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 hearing for the confirmation of nominees to serve at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
The hearing featured testimony from the Honorable Kristine Svinicki, nominee to continue serving as a member of the NRC; Annie Caputo, nominee to serve as a member of the NRC; David Wright, nominee to serve as a member of the NRC; and Susan Bodine, nominee to serve as the assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at the EPA.
For more information on their testimonies click here.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Today, we will consider the nomination of three individuals to serve as members of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Kristine Svinicki, current member and chair of the NRC; Annie Caputo, senior policy advisor on this committee’s majority staff; and David Wright, president, Wright Directions, LLC.
“We will also consider the nomination of one individual to serve as assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Susan Bodine, chief counsel on this committee’s majority staff.
“I applaud the president’s nomination of such experienced Americans and dedicated public servants.
“The four nominees before us today are well-qualified candidates.
(Senator Graham introduced Mr. Wright to the committee at this time)
“Of the nominees this morning, two have previously been reported by this committee, and confirmed by the Senate, by voice vote.
“Ms. Svinicki has served as a member of the NRC for more than nine years, including the last six months as the chair.
“She was confirmed as a member in 2008.
“She was reported by this committee by voice vote on December of 2007, and confirmed by the Senate by voice vote on March 13, 2008.
“She was re-nominated to a second term in 2012. Again, she was reported by this committee by voice vote and confirmed by the Senate by voice vote eight days later.
“She was designated as the NRC’s Chair by President Trump in January 2017.
“Before joining the NRC, Ms. Svinicki served in various staff positions in the U.S. Senate, including with the Armed Services Committee, where she concentrated on defense science and technology policy and defense related atomic energy activities.
“She also worked as a nuclear engineer at the Energy Department, and as an energy engineer for the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.
“She was honored with the Woman of the Year Award by the Women’s Council on Energy and Environment in 2013, and the Presidential Citation Award by the American Nuclear Society twice, in 2012 and 2006.
“Ms. Caputo has spent more than 20 years advising Congress and industry on nuclear energy matters.
“She has served as a policy advisor for this committee and for the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the past twelve years.
“Before that, she worked for Exelon Corporation as a Congressional Affairs Manager.
“In 2013, the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council honored Ms. Caputo with its Meritorious Service Award.
“In response to Ms. Caputo’s nomination, the vice president of the Clean Energy Program at Third Way, a think tank once labelled as ‘radical centrists’ by the New York Times, stated about the nominee: ‘She has consistently worked with members on both sides of the aisle to promote effective nuclear regulation and is well-respected across partisan lines for her expertise, professionalism, and competence. Few people are more qualified to fill this role at the NRC.’
“Mr. Wright has served as member and chairman of the South Carolina Public Service Commission, as president of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and as president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.
“He is chairman emeritus of the Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition, a group that includes state utility regulators and state attorneys general focusing on addressing nuclear waste policy matters.
“He has served as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, and as a councilman and mayor of the Town of Irmo, South Carolina.
“He has also owned and operated several different businesses, and been honored with various awards.
“Ms. Bodine served as Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response from 2006 to 2009.
“She was reported by this committee by voice vote on July 20, 2005, and confirmed by the Senate by voice vote later that year.
“She previously served as staff director of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment, and as an attorney in private practice.
“Today’s nominees will fill critically important roles in protecting Americans’ public health and safety.
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission ensures that nuclear power plants, nuclear materials, and waste are handled and used safely and securely.
“The EPA’s role, is responsible for enforcing our nation’s environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Superfund.
“The need for nuclear and environmental safety protection is bipartisan.
“We need to move quickly on these nominations.
“Unless today’s NRC nominees are confirmed by June 30th, the NRC will lose its quorum.
“This will degrade the NRC’s collective ability to fulfill its mission of licensing and regulating the nation’s civilian use of radioactive materials to protect public health, and provide for safety and security.
“The committee must act to restore the NRC to a full slate of commissioners expeditiously.
“Similarly, the EPA does not have a Senate-confirmed assistant administrator of OECA.
“The committee must act to confirm the nominee to lead OECA quickly, so that our environmental laws are rigorously enforced so that polluters are held accountable.
“I can think of no better candidate to take on the critical task of leading OECA and enforcing our nation’s environmental laws than Susan Bodine.
“Past EPA officials, notably from both Democratic and Republican administrations, have praised Susan’s nomination.
“Mathy Stanislaus, a former Obama EPA assistant administrator said: ‘[Ms. Bodine] understands both the internal side of the agency and the proper balance of enforcement,’ and would be a ‘standup person.’
“Ben Grumbles, a former George W. Bush assistant administrator and currently the Maryland Secretary of the Environment, said: ‘She’s tough and fair and committed to public service.’
“Elliott Laws, a former Clinton assistant administrator said: ‘Bringing in someone with her knowledge of the agency and the issues facing it can only be a positive.’
“John Cruden, a former Obama Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division said: ‘Susan is dedicated to the rule of law, a lawyer with great integrity, and she understands the critical importance of effective and timely enforcement.’”