, we will also consider S. 2800, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.

“This is bipartisan legislation I introduced along with committee Ranking Member Carper, Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee Chairman Inhofe, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Cardin.

“The bill is also cosponsored by committee members Capito, Van Hollen, Wicker, Boozman, Whitehouse and Sullivan.

“America’s Water Infrastructure Act will grow the nation’s economy, give state and local leaders increased input in water infrastructure projects, cut bureaucratic red tape, and make communities safer from dangerous floods and droughts.

“President Trump has called for a comprehensive infrastructure initiative.

“America’s Water Infrastructure Act is a significant piece of that initiative.

“Last week, during our committee hearing, R.D. James, the assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, said the bill will fulfill key principles outlined by President Trump.

“These principles include rebuilding America’s water infrastructure by cutting red tape; by approving projects in a timely and effective manner; by giving more local control; by increasing the focus on rural America; and by leveraging federal dollars.

“More specifically, the bill gives state and local leaders a significantly increased role in prioritizing projects.

“The legislation also reauthorizes the Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act, or WIFIA, which leverages billions of dollars in non-federal investment for water infrastructure projects.

“The bill will grow America’s economy and create jobs.

“It authorizes projects that will increase water storage, deepen nationally significant ports, address aging irrigation systems, and maintain the navigability of our inland waterways.

“It will also protect communities from dangerous floods.

“Today, we will vote on a bipartisan managers’ substitute amendment to further improve the bill.

“I have worked closely with Ranking Member Carper to draft this amendment.

“It will help get water infrastructure projects started faster.

“The amendment will push the Corps to take just two years to complete its feasibility studies for potential projects– that’s in line with the goal President Trump has set.

“The bill allows the Corps to review, and, if necessary, initiate new categorical exclusions, so projects aren’t unnecessarily delayed due to environmental red-tape.

“The amendment also includes language to help smaller rural communities leverage WIFIA dollars so they can complete needed infrastructure projects.

“The language is a modified version of Senator Boozman’s SRF WIN bill, and I would like to thank him for all his hard work on this important legislation. Thank you, Senator Boozman.

“The amendment also includes Buy America language.

“After consulting with Senators Capito and Carper, I have agreed to add the provision.

“As the bill proceeds through the legislative process, I will work to limit this provisions impact on small, disadvantaged, and rural communities.

“I want to thank Ranking Member Carper, Senator Inhofe, Senator Cardin, and all of the members of our committee and their staffs for their hard work on this bill.

“I urge all of you to support this important infrastructure legislation.

“Additionally, the committee will be considering the nomination of John L. Ryder to be a member of the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

“The Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety held a nomination hearing on Mr. Ryder in March.

“Finally, the committee will consider: S. 2734, a bill naming a federal building and courthouse in Laredo, Texas; S. 2377, a bill naming a federal building and courthouse in Dayton, Ohio; and three General Services Administration leases.”