— U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today questioned Joseph Goffman, nominee to be the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR).


IGNORING CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT: “I was asking about the oversight on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. I wrote in March, in August, and again in October 2021 – I sent you three separate letters. I did not get any response until December 14, 2021, which was nine months after the first letter, when you sent me three letter responses with virtually identical responses in each letter—in other words, they all had the same text. Do you believe the form letter responses you provided to these three letters were timely and transparent?...I would offer my opinion that nine months to answer a letter is not timely and since all three [responses] said the same thing, I question how much time it took to put those together and what kind of depth of looking at our congressional oversight.”

EXPANDING EXECUTIVE POWER AND THE CLEAN POWER PLAN:In a 2019 op-ed you wrote with Gina McCarthy and Janet McCabe, you called the Clean Power Plan a ‘success.’ You advocated for using the Clean Air Act to ‘shift electricity generation’ between different types of energy. You also stated in 2020 that the answer to the question ‘What’s the best system of emissions reduction?’ was ‘the common sense answer is just move generation.’ What is the legal authority that gives EPA the ability to require the generation shifting that you’re calling for?” 

PRIVATE MEETINGS WITH GINA MCCARTHY: “Based on your calendars, you were meeting with Climate Czar Gina McCarthy and Deputy Administrator McCabe – without Administrator Regan present – before he was confirmed.  In one of those meetings – early in the administration on February 4, 2021 – you met with Ms. McCarthy about the power plant or “EGU Strategy” and you had a PowerPoint document was attached to your calendar. Would you be able to commit that we could see that document?”

REGULATORY IMPACTS ON IIJA IMPLEMENTATION: “Earlier this year, EPA announced the proposed ‘Good Neighbor’ plan that would affect 26 states. This action would apply to power plants and certain types of industrial sources to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) that purportedly contribute to ozone in other states.  Industries targeted – including iron, steel, cement and concrete – are vitally important to implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The law includes ‘Buy America’ provisions that require the use of U.S. manufactured products in certain categories. We already have severe supply chain bottlenecks. Your proposal would make those worse by increasing costs of domestic production – stymieing the availability of products to meet the legislative requirements of IIJA to support domestic workers and potentially even shutter facilities. Did you evaluate this policy and how the impact on the domestic production of materials – such as steel and cement – prior to proposing this?”  


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