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 committee business meeting, where the committee advanced the following items:

  • S.1857, A bill to establish a compliance deadline of May 15, 2023, for Step 2 emissions standards for new residential wood heaters, new residential hydronic heaters, and forced-air furnaces;
  • S. 2461, Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act of 2018;
  • Substitute amendment to S. 2827, A bill to amend the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation Act;
  • Substitute amendment to S. 1934, Alaska Remote Generator Reliability and Protection Act;
  • S. 593, Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act;
  • S. 1537, Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Act;
  • PN 2347, Harold B. Parker, of New Hampshire, to be federal cochair of the Northern Border Regional Commission; and
  • 4 General Services Administration resolutions.

To watch the full business meeting, click here.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Good morning.

“I call this business meeting to order.

“Today we will consider six bills, four GSA resolutions, and one nomination.

“Senator Carper and I have agreed that we will begin voting at 10:15.

“At that time, I will call up the items on the agenda, including amendments, for votes.

“We will not debate the items on the agenda while we are voting.

“Instead, we will debate the items on the agenda before we begin voting at 10:15.

“I will also be happy to recognize any member who still wishes to speak after the voting concludes.

“First, we will consider Senator Capito’s bill, S.1857, a bipartisan bill to delay for three years new source performance standards for wood and hydronic heaters.

“This delay will ensure that industry has sufficient time to develop, engineer, certify, manufacture, and deliver updated woodstoves and furnaces. 

“It was the industry that asked EPA to create the rules in the first place.

“The original timelines for compliance simply proved to be unworkable.

“We will then take up Senator Wicker’s legislation, S. 2461, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act, or BRICK Act.

“The BRICK Act is a bipartisan bill that delays the deadline to comply with an EPA rule governing air emissions from the brick, clay, and tile industries.

“The delay provides industry with additional time to grapple with excessive compliance costs and for court challenges to play out.

“The brick, clay, and tile industries currently face a compliance deadline in December 2018.

“S. 2461 extends that compliance deadline by no more than two years – to December 2020.

“We will also consider S. 2827, a bill to reauthorize and amend the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation Act.

“The Udall Foundation promotes environmental conflict resolution, provides undergraduate and graduate scholarships and fellowships, operates a Native American internship program in Washington, DC, and conducts environmental and public health awareness programs.

“Senator John McCain was a steadfast advocate for the Udall Foundation.

“He cosponsored the Udall Foundation’s original enabling legislation in 1992.

“He sponsored the amendments that established the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution in 1998.

“He intended to introduce S. 2827 himself this Congress, but was unable to do so before returning to Arizona.

“Senator Heinrich then introduced it, with Senator McCain as an original cosponsor. 

“I am pleased to offer a substitute amendment that will honor Senator McCain’s legacy and acknowledge his instrumental contributions to the Udall Foundation.

“My substitute amendment will rename the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution as the ‘John S. McCain III U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution.’

“My substitute amendment will also lower S. 2827’s increase in the administrative expenses cap for Education Trust Fund programs from 20 percent to 17.5 percent.

“Next we will consider Senator Sullivan’s bill, S. 1934, the Alaska Remote Generator Reliability and Protection Act with a substitute amendment.

“This bill establishes that diesel generators in remote areas of Alaska do not have to comply with the latest EPA standards.

“Instead, they can comply with standards that will avoid negative impacts to electricity and energy reliability in those Alaskan communities.

“We will also take up Senator Capito’s bill, S. 593, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act.

“This is a bipartisan bill to amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to facilitate the construction and expansion of public target ranges.

“We will also consider Senator Cardin’s legislation, S. 1537, the Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Act

“This is a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, which conserves migratory birds throughout their life cycles.

“In July 2017, this Committee reported similar versions of both of these bills by a bipartisan vote of 14 to 7 as part of S. 1514, the HELP for Wildlife Act.

“We will then consider presidential nomination 2347, Harold B. Parker, of New Hampshire, to be Federal Cochairperson of the Northern Border Regional Commission.

“Congress created the Northern Border Regional Commission to help fund economic and community development projects in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York.

“Mr. Parker was a senior advisor to New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, a former staffer for then-Congressman and Senator John Sununu, and a former staffer for then-Congressman Charles Bass.

“Mr. Parker is well qualified and will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the position.

“The committee also will address four resolutions to approve prospectuses providing for General Services Administration leases.

“The prospectuses will provide office space for the Army Corps of Engineers, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as the modernization and expansion of the Otay Mesa U.S. Land Port of Entry in San Diego, California.”

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