Nomination Hearing

June 11, 2015 09:30 AM

406 Dirksen EPW Hearing Room

Inhofe Opening Statement for EPA Nominations Hearing

As prepared for delivery:

Today we are reviewing the nominations of three EPA nominees: Ann Dunkin, to be Assistant Administrator of the Office of Environmental Information; Jane Nishida, to be Assistant Administrator of the Office of International & Tribal Affairs; and Thomas Burke, to be Assistant Administrator of the Office of Research and Development.

This Committee intends to be fair and thorough in reviewing EPA nominees. The President has a right to nominate people who support his agenda, but the Senate has a right and responsibility to review his nominees to make sure they are qualified and responsible professionals.

The President has nominated 5 officials for various positions at EPA. We received completed paperwork for 3 officials on May 27, and promptly scheduled this hearing. We are still waiting for paperwork on the other two nominees, including Stan Meiburg, the nominee for EPA Deputy Administrator, even though he was nominated in January, and Karl Brooks, the nominee to be Assistant Administrator for the Office of Administration and Resources Management.

This is the second nomination for Ms. Dunkin and Ms. Nishida, and the third for Mr. Burke.

Even though Senator Reid chose not to bring these nominees to the full Senate for a vote, these individuals became EPA employees after they were first nominated and are working in an acting capacity in the positions for which they have been nominated.

As a result, I would remind my colleagues that, unlike many nominees, these individuals are answerable for the current policies and actions of the offices to which they nominated.

I do have questions –

  • about the quality and transparency of EPA science, GAO’s recommendations to improve EPA’s Science Advisory Board, progress in fixing the human health risk assessment program, and the fracking study,
  • about the transparency of the information provided on the grants it awards,
  • about the quality of information that EPA puts out and their social media campaigns, and
  • about the money we are spending oversees.

I appreciate the witnesses being here today, and I look forward to asking you questions.


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