Click here to watch Ranking Member Capito’s questions.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, participated in a hearing titled, “Oversight and Budget of the Federal Highway Administration” with FHWA Administrator Shailen Bhatt.

HEARING HIGHLIGHTS:

ASKING FOR AN UPDATE ON FHWA DELAYING CORRIDOR H IN WEST VIRGINIA: “I want to ask you a specific West Virginia question to begin, and this is on Corridor H. Corridor H, which is the state of West Virginia's highest priority highway project. A section of construction was delayed another year when FHWA declared the section from Wardensville to the Virginia state line a major project, requiring additional documentation. Given that the $500 million statutory threshold for ‘major project,’ why did the FHWA declare this project, estimated at $475 million, a ‘major project?’ Why did you go beyond what the scope of the $500 million threshold?”

ON HOW SUCCESSFULLY FHWA IS IMPLEMENTING “ONE FEDERAL DECISION” PERMITTING PROVISIONS:

RANKING MEMBER CAPITO:

“Let me ask you about One Federal Decision. I touted it when we passed the bill [Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act] as being such a great aspect in terms of permitting. And when you were here, we were provided with information in March regarding the use of One Federal Decision provision for major projects and you had eight that were using that provision at the time. Have there been other any other projects added to that number, to that list?...We're trying to shorten the time here and it seems like we're not really achieving the goal. So, what kind of accountability, because you're supposed to be the coordinating for all the other agencies, Fish and Wildlife and others that are involved in this permitting for major projects. What kind of accountability do the other agencies have to you when you're trying to achieve this One Federal Decision? And what's your opinion of whether One Federal Decision actually works? Because as a state administrator, you would have welcomed this news to say this is going to be great and I'm sure you think it is great, but is it really working?”

FHWA ADMINISTRATOR BHATT:

“Thank you Ranking Member Capito. Yes, when I sat on the state DOT side I welcomed any and all opportunities to accelerate project delivery.”

ON THE ADMINISTRATION’S FAILURE TO BUILD OUT ELECTRIC CHARGING SITES:

“I would just say you said 178,000 [charging ports] I think were already built and they were mostly private sector. What does that tell you? Public sector [versus] private sector, the private sector gets it done. I believe that was the direction we should have gone in the beginning. We didn't win on that. Because the private sector knows the answers here.”

Click HERE to watch Ranking Member Capito’s questions.
 

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