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 nominations hearing.
The hearing featured testimony from Mr. Douglas Benevento, nominee to be deputy administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the Honorable David A. Wright, nominee to be a member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and Mr. Christopher T. Hanson, nominee to be a member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
For more information on witness testimony click here.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Today, we will consider the nominations of Douglas Benevento to serve as deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and David A. Wright and Christopher T. Hanson to be commissioners on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“President Trump nominated Douglas Benevento to serve as deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency on February 25th.
“The deputy administrator plays a central role in developing and implementing programs and activities focused on fulfilling the EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment.
“Mr. Benevento has spent his thirty-year career working to protect public health and the environment.
“In a variety of positions, he has gained a wealth of experience developing, implementing, and complying with environmental laws and policies.
“He currently serves as the associate deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“In this role, he oversees the agency’s ten regions and is responsible for improving coordination between these regions and the agency’s national programs.
“Mr. Benevento was well-suited for this position since he had previously served as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 8 administrator.
“In that position, he helped foster positive and productive relationships with states.
“Prior to joining the EPA, Mr. Benevento served – as an attorney in the private sector; as executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment; and on the legislative staff of Congressman, then Senator, Wayne Allard of Colorado.
“With credentials like these, it’s no surprise that stakeholders from across the political spectrum have enthusiastically endorsed Mr. Benevento’s nomination.
“Jim Martin, the former EPA Region 8 administrator during the Obama administration, wrote: ‘I have known and worked with Doug for a number of years and in many capacities. Doug brings to every issue he encounters an open mind and a keen intellect. He is perfectly suited for this position.’
“Numerous others have also written in support, including: Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves; former Colorado Governor Bill Owens; and Montana Attorney General Tim Fox.
“I urge all of my colleagues to support the nomination.
“President Trump has also nominated David Wright to serve as a commissioner on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a five-year term expiring on June 30, 2025.
“He is currently serving as a commissioner for the remainder of a five-year term, which will expire on June 30 of this year.
“In May 2018, the full Senate confirmed his nomination for the current term by voice vote.
“Commissioner Wright is well qualified to continue serving as a commissioner.
“Prior to joining the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Commissioner Wright served as: chairman of the South Carolina Public Service Commission; president of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives; and councilman and mayor of the town of Irmo, South Carolina.
“He has also owned and operated several different businesses.
“Greg White, executive director of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, wrote in support of Commissioner Wright’s nomination: ‘David has already demonstrated his commitment to the NRC’s mission to ensure protection of public health and safety. His continued service on the commission will unquestionably further the agency’s important public safety mission.’
“Today will be the commissioner’s fourth time appearing before the Environment and Public Works Committee.
“Just last week, he testified on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s budget.
“He has done a fine job as a commissioner and deserves to be confirmed to another term.
“President Trump has also nominated Christopher Hanson to serve as a commissioner on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“If confirmed, Mr. Hanson will serve a five-year term expiring on June 30, 2024.
“Mr. Hanson has been nominated to fill a vacancy left when Commissioner Stephen Burns resigned in April of last year.
“For the past five years, Mr. Hanson has served as a minority professional staff member on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Energy and Water Subcommittee.
“In that capacity, he worked for Ranking Member Feinstein.
“Previously, he served in three roles as a civil servant at the Department of Energy, including as senior policy advisor in the Office of Nuclear Energy.
“Confirming Commissioner Wright and Mr. Hanson will ensure that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is fully-staffed with all five commissioners.”