To watch Senator Capito’s questioning, click here or the image above.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, as well as the Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today questioned U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan on the EPA’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2024.
During the hearing, Senator Capito questioned Administrator Regan on Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) project funding delays in West Virginia from Fiscal Year 2022. Additionally, Senator Capito asked about newly proposed anti-coal regulations by the EPA that will damage energy-generating states like West Virginia, and issues with acquiring permits for infrastructure projects.
ON DELAYS IN CDS FUNDING IN WEST VIRGINIA:
SEN. CAPITO: “I wanted to re-emphasize the issue on the CDS funding delay. We've heard a lot of complaints at home. You know, you inform folks that they're going to be able to get a certain amount, particularly in the water projects area. They can't move forward with their financing without the assurances and timeliness of the funding. And so we heard our office was notified that the FY 23 Community recipients of CDS did receive instructions to assist them in planning and preparing for their application process. I'm glad to see that this is moving much faster than the FY 2022. What is the status? I mean has a single FY 22 CDS funding possibility- has any of those dollars gone out yet?”
ADMIN. REGAN: “Well, Senator, the percentage is much smaller than I would like and any of us would like.”
SEN. CAPITO: “Has any gone out? Is the percentage bigger than zero?”
ADMIN. REGAN: “Yes, we have a number that's bigger than zero that has gone out… The number is 25. 25 awards, 117 applications.”
ON ADMIN. REGAN CLAIMING THE EPA IS “UNDER-RESOURCED”:
SEN. CAPITO: “You just mentioned under-resource, but I would point out that the EPA received 10 billion dollars- more than $10 billion in FY 23 and more than $40 billion in additional funding through the Inflation Reduction Act, certainly that's got to have impacts on your ability to move through all these [other projects]?”
ADMIN. REGAN: “Well, you know we've been hiring up since we got some of those [FY 2023 Appropriations] bill dollars. And in some cases, we are looking at cross-pollination opportunities for those staff members. But again, we received significant resources under [FY 2023 Appropriations] bill and IRA focused on specific projects. And so we put people forward to complete those tasks and where we can leverage staff, we are.”
ON NEW EPA RULES THAT CAN TAKE AWAY ENERGY JOBS IN WEST VIRGINIA:
SEN. CAPITO: “Does the cost benefit analysis [of new and upcoming EPA regulations] include the number of jobs that would be lost, and what the impacts that would be to the community?”
ADMIN. REGAN: “Let me get back to you. The cost benefit analysis in all of our rules are very complex, and I'm sure you can tease out a number of things in that analysis. So what I'd like to do is have my team spend some time with you on all of the impacts, positive, and potential adverse impacts for any of these categories on any of the rules that we put out.”
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