Click here to watch Ranking Member Capito’s opening remarks from the committee business meeting.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee held a business meeting to consider the following items:
- Annie Caputo to be a Member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
- Bradley Crowell to be a Member of the NRC
- 15 General Services Administration Resolutions
NOTE: Following Ranking Member Capito’s opening remarks, the committee postponed the previously scheduled vote on Joe Goffman to be Assistant Administrator of the Office of Air and Radiation for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Below is the opening statement of Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), as prepared for delivery.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
“As the chairman mentioned, this morning, we will consider three important nominations and a number of GSA resolutions.
“First, I would like to speak on the nominations of Annie Caputo and Bradley Crowell to serve as members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
“I support the swift confirmation of this bipartisan pairing.
“Reliable, affordable nuclear energy is necessary to power our homes and businesses, and is an energy source both you and I strongly support.
“Nuclear energy provides about half of America’s emissions-free energy and nearly 20% of our power.
“The NRC, right now, is facing significant opportunities and challenges.
“The commission both has to help preserve the safe operations of today’s nuclear power plants, and also ensure the timely and safe development and deployment of new advanced nuclear technologies.
“In my home of West Virginia, there is a buzz about nuclear energy since the state opened the door to building nuclear plants earlier this year.
“Like coal and natural gas, nuclear is an energy source that provides reliable, baseload electricity.
“In May, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation warned of high and elevated risks of energy shortfalls throughout much of the United States this summer.
“The looming threat of blackouts reminds us of the need for more baseload electricity.
“I look forward to working with Senator Carper to push for the paired confirmation of these two NRC nominees so they can get to work quickly, which I know they will.
“In contrast, I am strongly opposed to the third nominee we are voting on today: Joe Goffman, President Biden’s nominee to serve as Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.
“At the end of last month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark opinion in West Virginia v. EPA.
“The court ruled that the EPA had clearly overstepped its authority in issuing the so-called Clean Power Plan, which Mr. Goffman developed.
“His response to the Supreme Court’s decision reaffirmed why I am opposed to him.
“After the decision was released, Mr. Goffman told the New York Times that: ‘The case does not really take anything off the menu we’ve been focused on.’
“Despite the Court saying EPA lacks authority to manage the electricity system, he still plans to pursue a host of policies to force electricity to shift away from coal and natural gas to renewables.
“Inflation hit a 40-year high in June based on statistics released just last week, and energy costs climbed greater than 40% over the last year.
“And, as I talked about earlier, much of the country is already facing reliability challenges.
“Meanwhile, Mr. Goffman is hard at work on a suite of policies that will threaten reliability and continue to inflate energy prices, making hard working American families pay more.
“Just one of those policies, the so-called ‘Good Neighbor’ Rule currently under development by Mr. Goffman, would drive up West Virginians’ electricity prices another 5%.
“On June 21, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, in charge of operating much of electric grid throughout the middle of the country, said that same proposal ‘threatens the reliability of the electric power grid.’
“With rising inflation and energy challenges at home and abroad, worsened by the war in Ukraine, we have too much at stake to put Mr. Goffman in charge of such an important EPA office.
“I strongly oppose his nomination, and I urge all of my colleagues to do the same.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman Carper.”
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