WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee held a business meeting to consider the nomination of Joseph Goffman to be an Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), along with every Republican, voted against Goffman’s nomination.

Ranking Member Capito has previously voiced her strong opposition to Goffman’s nomination, including at a November 2022 business meeting, a May 2022 hearing, a July 2022 business meeting, and in a July 2022 op-ed. The EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation also recently released burdensome new emissions standards on American-made vehicles, including both light-duty cars and heavy-duty trucks, which Ranking Member Capito said, “made clear the Biden administration wants to decide for Americans what kinds of cars and trucks we are allowed to buy, lease, and drive.”

Below is a portion of Ranking Member Capito’s opening statement made at today’s business meeting:

“I do remain firm in my opposition to the nomination of Joe Goffman to serve as the Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.

“I cannot support Mr. Goffman’s nomination because of the misguided policies he has developed and shepherded over years, both during the Obama administration and during the Biden administration.

“My opposition to his nomination is no secret, but I do want to highlight some of the recent policies out of the EPA that have deepened my opposition.

“In just the last five months, the EPA has inflicted considerable additional damage on our economy through over-reaching air regulations, and announced plans to issue even more.

“The agency imposed a Federal Implementation Plan on states across the country, an action I have dubbed the ‘Headwind Rule’ because of the economic headwinds it imposes on electricity prices, the energy sector, and other critical industries in this country.

“The rule imposes $14 billion in additional costs, all as inflation and energy prices remain high.

“This rule is a particular head-scratcher because it will not actually help any areas that have elevated pollution to meet their air quality standards.

“And the Headwind Rule is now being followed by a stream of additional regulations, all targeting the power sector.

“This month, the EPA proposed to tighten emissions standards on power plants under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act, even though current standards already protect public health with an ample margin of safety.

“As major newspapers are reporting, we will soon see an EPA proposal to establish punishing carbon dioxide emissions standards to replace the illegal Clean Power Plan.

“This onslaught of regulations on power plants has one clear goal: drive a stake in the coal industry and squeeze natural gas use.

“As soon as he got to office, President Biden made an international ‘pledge’ that reasonable people knew he could not keep, which was to drive down greenhouse gas emissions at impossible rates, 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

“Recent reports from academics and analysts have concluded that the only way to get close to that pledge, and for the Biden administration to save face on this botched promise, is to throw down the regulatory hammer on the electricity sector.

“Even the bloated, reckless spending from the Democrats’ Inflation Act cannot get the economy there.

“So the EPA, under Mr. Goffman’s leadership, is furiously developing regulations to try to get close to that misguided pledge.

“I oppose Mr. Goffman because of the policies he has developed and is developing at unjustifiable costs, while ignoring legal limits.

“These policies will hurt businesses, workers, families, and the communities I represent.”

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