WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Mike Braun (R-IN) released the following statements on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2019 Air Trends Report. The report shows that between 1970 and 2018, the combined emissions of six key pollutants dropped by 74 percent, while the U.S. economy grew 275 percent. The United States leads the world in having clean air, while also having a growing economy.
Barrasso is chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), and Braun is chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety.
“America leads the world in keeping our air clean and our economy growing,” said Barrasso. “Groundbreaking technologies like carbon capture and advanced nuclear power are great examples of innovation that will create jobs and reduce emissions at the same time. Congress must continue to support researchers as they work to keep our air clean. Free-market innovation, not government regulation, is key to continuing America’s momentum.”
“Unlike the previous administration who drove an environmental policy that suffocated rural America, this report reaffirms the environmental success of President Trump which includes clean air, clean water and cleaning up toxic land sites at a record pace across our country,” said Braun.
Each year the EPA publishes a report summarizing the nation’s air quality status and trends. The report highlights EPA’s commitment to protecting public health by improving air quality and reducing air pollution. The report is a compilation of emission trends as well as drivers of the trends.
On June 27, 2019, the U.S. Senate passed S. 383, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The USE IT Act was sponsored by Barrasso and several bipartisan cosponsors. The USE IT Act would support carbon utilization and direct air capture research. This type of research is already taking place at research facilities like the Integrated Test Center outside of Gillette, Wyoming. The bill would also support federal, state, and non-governmental collaboration in the construction and development of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) facilities and carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines.
On April 10, 2019, the EPW Committee advanced S. 747, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2019. The bipartisan legislation would re-authorize the DERA program through fiscal year 2024. The legislation is cosponsored by Barrasso.
On January 14, 2019, President Trump signed S. 512, the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA), into law. NEIMA was sponsored by Barrasso and several bipartisan cosponsors. NEIMA requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to develop a regulatory framework for America’s innovators, who seek to deploy advanced nuclear technologies.
On November 15, 2017, the EPW Committee held a hearing on “Promoting American Leadership in Reducing Air Emissions through Innovation.”