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 “Hearing to Examine S. __, Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2019.”
The hearing featured testimony from Kurt Nagle, president of the American Association of Port Authorities; Dale Krapf, chairman of Krapf Group, Inc.; and Timothy Johnson, deputy consultant for Corning Incorporated.
For more information on witness testimony click here.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Today, we are here to discuss the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2019, which would extend the program.
“Since Congress first created the program in 2005, the program has enjoyed broad, bipartisan support.
“We owe it to our dear friend, the late Senator Voinovich, and Ranking Member Carper, for working together across the aisle to push for the creation of the program.
“The legislation we are discussing today would re-authorize the program through Fiscal Year 2024.
“So, I want to thank the Ranking member and his staff for their leadership on DERA over the years.
“I am pleased to chair the second bipartisan legislative hearing on reducing emissions to address climate change in this committee in the last two weeks.
“Like the USE IT Act – the focus of our last hearing – this legislation supports innovation-led solutions to environmental protection.
“Diesel engines’ emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides are well-known.
“We have all driven behind an older bus or tractor and experienced the exhaust.
“This program has gone a long way to reducing those emissions.
“States, localities, and private companies can use funds from this program to replace or upgrade diesel engines.
“These projects can reduce emissions of those pollutants by more than 90 percent.
“From 2008 to 2016, these-funded projects have reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides by more than 472,000 tons.
“And the program has reduced particulate matter by over 15,000 tons.
“These are big numbers.
“And these reductions help improve the air quality for our local communities.
“The state of Wyoming has used these funds over the last few years to replace old diesel school buses.
“In fact, school buses have been a major focus of the funding of this legislation.
“One of our witnesses today, Mr. Dale Krapf brought a state of the art school bus to EPA headquarters just last year.
“He was invited by Acting Administrator Wheeler for an event during Children’s Health Month.
“I am pleased that Mr. Krapf is able to join us today to talk about the positive impact that this legislation is having on children’s health in Wyoming and across the country.
“One of the other benefits of this program is that it reduces emissions of greenhouse gases.
“Upgrading diesel engines reduces greenhouse gas emissions of both black carbon and carbon dioxide.
“Black carbon has a global warming potential that may be thousands of times higher than carbon dioxide over a 20 year timeframe.
“Through this program, we have reduced black carbon emissions by more than 11,000 tons and carbon dioxide by more than 5 million tons.
“This program is going after the gases that contribute to climate change.
“I emphasize this point because of a false narrative out there – that Republicans haven’t put forth solutions to climate change.
“That’s simply not true.
“This program is a great example of bipartisan policy that has reduced emissions now for over 10 years.
“Our USE IT Act is another.
“That bill would support the build-out of both carbon capture and direct air capture projects.
“Importantly, it would support the infrastructure we need to move carbon dioxide from where it is captured to where it can be used for commercial purposes.
“That might mean injecting it into an oil well or using it to make building materials or feeding it into greenhouses.
“In addition to those pending bills, I would also remind my colleagues about the FUTURE Act.
“Clean Air Task Force called that bill, which passed a year ago, ‘one of the most important bills for reducing global warming pollution in the last two decades.’
“I would also note the successful bipartisan work this committee has done to promote advanced nuclear energy.
“I, and many of my colleagues on this committee, support these initiatives.
“And this committee will continue to lead on this important issue.
“When we work together, we have shown we can promote American leadership, grow our economy, and lower our emissions.”