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tv   EPA Administrator Nominee Michael Regan Testifies at Confirmation Hearing  CSPAN  February 9, 2021 1:23pm-4:24pm EST

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tonight, pulitzer prize-winning photographer david hume kennedy talks about his more than 50-year-long photography career, his time as president gerald ford's chief white house photographer and his most iconic photographs. watch tonight beginning at 8:00 eastern and enjoy american history tv every weekend on c-span3. you're watching c-span3. your unfiltered view of government. c-span3 was created by america's cable television companies and today we're brought to you by these television companies who provide c-span3 to viewers as a public service. >> michael regan is the president's nominee to head the instrumental agency.
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>> i think we have an exciting day today. any time that we're considering one of the president's nominees to -- in an important cabinet position. it bears our gratitude to folks who put their name in for public service. we'll get a lot into thatrscgx> today. this is7dz the chairman's final meeting in epw. he will be moving over to energy in a leadership position over there. and he has also -- will be leaving this committee. it is with great sadness and regret that we know that you're leaving. we thank you so much for your years of service here and your leadership as the chairman of this important committee particularly with that
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transportation bill last year. i'm going to turn it over to you for some statements and we'll proceed with the rest of the meeting. >> thank you so very much, senator. we're here today to consider the nomination of michael s. regan to be administrator of the environmental protection agency. i just want to start by saying a few words about tom carper. for the past four years it's been a pleasure to work so closely with both senators carper and capato on the committee. it resulted in two separate bipartisan laws that are going to create jobs and provide clean drinking water to communities prevent floods, replenish beaches on the coast and help keep our economy moving.
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we wrote comprehensive, historic highway infrastructure legislation that included hundreds of billions of dollars for america's roads and bridges. our highway legislation cut red tape for important construction projects while also including the first ever, first ever climate title to protect our environment. they played a central and critical role in writing these bills as the chair of the infrastructure subcommittee. our legislation passed the epw committee 21-0. the wild act is going to help spark ground-breaking innovation. we also passed the america's conservation enhancement act.
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the purpose was to combat invasive species, combat diseases all while protecting livestock from predators. these bills were praised by farmers, hunters conservation groups environmentalists and our home states. we passed an innovation law that will boost carbon capture technologies while reducing greenhouse gasses. this committee has served as a shining example of what can be accomplished when democrats and republicans work together. we agreed to follow the 80/20 rule and we worked where we could and found common ground repeatedly. bipartisan change is lasting change. it will make a big difference for a long time to come. we were able to work together to get things done for the american people. senator carper i want to thank you, thank your staff for working with me over these past
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four years and for your dedication to getting so very much done in a bipartisan and productive way. and i'm very confident that that productive partnership is going to continue with senator capito on the committee. she's played a critical and crucial role in getting our infrastructure legislation across the finish line. she also is a leader when our committee worked across party lines to address pollution from pfas chemicals, a priority for her and her home state. so i know she will lead the republicans on the epw very well. this committee is in very capable hands. and with that i will turn the gavel over to senator capito to preside over the committee. >> we have another former chairman with us as well and then in probably five minutes, the soon to be chairman. i get to be a chairman too.
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this is some historic number here. thank you for your service to this committee and i know you'll do great work on energy as you do everywhere. thanks a lot. thanks for enumerating some of the successes from last year. i would like to give an opening statement and i'll turn to my ranking member for ten minutes and then in any event some of the successes i would like to talk about that we were able to achieve in this committee over the last several years was when president trump sized the use it act. it was a great bipartisan bill that senator whitehouse and several of us on the committee worked on to certainly to maintain and foster and from our conversations, numerous conversations, i feel as though senator carper feels the same way. our most pressing congress will
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be fasing thepassing the five-year highway bill. it's a tall order. but we've already had a record of success. we reported out the bill 21-0 last year and i look forward to -- and i think we are going to have quick work taking up the highway bill in this committee because the importance not just to our nation's infrastructure but also to our employment structure here. it's a jobs bills. it always has been. and it will remain that way and at a time -- no more timely than the present. i look forward to working with everybody because we must give our states the certainty. with that optimistic introduction, i want to welcome our secretary -- our nominee for secretary, michael reagan and his family. got to meet his wife and his very fun and smart young son matthew. congratulations on your nominee.
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i look forward to the opportunity to get to know you better and work together into the future. while i'm encouraged by the continuing bipartisanship, i am concerned by the direction that the administration has taken in the first few weeks of office and i want to understand your position on these policies and we talked on the phone about this. president biden did campaign on issues of unity and there's no committee where we praise unity more and sometimes we have more disunity sometimes than this committee that we are sitting on. the barrage of executive orders has particular concern for me, his decision on the keystone xl pipeline has i think, great impacts in the job markets. he's put us back in the paris agreement which also has great impacts both economically in this country and his administration has doubled down on the desire to financially support other countries, climate goals while our own country as we know is facing economic
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challenges. he has ordered agencies across the federal government to examine and uproot critical reforms including several within the jurisdiction of the epa even without an administrator in place. executive order 13990 directs the epa to consider rescinding major rules put in place by the trump administration. it includes rules on methane emissions, the fuel efficient vehicles rule and the cost/benefit policies. in my view, i see this as a foreboding of what happened in past administrations and coming from a state like west virginia, it's a cautionary tale. the fate of other rules like the affordable clean energy rule and the navigable water protection rule which are important in all of our states is something i'm sure we will be digging down on
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in this hearing. so i would like to say that it is hard to build back better as the president has said, if we can't build anything and that's why i think the executive order 13990 which directs us to revisit the regulations which we were encouraging to expedite infrastructure delivery i think is also -- could be problematic. so i think that the president has taken -- he has talked -- i was in the oval office with him on monday as we talked a lot about bipartisanship and the need to work together. so i think that i am concerned about some of the appointments that the president has made where they're not in the purview of this committee or any really congressional committee or congressional oversight. that, of course, would be gina
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mccarthy and john kerry. they established themselves as the unaccountable czars on climate as they made that clear on wednesday's white house press conference. i'm concerned that this is shaping up to be a third obama administration and as i enumerated and i know i've talked with my friend senator carper about the impacts that that had on my state of west virginia. i am concerned about the -- with the leadership in the white house with the czars, what kind of impacts will that have on you, should you be successful as an -- to become the epa administrator, what kind of impacts that will have on you as you carve your own course in conjunction with the administration? i would remind you and i think i did on the phone call that one of my objections to ms. mccarthy is the fact that she wouldn't -- at our invitation, come to the home states of those senators
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where we had the most deep economic impacts of the clean power plan. it still stings i will say, and i'm hoping that we can have a different outcome and you and i talked about this on the phone. i think as we look at that and that is a balance, it's an achievable balance, but it's a balance, i think that -- you know the president and you also talk a lot about instrumental and economic justice. but sometimes i question where is the justice when it's not taken into consideration that many people are being plunged into poverty, unemployment, drug addiction and hopelessness by some of the misguided policies. with that, i will turn this over to senator carper who is in this particular meeting the ranking member. i look forward to discussing this and i look forward to having our two senators after senator carper makes his opening statement. thank you.
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>> thank you, madam chair. how is that? >> that's perfect. >> most people remember january 6th as a day that will live in infamy. the capitol was stormed and overwhelmed by thousands of rioters, people died, we lost another capitol policeman just this week, verym c5 sadly. we'rez wcçñi remembering another one in state today in the capitol. the thing that i remember about that day -- and you may as well you may remember when the senators are gathered about noon on the 6th and the idea was for senators to walk through the capitol to the house chambers to vert fi certify the results of the election. we walked two by two, noah's ark i asked the senator if we could walk together and she said yes. and we did. along the way we talked. and i hope you remember this, i certainly do, we talked about a common agenda that we can work
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on together. and the idea is that we can have cleaner air, cleaner water, address climate change and create jobs. including in places like west virginia, my native state. and i found that a very encouraging conversation. i'm encouraged by the words of senator barrasso on this committee. he has a close friend from wyoming who ended up being assistant secretary of the interior, rob wallace. he sat right here in our hearing a couple years ago for his confirmation hearing to go to the department of interior. he was reminded of the bipartisan nature of this committee and the way we work, whether it was shelly capito, that's the way that we have traditionally worked. and that's the way i want to see us continue to work. rob said these words, i'll never forget them. he said, bipartisan solutions
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are lasting solutions. that's what he said. bipartisan solutions are lasting solutions. and that's true in this committee. and god-willing, it will always be true. i want to say a special thanks to two senators from north carolina. we're delighted that you're both able to be here. it's good to have you to come. i also want to say -- we're gathered here -- first of all, malvina, would you raise your hands? matthew, would you stand up? go ahead and stand up. matthew, how are you doing, buddy? welcome thank you so much for being here. to be with your husband and be with your dad. we're gathered here today to consideration the nomination of michael ronald reagan to serve as the administer of the environmental protection agency. in the navy, we had farewell events several times a year for
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those that were joining and leaving. we're welcoming new folks on our side. i think senator kelly is joining us and saying good-bye to senator gillibrand, booker and van hollen and john barrasso, which i did not see coming. i'm surprised to hear that and disappointed. you're stuck with us. i just want to thank john for his leadership over the past four years. it's been a joy working with him and his staff led by richard. and thank mary francis over here. she and richard made a good team. we got so much done. proud of what we accomplished by working together. and i also want to thank you, madam chair, for -- and your staff for your assistance in bringing this hearing together today. and i want to congratulate you
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on your new leadership position, both of them, one more short term than the other. as we discussed last month on january 6th as recently as last week there's a lot of important work ahead for our committee. and i very much look forward to working together as partners in tackling the challenges facing our nation and our planet. with that i want to warmly welcome our nominee, mr. reagan and thank him for being here today and with his son and wife matthew. i want to thank your wife and your son not just for your -- for being here i want to thank you for your willingness to share your husband and dad with our country. this is important work. this is going to help determine what kind of planet we work on and earth we have and the quality of or life in the days to come. thank you for sharing him. you have already shared him with the people of north carolina. mr. reagan is from the north
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carolina. birthplace of my wife, martha. she sends her very best wishes to you and your family on this special day, michael. martha and i had the privilege of meeting michael a year ago. as i've gotten to know him, i've become convinced that he's the right person to lead the environmental protection agency during this critical time. a man of deep faith. he believes we have an obligation to be good stewards of this planet on which we live. as to clean our air, water and strive to make sure we don't leave some of our communities and neighborhoods behind in the efforts to do so. he serves as the secretary of north carolina's department of environmental quality role where he's demonstrated the power of
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effective leadership in improving the quality of the air north carolinians breathe and the water they drink. for proof we can look at some of his accomplishments. they include leading the negotiations that resulted in the cleanup of the cape fear river not far from where my wife martha lived and worked. he also negotiated and oversaw what's considered to be the largest coal cleanup in the history of the united states and he created north carolina's first ever environmental injustice equity board. he's been able to do these things by bringing people together in common cause. while never compromising on his principles. and, again, the presence of senators burr and tillis bear witness to that and we welcome each of you to this hearing. michael reagan developed a reputation as a leader who works
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with democrats and republicans to forge practical solutions that protect the water we drink and the air we breathe. that kind of leadership is what we need now more than ever at epa. it's no secret that the next epa administrator has his work cut out for him. in addition to addressing the serious instrumental issues that are affecting americans, the next epa administrator will also be tasked along with the members of this committee in helping to rebuild an agency badly damaged, at times, in recent years by flawed leadership and an agency suffering from organizational drift and low morale. one of the keys to accomplishing this will be restoring scientific integrity as a foundation of policymaking at epa. and michael reagan understands that well. the men and women of epa need to work with purpose and with dispatch to address the climate crisis facing our nation and our planet. it's real. the threat it poses to our
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planet is growing worst not better. the epa team can do so in part by working with the u.s. department of transportation, the auto industry and others to restore greenhouse gas emission standards. we've had some encouraging developments there especially with the mobile sources, the auto industry, reaching out and saying we want to be part of the solution. i'm encouraged by that. the epa team also needs to implement our new phase down law and the toxic substance control act both authored by members of this committee as well as to reserve and replace the oil and gas methane rules for power plants, vehicles and refineries. the epa needs to ensure cleaner air by re-establishing basis for mercury and air toxic standards and it must better protect human health has north carolina has already done by taking action on certain so-called forever chemicals that also found in the
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ground waters in states like west virginia, delaware, and hundreds of other communities across america. moreover, the epa must curb the influence of special interests within the scientific bodies. the president is calling on americans to build back better and to do that we'll need to redouble our efforts to address the climate crisis safeguard our air and water as well as other natural resources and ensuring ensuring environmental justice in all of our communities. we must rebuild our infrastructures, roads highways bridges waste water, access to the broadband. those are some of the parts of our infrastructure that need to be rebuilt. they shouldn't be partisan issues issues, they should be bipartisan. and i think they will. it's going to be a challenge.
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and the challenges are daunting. but if we do it together, we'll exweed succeed. i believe michael reagan is the partner we need at the epa. he knows how to retain and inspire a team of talented men and women. he has what it takes to help us make progress on many fronts and creating a more nurturing instrument for job creation and job preservation at the same time. that's why president biden has nominated him for this important spot. mr. reagan, welcome. thank you for appearing before us this afternoon and for your willingness to serve our nation as we take on some of the most serious challenges in our history. we look forward to hearing from you today. before i turn it over to the senator, let me close with these words in adversity lies opportunity. think about that.
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no doubt that we face plenty of adversity in this country and on this planet as we gather here today. but, along with that adversity comes extraordinary opportunities to do great things for the people whom we are privileged to kept along with our neighbors. whether those neighbors live on the other side of the street on the other side of town, or the other side of the world. and, again, thank you all for giving me a chance to serve with you and, again, we will -- i'm thrilled that we're here for this day. thank you all. >> thank you senator carper. thank you for the kind words and i look forward to our serving together at the helm of this committee. now, i would like to -- i am very honored to have the home state senators here from north carolina and i would like to recognize senator burr for an introduction of our nominee. >> thank you very much. chairman, soon to be thank you. i didn't think we would make history today at this hearing but i think this probably will be the shortest chairmanship in
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the history of the united states senate. and senator tillis and i were talking where you have the witnesses positioned in the room, this is sort of like looking at russia from alaska. senator sullivan left. it's hard to see all that way. i appreciate the opportunity to come before the committee today to introduce secretary michael reagan. as you consider hisvñíysv nomination to beá
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his father served in vietnam and continued to serve in north carolina in the national guard until his retirement as a colonel. it's clear that his parents instilled not only the values of public service, but also a love affair with the outdoors including hunting and fishing. and that continues to this day. i could say a passion we both share. while attending north carolina michael met his beautiful wife melvina. melvina is likely the real star of the family, graduated from north carolina along with a master's from red ford university. she works in the research triangle park. she's managed all of that while also raising their son matthew. michael after graduating from north carolina where we share in common a very good friend in the chancellor herald martin with a
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degree in environmental science michael began a partnership with environmental science at the epa. he stayed with the epa over nine years working with various offices and gaining policy experience while also completing a masters in public administration from george washington university. following his initial tenure with the epa he served as associate vice president for clean energy and south eastern regional director for the environmental defense fund. with his stellar résumé mr. regan was tapped by governor cooper in 2017 to serve as the secretary of north carolina environment and equality. as the committee evaluate his nomination i believe his tenure in north carolina can tell many of you much about how he will approach our shared desire for clean air and water with a need to ensure we do not
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unnecessarily limit economic opportunities. north carolina is blessed by beautiful coastline and mountains as well as the most fertile agricultural lands in this country. as secretary of the state's department of environmental quality secretary regan was able to find the right balance by reaching out to stakeholders and ensuring that the department's relationship with rural communities whose lifeblood was agricultural was constructive and not adversarial. to underscore this secretary regan's nomination is supported by over 20 of the largest agricultural organizations in the country. these organizations and their state associations understand that they're not always going to agree with every decision handed down by the epa, but they know and trust they'll receive a fair hearing. it's my belief that secretary regan will bring the same qualities, experiences and values of environmental stewardship while balancing the
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needs of rural communities to this new role as administrator. on top of that let me say this michael's a good man. he's a good husband. he is is a great father, and i look forward to supporting his nomination on the floor. i thank the chair. >> thank you, senator burr. senator tillis, would you like to join in that rousing introduction? >> well, madam chair for the moment and incoming chair in a matter of moments thank you for letting me be here with my friend and colleague senator burr to introduce michael regan. i'm not going to cover some of the ground that senator burr did so well except to say that secretary regan is somebody i've tracked. i have a history in north carolina. i was speaker of the house down there. we took up some of the thorny
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issues and passed legislation back when i was speaker of the house. so i got to see some of that come to life in a republican administration and then continue to grow in a democratic administration under governor cooper. i will tell you that in the time after his nomination was put forth i've spent a lot of time talking to people in north carolina, people in the agriculture sector people in the energy sector. and what they all said to a person is michael distinguished himself as someone who listens and someone who tried to take in the input from both sides and come up with a fair outcome. that's why i believe he does have the support of over 23 national organizations not only in agriculture but in the business community. we have to understand that the election produced a different leader down in the white house. we can't imagine as republicans we're necessarily going to have a president with the same
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priorities as ours. but what we can hope for are people in the administration who have a track record of listening and trying to come up with a sustainable outcome. as ranking member carper said, you know trying to produce something that has enduring value. and i believe that michael will go to the epa. he will be fair. he will listen. he will sometimes take on initiatives that i will disagree with most likely vote against but i do believe that he will be somebody that we can rely onto be fair with the reality of the change in transition. so i want to thank him for being here today. i want to thank him for his years of service and thank him in advance for the tough job he's about to take on. i also want to welcome melvina and matthew. matthew, if this hearing goes long i'm right across the hallway so you can come visit
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with me. i'll bring you a goody bag with some north carolina treats. i hope you'll listen to him today. ask him the tough questions we should ask, but at the end of the day i think we've got a great, well qualified nominee before us and i encourage your support. thank you madam chair. >> thank both of you and thank you for reminding everybody this is going to be the shortest chairmanship on record. appreciate that.
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thank you. like i'd say i'd like to bring michael regan and want to eare mind your full written statement will be made a part of the record and i look forward to hearing your testimony. but before you begin i'm sure you'd like to do this and i look forward to this. would you like to introduce your family or anyone else that is with you today? >> i think they have been introduced adequately but i do want to say i have my beautiful wife melvina with me today and my son matthew. i'm extremely grateful to have both of them. >> and i'm sure you have a lot of family and friends.
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>> i've dedicated my career to public service and i appreciate the opportunity to highlight my qualifications and my passion for environmental stewardship public health and economic prosperity. i want to thank senator burr and senator tillis for their kind words and very strong introduction. i want to thank president biden for nominating me and trusting me for leading this important agency during a vital time in our nation's history. and again i want to especially thank my wonderful and beautiful wife melvina who i'm blessed to have as a partner in life as we navigate life together. my son matthew who i'm extremely proud of and consider it a priv l to be his dad. together we prayed as a family
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before i accepted this nomination, and we're so proud to take on this assignment. i am grateful for their support. for the last four years i've proudly served as the secretary for the north carolina department working to provide cleaner air and cleaner water while nurturing our state's economy. i fell in love with the outdoors growing up in eastern north carolina, hunting and fishing with my father and grandfather. those beautiful waters and lands are legacies they were proud to share with me, but they also taught me protecting them was my responsibility as well. like millions of americans living in rural communities, improving our natural resources isn't something just to balance with the economy. it's essential for economic growth along with protecting public health and our way of life. careful stewardship of the environment is more than just passing down traditions to the next generation. it's about learning from the past and being prepared to combat the challenges that our future generations will face.
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both of my parents were dedicated public servants. my mother a nurse close to 30 years, the best nurse in wayne county. my father served his country in vietnam, worked for the north carolina agriculture and extension service for years and ultimately retired as a colonel with the north carolina national guard. so obviously after graduating from north carolina agriculture and technical state university with a degree in environmental science i knew i wanted to find a way to serve. and that led to my first summer internship at epa. i spent nearly ten years at epa under presidents of both parties, and it's an honor of a lifetime to be invited back. throughout my career i've learned if you want to address complex challenges you must be able to see them from all sides. and you must be willing to put yourself in other peoples shoes. the best way to do that is by convening stakeholders where they live, where they work and
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where they serve, fostering on open dialogue rooted in the respect for science, a clear understanding of the law and a commitment to building consensus with pragmatic solutions. i've also learned that we can't simply regulate our way out of every problem we face. this approach has been proven to be effective as my tenure secretary of deq. we've tackled the adverse effects of hog farms, cleaned up toxic pollution and cleaned up the largest colash settlement in u.s. history. the eyes of amy brown the mother of two boys when she toldv$)h me she had not let her sons play in the bathtub or in her pool in the backyard for years because they were required to live on bottled water after the river colash spill. that night after i gave my son matthew his bath with fresh tap water i vowed this story would have a happier ending for amy brown and her two sons.
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and we did just that by following the science, the law. bringing industries together with impacted communities not as adversaries but as stakeholders working together for real solutions. in north carolina we're moving beyond the old argument that we have to pit creating jobs against protecting the environment. we've demonstrated you can do that from the north carolina mountains to the old north state coast. president biden has said confronting climate change presents an impressive economic and jobs opportunity. partnering with private sectors to provide economic opportunities and regulatory certainty and harnessing our strength in manufacturing, innovation and research which has resulted in the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs in north carolina. and if confirmed, i will work with the entire administration to build and strengthen that partnership, to power america's
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economy with cleaner energy and create millions of good paying middle class jobs. our priorities for the environment are cleat. we will restore the role of science and transparency at epa. we will support the dedicated and talented career officials. we will move with a sense of urgency on climate change, and we will stand up for environmental justice and equity. and we will do that in a collaborative manner. in partnership with state and local governments who know their own communities better than the federal government ever could. we'll work transparently and responsibly with industries eager to establish clear, consistent rules of engagement. and we will engage working americans whose voices have been absent from these conversations about our environment for far too long. and last but not least, we will work to do this in partnership with congress, leveraging your expertise and concerns for your
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constituents as we build healthier communities through environmental stewardship and economic growth. we all have a stake in the health of our environment, the strength of our economy, the well-being of our communities, and a legacy that we will leave the next generation in the form of the nation's natural resources. and while those values may not unite us on every single policy question, i think it's a solid foundation for a successful partnership. i look forward to building on that foundation with you if confirmed, and i look forward to answering any questions you might have for me today. thank you. >> thank you, secretary regan. i appreciate that and have some little business items before we get to the questioning. the hearing will include two 5-minute rounds of questions. i'll start the second round after closing the first. to be fair to other members of the committee and the witness i ask senators to please limit your questions each round to the
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5 minutes. throughout this hearing and with the questions for the record our committee members will have an opportunity to learn more about you, mr. regan. i'd ask throughout his hearing you please respond to the questions today and for those that we will submit for the record. so these are the questions that i have to ask and we ask of all nominees on behalf of the committee. do you agree if confirmed to appear before this committee or designated members of this committee and other appropriate committees of the congress and provide information subject to appropriate and necessary security protection with respect to your responsibilities? >> i do. >> do you agree to ensure documents, briefings, and other forms of information are provided to this committee and other staff and other appropriate committees in a timely fashion? >> yes, i do. >> do you know of any matters which you may or may not have disclosed that might place you in a conflict of interest if you are confirmed?
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>> i do not. >> thank you very much. and with that i'll start with the 5-minute questioning. first of all, thank you for your opening statement. your pledge of transparency is something that i think we are going to hear a lot about today and probably in every administration. and this one certainly is no different. so i'm going to begin where you and i talked on the phone and where i alluded to in my opening statements. and that is the fact of having a domestic climate czar in the white house who was a former administrator of the epa who really doesn't have any accountability to congress or to any of us for overnight. apparently her authority is very sweeping, and she stated every single piece of the federal budget will reflect climate policy. her remark demonstrates there is no part of the government within her reach. so have you met gena mccarthy? >> yes, i have.
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>> you have. have you talked about how the two roles that you would be fulfilling are going to interplay and how that decision making is going to rollout? >> yes, we have. >> and what was the substance of that? >> i think the substance of it was recognizing that with the president's ambitious goals that there was an all hands on deck approach, and that he would have staff in the white house that would have responsibilities in participating in climate policy, and that that task would also be before every single cabinet agency. and so i think that the crux of that conversation was recognizing congress has to stow certain powers upon me as administrator as well as certain accountabilities. so i look forward in working with the president's staff. but i also look forward to working with every other cabinet agency as we develop a comprehensive pathway to reach the president's ambitious climate goals. >> did you get a sense of the conversation with her you'd be
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reporting directly to her or the president or a bit of both? >> no, i think its pretty clear this position reports to the president. this position will be working with the staff in the white house. and of course this position will be working with all of the cabinet agencies required for this whole of government approach. >> what about if there's a disagreement between the climate czar and the administrator of the epa? i would hope that the transparency pledge would follow through on that after you've reached decisions, who's making that decision and how it was determined. how do you see disagreements being resolved when it's not intercabinets but with a czar and a member of the president's cabinet. >> you know, with every complex issue we anticipate healthy debates. and i believe that the realities are we have different positions we serve in the administration. so i have no reason to believe that the positions of the epa or white house staff will get equal
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hearings. and hopefully we'll have robust discussions in a manner that will yield the best results for the president to achieve this ambitious climate goal. >> we certainly want the best results. that's in all of our best interests as you emphasized in your opening statement. i would like to ask you one of the objections i've had over the past is that when really difficult issues come in front of the epa that could result as we saw in the obama administration drastic job losses and a lot of economic downturn in a particular area, that you would -- you and your agency would come and come to where the biggest impacts are going to be. to the people this was not done in the past. and as i said it still stings and it's not right.
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so i know you have a history of this in north carolina. if you can pledge to me you'll continue that as an administrator that'll be good for us. >> absolutely. and north carolina i realized quickly we cannot solve the problem by visiting desks. would have hit all 100 but for covid. i think i've pledged to many of you that i've spoken with that i do plan to respond to the invitation to visit, to spend time with your states in your communities so we can have best understanding of how the decisions we make will impact you all on the ground. >> is it your understanding that the president intends to come back with a new version of the clean power plan? >> you know, it's my understanding that we have to take a look at what was the plans for the clean power plan and what were the plans for the ace rule. it reality it it presents a significant opportunity for the environmental protection agency to take a clean slate and look at how do we best move forward?
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there are lots and lots of i would say examples of success and failure that we've seen in past tries. and so i look forward to having an opportunity to do a few things. number one, to not look backwards but to look forward. number two to convene all parties relevant to this discussion and think about how we harness the power and the statutory authority of the clean air act ipconcertn concert with major investments we should see government wide and the statements from those who will be impacted by potential actions we take, whether that be rule making or voluntary. >> thank you. that ends my five minutes. i would say i'll be interested in maybe a follow-up question on whether you think that would mean we go beyond the fence or not. >> i'm going to yield to others.
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>> first of all, thank you very much. i've had a chance to visit with michael regan and i think we're going to get along really well. i told him during our introductory discussion how well i got along with particularly lisa jackson when she was in the obama administration. in fact she liked me so well and i liked her so well we spent a lot of time together. and she today has a pchristmas card picture of my kids on the wall. four things i want to mention. one is on the green new deal. you hear all kind of extreme interpretations as to what does that mean and things like banning fossil fuels banning
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air travel, controlling how much beef we can eat and all these things. and the cost would be about $93 trillion. that i believe is accurate. but the other thing that affects me is the war on fossil fuels. that was behind us i thought for a while and it looks like it may be coming back. so what i'd like to ask of you michael, is that you sit down with me and other members of this committee and talk over the different aspects of what is alleged to be the green new deal and what it's going to mean in terms of putting it to together. i agree withws?@÷ senator tillis you're someone who listens and and i think that would be a fair thing to do. what do you think? >> i can pledge to you that i will move forward the way i have in north carolina, which is using the power to convene to
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bring everyone to the table. i would like to say that president biden has his own ambitious climate plan. one that harnesses the power of government but not only looks at regulations that will come from epa but investment strategies that come from the broader government. so i look forward to engaging with you and your colleagues how we execute on the president's vision for an ambitious climate accord. >> that's fair. the second of the four things i want to bring up have to do with the -- bill. back during the obama administration they had it for those who might be now on this committee, it's the water regulation that would be transferred from the states to the federal government. this is something the american farm bureau and all the
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agricultural had as its major concern at that time. along came president trump and added a new rule that i thought was working quite well. my question on that one would be can we have a chance to talk about that? because that issue is going to be it the one -- and politically i have to say this too it's one everyone ought to be concerned about because that is the number one issue. the third thing i want to bring up is on pipelines. i noticed you approved a permit for the atlantic coast pipeline. you denied a permit for mountain valley pipeline. there may be a record in writing you can come back and distinguish your feelings between the two of them and what you're feelings are about pipelines and lastly i wanted to mention the small refinery
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exemptions. in my state of oklahoma the clean air act exists with small refineries facing, quote, disproportionate economic hardship from the cost of renewable fuel standards. now the action i'd like to ask for you would be the united states supreme court has already taken up the case of holly frontier versus the epa which would seem logical to me that before establishing any real policies concerning small refinery exemptions, it might be a good idea to get the response from the united states supreme court on that case. what do you think? >> i think that's one way to go. the one thing i know i have to do is consult with our general counsel, understand where we are in the legal process, and also understand what options do we have to continue conversations. i think that the courts will give us some ruling. but i also don't want to lose the opportunity to take a look at what we've learned with the obama era waters of the u.s. and
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the trump era waters of the u.s. as a state secretary i've been on the receiving end of both. i've had conversations with farmers about both. and i think that we do have a clear opportunity to look at how we protect our water quality while not overburdening our small farmers. and so while we're looking at all of our opportunities through the legal system, i don't want litigation to stifle what we can come up with as stakeholders having a conversation. i look forward to working with you on that. >> i look forward to it, thank you. >> thank you. >> senator carper? all right. senator cramer? >> thank you, madam chair. thank you, mr. regan, for being willing to run the gauntlet and step up in this way. congratulations to you. congratulations to your family. it's great you can be here. it means a lot to him and to us as well. so thank you for that. i appreciate very much the time you took with me on the phone. i appreciate very much your
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reference to stakeholders often. that's a good sign. when we talked a few weeks ago, as you know, i was a fellow regulator. i spent nearly ten years as an environmental regulator before coming to congress in an elected position. in your nomination acceptance speech, and while today you've referenced stakeholders, we also referenced the importance of states and, of course, being a former state regulator you would do that. and you reiterated your desire to support states and not dictate to them. and, of course, states are some of your most important stakeholders in this new job. and i welcome that because i spent a lot of time talking about cooperative federalism around here, the lack of it over the decades and centuries in many cases. and i'm just wondering to this point, and i know it's early in the administration, but i've not seen a lot of cooperation coming from the white house.
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i have seen a lot of executive orders and dictates. in fact, things like the lease prohibitions or pauses on federal lands, the keystone xl pipeline, not directly under epa jurisdiction, but none of the states affected were ever consulted before the president signed those executive orders. i want to hear from you how you'll be different than what we're seeing so far. >> thank you for that question, senator. and i, too, enjoyed the conversations you and i had about the balance of state and federal government interaction. you know, i see the executive orders as setting goals and setting vision. but in those executive orders they leave plenty of room for how these things will be implemented. the reality is that these cabinet agencies will be implementing and executing these visions. and so we have a ton of time, in
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my opinion, to aim for these goals but massage the processes by which we will achieve those goals. i want to do what i've done in north carolina and done, i believe, fairly well, which is convene the stakeholders that will be impacted by these decisions. look at the rulemaking processes, look at the voluntary actions, harness the power of our private sector who are creating these jobs and following the trends of the market. to think through what are the proper actions we can take collectively to meet and possibly exceed the goals of these executive orders. i think the substance and the crux of how we execute on these executive orders rely or reside in these cabinet agencies. and i look forward -- i look forward to having conversations with you, your staff, and others on how we get there. >> i appreciate that. i think you and i will have a
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lot of good discussions, quite honestly. grateful for your sentiments. in the later round or maybe over coffee sometime we'll talk about things like the methane rule, for example, that tends to disqualify states that already have methane rules. it's important, i think, area of exploration. it's a specific case study. there are a lot of those. you've heard already, we've talked about waters of the u.s. clean power plan. and as you know from your previous experience at epa both these rules under the obama administration faced serious legal hurdles. north dakota led one of the most successful wotus challenge with 11 other states in litigation and joined west virginia in its clean power plan case. based on your reviews of the cases, do you think the rules had some shortcomings? and, if so what were they?
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>> one of the things i've always pledged is i would follow the science and follow the law. and the courts have actually -- obviously had their opinions about these laws. there are two ways i look at this. as a former state regulator the lack of certainty and the litigation has been very painful for us who are trying to get the business of our states done. so that's the down side. the upside is as administrator i have the ability to look back at what we've learned and what worked and what didn't and we can apply those lessons learned to how we move forward. so i'm grateful we've sort of worked out some of those kinks and we understand where the limits of the law are. it's my desire to follow the law, not exceed my statutory authority. i think we can forge a path forward. i look forward to that. >> i look forward to continuing the discussion in round two. thank you. >> thank you, senator cramer. and remotely senator cardin.
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>> mr. regan, i enjoyed the conversation that we had. and i want to follow up on my favorite subject the chesapeake bay. as i had a chance to talk to you about the chesapeake bay, the largest estuary in our hemisphere. it is challenged in regards to environmental need. so under the obama administration we had a special assistance for the chesapeake bay referred to as the chesapeake bay czar that acted as a point person to deal with administering the federal program under epa for the chesapeake bay, a program which has been funded by congress and increased the authorization and funding the last couple of congresses. we've been supporting this. but having a special assistant that can coordinate not just the activities within the environmental protection agency
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but the other federal agencies that play such a critical role in our plan to restore the quality of the chesapeake bay, the department of agriculture and the army corps of engineers. and i've talked about some of the other programs involved. i would like to get your cooperation on how you will administer the chesapeake bay program and reinstating the special assistant so that we can have a focal point in the epa working with other agencies to advance the program that is supported by six states and many stakeholders in which the federal government really operates as independent referee in regards to our efforts to deal with the chesapeake bay. can we work together on this, and will you consider appointing a special assistant? >> i thank you for that question, senator cardin. and during my first stint at epa when i lived in this area for
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about ten years i learned firsthand that the chesapeake bay is indeed a national treasure. so you do have my commitment that we will look for the resources, all of the resources that we can bring to bear to protect the chesapeake bay. >> i thank you for that and i hope you will appoint a special assistant because i think that's critically important in coordinating this. i'll give you a couple examples. we are about ready to complete our environmental restoration project that deals with the disposal of dredge material at popular island, a win-win situation. it's received the dredging material as well as restoring an island that's been restored as an environmental project. we need to move forward with the second of these plans in mid bay. the army corps has given a green light for that and we'll be moving ahead with it. my point is this, as part of the e4>kx÷
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chesapeake bay program it needs to be coordinated with the environmental protection agency. we have oyster restoration programs, as i'm sure you are aware, the oysters are critically important. our historic crop is a fraction of what it was 100 years ago. so we've had an active oyster operation program which funding comes from various agencies but it's important that the epa act and help us in making sure all the pieces come together so that we can meet our commitment under the 2025 deadline. so are you prepared to advocate on behalf of the environmental protection agency with other agencies in order we can achieve our goals under the chesapeake bay program? >> thank you, senator. i am. i'm committed to advocating so that we meet those goals, to how we have adequate resources to achieve those goals. i can tell you what i'm actually
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doing now. i've been successful in prioritying in agriculture czar or advisor environmental justice advisor. and i'm now looking into our resources for potential for someone to coordinate on the chesapeake bay. the previous administration and budge process has not been kind to epa. we're being creative where we can get the resources to do that. what i can assure you is we have adequate resources to act on our obligation to protect the chesapeake bay, and we're looking for additional resources to hire that coordinator to ensure we hit all of our targets on time. >> i think i might want to flip on the head, that's what i wanted to hear. one last thing in the closing there were plans that we need you to be aggressive in making
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sure all states carry out their commitments. we depend upon each state carrying its own load. we've had challenges with some states. we hope you'll be aggressive in working with us. it is a ground-up program. we do need the federal government to come in where needed to make sure we all do what we can with best science. thank you very much for your willing to serve. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, senator. i will go to senator whitehouse now, and then weight get back on to one republican and one democrat. i got us out of order there. senator whitehouse, are you on? >> yes, i am. >> thanks. >> thank you, chairman capito and second regan, thank you. a couple of things, first of all please be advised the chesapeake bay is not the only bay on the east coast. there's a little state called delaware that might have some interest in that has a delaware
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bay and those of us from very north are very excited about the clean, clear waters sparkling narragansett bay. i appreciate your interest in the chesapeake, but let's make sure we think of all the base. you mentioned earlier on in the hearing that it would be your policy don't look backward, and i just want to warn you about that. you will be coming into an agency that was more or less captured,my view, by the fossil fuel industry. agency, administrative capture, something people have talked about for years. i think this is a particularly flagrant example of capture. it left a child of damage to the institution, a trail of conflicts of interest particularly on the scientific advisory groups. it left a trail of rulemaking
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thrown out for pretty patent violations of law. it left a trail of questions unanswered. i suspect you'll find a good deal more as you get ipas people come forward and are describing things that took place in the previous administration and maybe even some who couldn't bear it and left may come back with some stories. and i think if you're the captain of a ship that has sustained some serious damage, you can't just look forward. you have to look at the ship and you have to make sure you've done a damage control assessment and know where the damage is and have a plan to repair it because otherwise you're never going to perform at the levels you should and your operating folks will be all tangled up in trying to undo the messes you haven't paid attention to. i'm interested if you could explain more about what you
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meant by don't look backward. >> thank you very much for that question, senator. i think it's a metaphor for vision. i think we have to be optimistic and look forward in terms of all that we believe we can accomplish and that the future is bright. obviously you raise a really good point, a point that i have practical experience in. when i inherited the department of environmental morale was low decisions had been made we didn't believe were transparent and didn't bring forth the proper science and data. we did have to do a damage assessment what had been done and what hadn't been done and rectify those situations and begin to move forward. we have a short amount of time so we'll have to walk and chew gum at the same time. my goal is to do an assessment to determine how can we best move forward, learn from the past but stay leaning forward as
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we solve some of these complex issues. there are lots of staff at epa doing a reevaluation of a ton of rules and activities that may or may not have been done in a transparent manner or leveraged science the way we'd like. we're going to correct that and then begin to carry this country forward. >> i will ask you two things in that context. one is i've written quite a lot about the problems at epa and with my team either comments or briefs that i've written and i'll just send one to you to get a sense where i see the agency go and i would ask that you read it before our vote just so i know you can see how i feel about this. the second thing is i'll be coming with you as will other senators with questions and we would like to see the questions answered where we've been
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stonewalled in the prior administration, we'd like that backlog of questions clearing, where foias have been backlogged. if you're talking transparency you will have to make a particular effort to tear down the stonewall that surrounded the fossil fuel fortress at epa the last four years. i hope you will read what i send you and be as cooperative as the law permits. >> absolutely. thank you very much for that question. you have my commitment that number one, myself and our staff will read all documents sent to us by this body. number two, it's an obligation of all of us as public servants to be as transparent as possible to this body and to the public as we look at information and develop decisions for moving forward. you have my commitment to read those materials and my
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commitment for transparency and you have my commitment as a very strong partner in how we move forward. >> last thing, the clean power plan proposal by the obama epa had been thrown out by the court. i'm hoping that as you look at the problem of large scale emitters, whether they're industrial you will take a look at carbon capture technology which has moved enormously forward in the years since the original obama clean power plan. i would node for you that chair capito and i, who have rather different views about climate issues and fossil fuel emissions and so forth, have worked together along with a lot of other colleagues in bipartisan support for carbon capture technologies including an
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expansion of 45 q in the last bill in bipartisan fashion in the last congress. i'm hoping you'll take a long look and find people on your staff have the technical support necessary to understand whether carbon capture is a best available control technology for carbon emissions under the clean air act. as long as you have people looking at that or giving it a fair and honest look, that's all i ask right now. >> well thank you for that question senator. you have my commitment to look and determine the commercial viability of carbon capture and sequestration. i've already had conversations with jennifer granholm and others. there are lots of resources in terms of research and development to make sure carbon capture sequestration and storage is on the table. and listen, one of the benefits -- one of the benefits we have of starting fresh is over the past couple of years we
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have seen enormous strides in technological advancements. the good people at epa are ready to take advantage of what we've learned from past rules and gained in terms of technical advancements. we're excited about charting this new course. >> thank you. we'll go to senator -- you are out of time. >> thank you. >> by a lot. >> thanks. >> thank you, madam chair. i share that same enthusiasm as senator whitehouse have a tendency to go a little over time myself again now and then. i'll try to keep it within the five minutes. enjoyed our robust conversation last week. a lot of common ground in terms of especially being open-minded in terms of how we view such an
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important issue as the environment and climate in general. i'm the founder of the senate caucus on the republican side and we now have seven members on each side of the aisle weighing in. over the last year what's amazed me most, and i think i shared it with you last week, was the broad array of interests in terms of weighing in and i was surprised in the business community that it goes beyond just agriculture, transportation, energy production. almost everyone, i think, wants to be part of it. i think one of the defining points of view would be how do we do it and how do we pay for it, which that subject hardly ever comes up on anything we talk about that is meaningful that addresses it up front. where do you stand on trying to take innovation and technology, would have a recent reference to
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what we've done with vaccinations, addressing the covid challenge. and0pe2ejq accomplished there by bbñn galvanizing innovation already in motion and to do so quickly, accomplish a result that will probably be what puts that in the rear-view mirror. tell me how you think we do that as opposed to maybe the approach up to this point that's been more costly, which has been a highly regulatory approach. >> thank you for that question. in north carolina i will say what we did was we look a look at regulations. we wanted the regulations or interpretations to be flexible enough to allow for innovation. we can't achieve our goals without a very strong public, private partnership. we know they are on the cusp and
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drive the markets. and so my strategy has always been engage our private sector counterparts. take a look at the intent of the regulations and the law, ensure there aren't too many administrative burdens and look what can be gained if we can find efficiencies in the efficiencies and implementation of those regulations. one of the things that pained me the most in north carolina, and i think i will have the same problem at epa, is the stripping of the budgets. don't prevent an agency from writing a regulation. it prevents an agency from providing technical expertise and experience to our stakeholders who we want to see drive innovation while achieving those environmental goals. my pledge is to be as collaborative as possible while developing any regulations that
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might be needed, looking out for those administrative burdens and having our agency as partners as we execute on the implementation of those regulations. i do believe regulation is not the sole answer. i will be partnering with my counterparts at the department of energy, department of agriculture, department of defense, all of which i've already talked to in terms of how do we solve some of these complex problems we're facing. >> the second question i think we discussed last week as well, the global responsibility in tackling climate change and how we turn it around, how we pay for it. what is your feeling in terms of that approach thinking we need to do even more on our end when we're of the larger economy, the one that has emissions headed in the right direction? how will that thought of getting the rest of the world involved
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and doing more than saying they're going to do something making in the weigh that you can weigh in to places like china, russia, india, that, yes, you're putting these goals and statements out there but your actions show otherwise. and whenever that occurs that means we're disproportionately paying for things, again, when that's probably the weakest part is our federal balance sheet and the ability to do more until we get that in order. please comment on that. >> thank you, senator. that's an excellent question. and that's a question that requires partnership. that's not going to be driven solely by regulation. the president's aggressive climate plan looks at capturing the market so we can globally competitive. in north carolina as secretary senator tillis mentioned when he
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was speaker of the house he was a strong proponent for a balanced approach. what we find is most of the parts that we want to install come from china. we're finding that if we don't capture the market we will fall behind. i believe it's the same for solar and cars. there's a lot we can capture to ensure manufacturing and the like remain competitive. so i believe what you're seeing with the president's approach is not skating to where the puck is borrowing from wayne gretzky, we're trying to skate to where we think the puck will be. the type of investments and research that we need to harness the power of the private sector and create new jobs, i believe that this country will be a global leader and other
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countries will follow. >> thank you. >> senator murkily. >> can you hear me okay? >> yes. >> great. thank you, mr. regan. i wanted to start by asking if you were familiar with the presidential plastics action plan some 500 environmental groups had put together? >> yes, vaguely. >> okay. would you consider committing to taking a very close look at it? >> absolutely. we'll take a close look at it, evaluate epa's role and partner with you on advancing that. >> thank you. there's a whole lot that can be done. we have the challenge from plastics in a couple of ways. the production of plastics releases a tremendous amount of greenhouse gases. plastic when it's through with its single life is rarely recycled. we have that slogan about recycling but it's either burned
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or buried or to sea where it causes all sorts of environmental problems floating in our rivers and our oceans. do you agree this is a significant challenge we need to work to take on? >> i do agree it is a significant challenge when we look at the role of plastics especially the impacts we've seen with our marine life and coastal communities. >> i see it very much in oregon and you see it on the other side of the country. it does create all sorts of issues. the epa has environmentally preferable purchasing program where they have the power to set an example and help introduce more sustainable products in single use plastics. will you take a look at that
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program and the possibility of epa using that as an opportunity to show what can be done to replace? >> absolutely, senator, where there is a program at epa and we have an opportunity to be a global leader we will put our shoulder to that wheel. >> i wanted to turn to the topic of asbestos. in 2016 we took another stab at this of passing the lautenberg action. in december, so just over a month ago, there was finally a part one risk evaluation done at epa and it found there were unreasonable risk of cancer but the science advisory committee that looked at the work of epa said, well, you didn't consider
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all the asbestos fibers, you can't consider the different asbestos diseases, you didn't look at all the different routes and pathways of exposure so you really did a very minimal job not capturing the full impact. would you consider having the epa redo that part one evaluation trying to get this right and use the best science to see what the risk is to human health? >> absolutely will work with my stuff to take a look at that evaluation and determine where the data and science gaps are. you have my pledge the processes we undertake will be much more transparent. number two, we will use the latest science and the latest data and, number three, our results should be supported by the science and the law. you have my commitment to do that. >> thank you. and one of the things that we notice so often different facilities are located near low income communities communities of color and there's a
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disproportionate impact on our manufacturing system on the health of low income or communities of color. and in this sense there's a lot of issues of environmental justice. and do you feel like you're pretty well-read into that set of challenges and have some ideas how to tackle it? >> i will say that i am very enthusiastic about the president's commitment to environmental justice and equity. it's something that i've spent a lot of my career on. my first stint at epa was focused on environmental justice and equity issues. i established the first environmental justice and environmental board in north carolina bridging environmentalism and civil rights to find solutions for our fence line of disproportionately impacted communities. there's some work we have to do at epa to take a look at restructuring and making sure that we have adequate resources
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to address environmental justice. so not only do i look forward to structuring epa so that we can adequately respond, but i look forward to partnering with you in congress to ensure where we have gaps in our laws and regulations so we can rectify that so we are ensuring all americans have access to clean air, clean water and a clean environment to live in. >> i'm running out of time. i don't have a clock in front of me, so madam chairman, i'd just close by saying that the biggest challenge testing in civilization is whether we can tackle climate chaos. i look forward to working with you on that endeavor. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you. senator barasso. >> thank you madam chairman. mr. regan congratulations on the nomination. despite calls for unity during his inauguration speech, president biden took immediate damaging and divisive action. he canceled the keystone xl
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pipeline and he opened the door to revisiting some of the most economically devastating regulations from the obama era like the waters of the united states, disastrous clean power plan and many more. it does seem with every campaign promise he delivers president biden is also delivering pink slips to hardworking men and women in wyoming and across the country. despite the dizzying pace of the president's job with executive actions many on the other side believe he should do more and do more quickly. and senator schumer said that the other day on the floor.
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some believe he should immediately declare a climate emergency. such a declaration of course would silence congress, silence states and the american people during one of the most consequential discussions and decisions of our time. i think it side lines workers industry, families already struggling to.á brq ends meet during these difficult times. so you believe the president should surcomvent congress and the will of the american people by declaring a climate emergency? >> i believe we are facing a dire situation with climate change and impact but i don't think that should negate the fact we all understand the anxiety and the fear as we make this transition that folks in your states have and states like west virginia and north carolina and other states. what i believe is that the president has an aggressive agenda that looks at the whole of government. and what i know is we've been instructed that we're not to
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leave any community behind. in order for us to be successful, every state and every community has to see itself in our vision. i'll be careful and never say we're looking at clean jobs. we're looking at all jobs. many of these jobs should transition as we look forward to protecting ourselves from climate change and the climate change impacts. i look forward to working with you on how we ensure that we don't leave any communities behind. and as we invest in our infrastructure, whether that's our grid, our water infrastructure, whether we invest in pipelines that are leaking, transportation, bridges, that we do it in a way where we're consulting your constituents so that we can adequately address this climate change while growing as many jobs as possible. >> well, i appreciate that answer because as you know, former senator john kerry, has said that people who were working in the industries in wyoming need to make better choices and it was interesting that "the washington post" fact checker referred to his comments as being misleading and
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providing false hope. and the secretary of energy nominee talked about jobs being sacrificed. i appreciate your comments on the jobs and the focus there. i want to talk about small refineries. unlike large oil refineries, the smaller refineries don't have the economies of scale to comply with our biofuel mandate, the renewable fuel standard. that's why congress allows small refineries to petition the epa for what's known as hardship relief. this has been going on and this is in law. before deciding whether to grant relief the administrator of the epa by law is required to consult with the secretary of energy. under the last two administrations, federal courts have rebuked epa and the department of energy both for failing to account for all the challenges small refineries face under the rfs.
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if confirmed will you confirm the epa fully accounts for the challenges small refineries face when evaluating these hardship relief petitions? >> thank you for the question, senator. if i'm confirmed i commit that we will fully follow the law. and i commit that we will fully be transparent. i am not certain that either side understands how these decisions were arrived to. i think it's very important that we have transparency, that we use sound science and follow the law in a deliberative process by which we communicate with you all so that you understand the decisions that we make. >> madam chairman, i have additional questions, but with your permission i will submit those in writing with your permission. >> sounds good, thank you, senator. senator gillibrand? >> thank you so much, madam chairwoman for this hearing. secretary regan, thank you for testifying today and for your willingness to serve as our epa administrator. the epa does a lot of work to restore its mission to protect human health and the
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environment. and i know you will have many priorities on your plate once you're confirmed. one area that i hope to prioritize is the pfas chemicals. i am grateful president biden included pfas in his build back better plan and this administration has an opportunity to make real progress in people's exposure to this toxic chemical. as we discussed when we spoke a few weeks ago i have been working on bipartisan legislation with senator capito that would require epa to set standards under the safe drinking water act for pfas. days before the end of the previous administration, the epa under wheeler issued a regulatory determination was issued to begin the process for setting drinking water standards for pfas. the previous administration did not move with a sense of urgency that we need on this issue. so my first question is this. will you make pfas an agency-wide priority at the epa so that more time is not wasted while families continue to be exposed and harmed by these very
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toxic chemicals? >> thank you for that question, senator gillibrand. you and i and senator capito know all too well the devastating impacts to our states by the lack of action on behalf of epa. pfas will be a top priority for this administration. we will pursue discharge limits. we will pursue water quality values. we will pursue all avenues that we can while developing these rulemaking processes to give the proper signals to states so states can take the proper actions like we've had to take in north carolina. >> and will that include setting a drinking water standard for pfas? >> thank you for the question, senator. what i plan to do is sit down and spend some time with the staff at epa, with our counsel,
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to understand the multiple avenues i believe we have at our fingertips to address pfas. >> thank you. you were one of the first state environmental leaders to regulate industrial discharge of pfas and i know it's an important issue. it's been estimated that there could be 2,500 manufacturing facilities discharging pfas into the air and water across the country. i've authored legislation under the clean water act which would require industrial discharges to be subject to permitting and pretreatment standards. given your experience at the state level what's your vision on how epa should approach industrial pfas to prevent more pfas from entering the environment in the first place? >> thank you for that question. i think there's a lot of wisdom in the direction that you're headed. we need to have a full
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accounting of how these forever chemicals entering into our water as well as our air and so i think we need to take a look at the discharge of pfas from a water quality standpoint, take a very strong look at the emissions that are coming from the combustion of products that yield pfas into our atmosphere. i can commit to you that on day one this is and will be a priority for this administration to set limits on how much of this chemical compound is entering into our air and our water. >> thank you. one more question. another area that we've previously discussed, which is very important to my state is the continuation of epa's geographic programs, and in particular the great lakes restoration initiative and long island sound. we have had bipartisan success over the past several years since sustaining and growing
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these programs, and i hope that under the biden administration these programs will have the full support of the epa and the administration as a whole. will you support robust funding to continue these important effective programs? >> thank you for the question, and we will pursue the adequate funding, robust funding to support these regional and state programs. again, it's my belief that the federal government should provide support to our regions and our states who know their constituents much better than the federal government ever could. >> thank you. thank you, madam chairwoman. >> thank you. senator sullivan. >> thank you, madam chair. mr. regan, congratulations on your nomination. i want to follow on where senator barrasso was going. i've been very concerned about the initial executive orders coming out of the white house. as a matter of fact, i led a
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letter with 25 senators, so over one quarter of the entire u.s. senate, to the president asking for a meeting on his plans particularly as they relate to energy-related jobs. i'm really concerned when you see john kerry, gina mccarthy, who are at the white house already setting policy, and i know the chair has expressed concerns about who will be in charge. i think it should be you since you are going to be senate confirmed, if you're confirmed, not to unconfirmed officials who are clearly taking the reins. but when john kerry talked about president biden wants to make sure folks have better choices like solar panels. i talked to my leadership in
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alaska, union leaders, they find that attitude very condescending, cavalier. we're going to kill a bunch of good oil and gas jobs so we can tell you what's better. can you talk to my constituents about how you believe -- or what is your thought on the policies that right now appear to be killing jobs, good jobs, during a recession with nothing to replace them? there's no solar jobs, as john kerry says, in my state when the risks of hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs are going to be going away in the oil and gas sector. i'd like your views on this. >> thank you for the question, senator. and it is my belief and firm understanding to answer the question who is in charge. president biden is in charge. i think he has assembled -- >> okay, i get that. sorry to interrupt you. if you're confirmed, who is going to be in charge below president biden?
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>> thank you for that. if i am confirmed, then i believe congress has bestowed certain powers and authorities and accountability to me as secretary of the epa. >> i would agree with that. >> where the decisions are in epa's purview, i can assure you i will be leading and making those decisions and i will be accepting the accountability for those decisions. i believe the executive order the president issued to pause the new sale of oil and gas leases doesn't impact the 90% of oil and gas activities that are currently. the role of epa is really to work with you, to work with your constituents, to work with the industry to look at a rule that would be best structured to reduce the methane emissions coming from those activities. >> let me ask you this. in this sector, though, you will have a lot of power. do you think it will be a good idea to be killing any jobs when
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we're in this major recession? chuck schumer is talking about a $2 trillion stimulus package because of the high unemployment rate. the president of the united states in his first week in office is putting thousands of people out of work. is that a good idea? do you support that? >> i don't think it's a good idea to kill jobs. i think it's a good idea to ensure that we're transitioning the economy towards where we know the jobs will be.÷q(uc >> okay. if there aren't jobs to be transitioned -- this is my whole problem, this is why we want to talk to the president. right now they look like they're putting forward a strategy that will crush jobs, lower the amount of energy we produce, and the only replacement is no jobs in this sector and importing more oil and gas from countries like russia and valenzuela. it's a policy that makes no sense. help me again on the jobs.
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>> i think when we look at the jobs, we're looking at the full breadth of what the president intends which are major investments immediately in infrastructure. infrastructure in terms of making sure that the pipes we have are not leaky and making sure we reduce the climate impact. making sure that we invest in our water quality, water infrastructure, looking at a more intelligent grid, looking at roads and bridges. i believe many of the jobs and the skill sets people are in your state and other states can move quickly to those jobs while we also look at the advancements of other research and development opportunities to position the very communities that supported this country during the industrial revolution. >> that's right. >> and made this country competitive. there is a path. there is a vision. >> i'm sorry, madam chair.
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just one follow-up because this is a really important topic. the secretary of energy in her confirmation hearing kind of indicated that, quote, some jobs may have to be sacrificed. again, we're in a deep recession. there's millions of people out of work. these are some of the best jobs in the country, certainly in my state. these are, to your point, and i appreciate you raising this, the men and women who built this country and yet right now when you ask the union leaders, building trades, when you ask them what -- if you lose an oil and gas job in alaska or north dakota or texas, what can you replace it with, jobs that would be sacrificed, nobody has an answer. it's a strategy and a policy that makes no sense. which is why we want to go see the president. the white house press secretary said, sorry, the president is not interested in meeting with one quarter of the senate on the issue of jobs and energy. i hope he changes his mind and if you get confirmed maybe you can convince to talk about this
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really important issue. >> thank you for the question, senator. what i can assure you is if i'm confirmed i'll be sitting down with you hopefully by invitation in your state talking to you. >> we're going to get to round two so, trust me, you're going to get that. >> all right. sounds good. >> senator booker? >> madam chairman, can i ask yew unanimous consent to enter into the record statements to place executive order support letter into the record and also a statement to place the forbes obama job growth article into the record. i ask unanimous consent. >> without objection. >> thank you. >> can i submit another letter to the record? maybe i'll do that -- it's a different letter from the labors international, the pipe fitters, their statements on the jobs that have been killed in the building trades that i think -- >> you can make that motion -- if you want to make it now. >> i would like to admit to the record. >> without objection. senator booker? >> chairwoman, thank you very much. mr. regan, it's very good to see you here and i look forward to
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it. i'm very excited to vote for you for confirmation. i'm really disturbed. i've traveled through this country, was one of the founders in the senate of the environmental justice caucus along with the soon-to-be chairman, and another incredible colleague tammy duckworth. i took a journey from environmental justice issues from toxic sites in my own state that have languished, lead problems facing my children, but i didn't stop there. i traveled to alabama and saw horrific evidence of tropical diseases because of the sewage problems there. i was in north carolina and met with activists there where one vietnam veteran said i left vietnam, came home and have been a prisoner in my own home because of the massive corporate polluters in his state.
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i traveled over to a place in america, you can google it, it's called cancer alley, it's along the mississippi river in st. john's parish where there are factories. i stood there and watched them. polluting the air. these low-income communities. in uniontown, alabama. i could go on where you have americans being poisoned by environmental injustices. what made most of the communities i visited more galling is most of them were low-income communities. and most are communities of color. and i was surprised -- i'm a senator from new jersey, and i remember a church in cancer alley packed full of people. each of them coming up to talk about the numbers of their family members that have died for cancer in that cancer cluster. all packed together to see one federal official, and they just said they feel like nobody in the federal government cares
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about them. we live in this country that is such proud ideals but we have fallen so short. the number one predictor whether or not you're going to live around toxicity, drink polluted water or breathe dirty air is the color of your skin. and so i just want to ask you just point blank, should you be confirmed, you're an agency whose civil rights division has been eviscerated over the years where people look for you to help, you're not even equipped in my opinion to begin to fight against these issues that affect millions. we talk about flint, michigan -- there are at least 3,000 jurisdictions where children have more than twice the blood lead levels of flint, michigan. so if confirmed will you make reforming and strengthening the epa's civil rights office a
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priority? >> thank you for that question and the statement, senator booker. environmental justice is something near and dear to my heart. it's been a part of my career since i started at the epa the first time around. i agree with you that the justice system is failing in a number of areas including in the environmental justice arena. what i plan to do, first and foremost is find the resources and establish an advise or to the administrator. the second thing we plan to do is look at a restructuring and reorganization to be sure our office of civil rights and we have adequate staff from every media office that is paying attention specifically to environmental injustice. and, number three, you all will hear from me frequently that we do need or will need additional resources if we are to commit to solving environmental injustice and equity issues. in north carolina i established the first environmental justice and equity
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advisory board just because as government we think we know until we start to hear directly from the community. >> and i will pause there because i do not want to go the eight or nine minutes over that one of my other colleagues went. i want to just -- there's another group of people that are disregarded, disrespected, discounted in our country and that's agricultural workers. and last october, under the trump administration, the epa finalized a rule to weaken the agricultural worker protection standards, safeguards meant to protect farm workers, their families, rural communities in general from the harms of toxic pesticide exposure. we know that these rollbacks will result in farm workers in nearby communities being at greater risk of being sprayed, accidentally sprayed by pesticides. i've met with farm workers. i've heard their stories. we know that chlorpyrifos, for example, is a pesticide that
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federal scientists have determined to be highly dangerous for farm workers and can cause brain damage to the young children of these farm-working families. epa scientists have twice recommended that the epa ban the use of this pesticide. seven countries in the eu have banned it. and so, i want an affirmation from you that you will not render farm workers in america invisible, that their cries for justice, that the health of their children, that these people who are an integral, indispensable part of our food systems, will be treated with human dignity. can i get an affirmation of that? >> absolutely. you have my confirmation on that. >> and would you consider putting science ahead of big business when it comes to the chemical chlorpyrifos? >> we'll be driven by science and we'll be driven by the rule
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of law. >> and then finally, one of the proudest members -- and this is my last moment on this committee, and i want to tell just what an honor it has been to serve on it. and one of the proudest things i got a chance to do is work on the tsca effort here. it was a bipartisan bill. and we advanced an issue around making sure that we were reducing animal testing with a great goal. will you just please commit that you will remain strongly committed to the work we did together in tsca and the reduction of animal testing, or to the greatest extent, the elimination of it? >> you have my confirmation on that as well. >> thank you very much for your -- >> thank you. thank you for your service on the committee. we'll miss you. >> thank you. >> senator boozman. >> thank you very much, and thank you for being here. i've heard from a lot of friends of yours, and you have an excellent reputation. one of the honors that i have is being the ranking member of the agriculture committee, representing our farming
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community. and certainly this has been brought up today, but the waters of the u.s. was really a real burden. as secretary of north carolina department of environmental quality, you signed a letter regarding epa's 2019 rule repealing the 2015 waters of the u.s. rule. in this letter, you stated that the epa should, and i quote, try to promulgate a clear definition of waters and has should allow states the flexibility to regulate waters necessary to achieve the goals of the clean water act and in a manner that ensures the health, safety, and economic prosperity of their citizens. but you also may oppose the epa's final navigable waters protection rule. do you support a rule such as the 2015 rule, which had roughly one-half of the country operating on one regulatory construct and the other half of the country operating on another?
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>> thank you for that question, senator. and you know, as the secretary of deq, having to respond to both rules, there are a lot of lessons learned -- pragmatic experiences or pragmatic solutions that we've learned from experiences. i've spent a lot of time with a lot of small farmers. i've spent a lot of time with a lot of environmental groups. and what i would say is, i'm looking forward to convening multiple stakeholder groups on how we chart a path forward. i don't believe that we have to sacrifice water quality at the expense of making sure that gx?b÷ farmers, especially small 5 farmers, have a fighting chance in this economy. i believe that you can do both. and what i saw with the 2019 rule was a rollback that went even further back than presidents of both of our parties. and so, what i'm hopeful for is that we don't have to go with the slingshot approach, that we can look for a common ground
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where we give the farming community and the environmental community some certainty that as we move forward, we're going to follow the science, follow the law, look at a pragmatic approach that doesn't overburden the farmer, but we don't have to sacrifice precious wetlands in north carolina, like our carolina bays and the others. and the last thing i'll say is, it's very difficult for any kind of federal regulation to truly address the unique agricultural needs of different regions. the agriculture needs are different in all of our regions and the water makeup in nevada surely doesn't look like the water makeup in north carolina. so i want a rule that moves forward that's not overly burdensome, but gives the states the flexibility to protect water quality and protect the local agricultural economy. >> no, and i would agree with that. the problem is that, generally, with epa -- and you've experienced this in north carolina -- they agree with you
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unless the state disagrees. that becomes a problem. for our small farmers -- and i agree with everything you said, regarding the burden on particularly our small farmers. as epa director, what is the significant nexus test? >> i'm sorry? >> the significant nexus test, you know, regarding waters of the, you know, of the -- waters of the u.s. what is the nexus test? what would you tell our farmers? >> well, i think i'd tell our farmers is, with this administrator, we're going to have an open door policy, and i want to hear from our farming community. i want to hear about the administrative burdens that they felt they suffered as a result of some of what they call definitions that they did not understand. but i also want to make it a point that in north carolina, one of the biggest problems we saw was the lack of resources in my department to provide technical assistance to these farmers.
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i don't believe that small farmers are looking for a shortcut, and i don't believe that small farmers do not not want to protect our wetlands and our water quality. we've got to work together to make sure that we have a rule that's understandable but protective of, again, our water quality as well as not overburden our small farmers. i believe that we can do that, if we have more conversations. >> good. well, we look forward to working with you on that. and it really is important. and in listening to you, you understand the importance, and i appreciate that. and also, i agree with the statement about the fact that i know that in north carolina, arkansas, almost all of our states, the resources to actually educate farmers in lots of different things is lacking. >> yes, it is. >> so, hopefully, we can help you with that also. >> absolutely. >> thank you very much. thank you. >> thank you. senator markey. >> madam chair.
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madam chair, can you hear me and see me? >> i can hear you, but i can't see you. but i bet i will in a few minutes. i can hear you, though, very well. >> beautiful. >> i might have -- oh, there you are. >> okay. beautiful. thank you, madam chair. and welcome, mr. secretary. i've looked at your outstanding record. i know that you are going to do an outstanding job at the epa. what i'd like to do is to begin talking about clean power standards and our ability to lift the overall energy efficiency of vehicles which we drive in the united states of america. we've had a rollback over the last four years, but we've had big developments very recently, where general motors has now announced that they are going to
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end their production of the internal combustion engine vehicles by the year 2035. china is on a similar course. europe is moving very aggressively. are you committed to using the authorities you have at the epa in order to increase those fuel economy standards? and do you believe, ultimately, that there are consumer benefits to having these much more efficient vehicles be put on the roads and given as an option for consumers to purchase? >> thank you for the question, senator. i do anticipate using our statutory authority to set the rules for the road, and i believe that we're going to do it in a way that it complements the aggressive goals set by and established by the private sector, the automobile industries. we believe that the market is trending in a specific direction, and we believe that we need the right policies and the right regulations to be sure
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that all of the players understand that there's a level playing field and understand the rules of engagement. there are tremendous benefits to moving in this direction. there are tremendous benefits to the economy. there are tremendous benefits to our automobile manufacturing sector in terms of production. there are tremendous benefits from a health and climate standpoint. we've got to do a good job of having robust conversations with all the stakeholders so that we can really, really take advantage of the win-win-win, and that our strong labor force can see themselves in this vision for the future. >> so, i agree with you. it's good for the climate and environment, it's a job-creation engine, and it actually, ultimately, helps consumers with lower prices in the long run. so, i agree with you 100%. will you work to ensure that states like california and massachusetts can work towards
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the creation of their own standards to make sure that the vehicles in those states meet the highest standards? >> absolutely. i believe in following the law and following established precedence. and i think that the california waiver existed for a reason. i think there's a process that we should follow, and if those states follow those processes and want to be champions in this arena, then they can go forth and conquer, and the rest of the country can learn from these first-mover opportunities that they're taking advantage of. >> no, i agree with you. the states can move -- you can move, and we're so glad to have you there, and we can turn epa into economy protection agency. we can turn the epa into a missions prevention agency. and i just think we're on the cusp of a great, new era. i'd love to turn now to a conversation about environmental
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justice. you just had a great conversation with senator booker. i've introduced legislation, the environmental justice mapping and data collection act. and the reason i've done that with congresswoman cori bush, is to make sure that we actually measure the pollution, measure the environmental damage. because if you can't measure something, you can't plan to deal with it. so, what do you think about that kind of legislation and those kind of tools being given to you so that that kind of mapping can be done all across the country, and as a result, remedial actions can be taken in a much more wise and targeted way, but also knowing that it's disproportionately in black and brown communities all across the country? >> thank you for that. and thank you for your leadership on that. i believe that the more data we have, the more modeling that we have, the more tools that we have that paint these pictures, the easier it is for us to make the case.
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we know that there are disproportionate impacts to many of our communities, and so, the more data we have, the greater ability we have to rectify those problems. i also believe that tools like that -- and we've seen this in north carolina -- when you put tools like this in the hands of our economic developers and our locally elected officials, number one, they will take action or help support state agencies take action. but number two, as they do their long-term planning to recruit new industries, they have a better sense of what the cumulative impact could be to these communities based on the decisions that they're making. so i believe it gives business, also, a clearer understanding of how to plan for economic development projects as well. >> thank you. >> so, president biden has committed to -- >> senator, your time. your time. sorry. >> thank you, madam chairman, and looking forward to working with you, mr. secretary. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. senator wicker? >> hello. mr. regan, glad to get a chance
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to see you in person, and thank you for taking the time to talk to me a couple of times on the phone. when we visited i mentioned that i was stationed in your hometown of goldsboro, north carolina, for some four years. we lived on elm street, and it turns out, we were practically neighbors. >> that's right. >> when we were there for the four years. north carolina has become a lot more urban since i moved away in 1980, but still a lot of rural, small towns, rural communities, and i would imagine a lot of rural water associations, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> and you had a chance to work with them as secretary, deq secretary in north carolina? >> yes. >> you know, let me ask you if you agree with this. there's not a single water association board or board member that doesn't want to
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comply with the clean water act or the safe drinking water act. it's just a matter of having the expertise and the resources to do so. am i generally correct there? >> that's correct. >> and so, in working with these volunteer association boards to comply with the new requirements, there's sort of two ways to approach this. one would be to impose penalties on them for not getting them where they need to be. and the other would be technical assistance, financial assistance, and resources to help them get where you want them to go and where they want to get to. i like the second approach. what do you say about that? and what's been your experience as deq secretary? >> my experience as deq secretary is that, number one,
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people don't like surprises. they like to understand the rules of the road and they like certainty. and where we have been most successful is the ability to provide technical assistance so that folks do not run afoul. >> okay. but also, a lot of times, when they are running afoul, as you say, it's something that they didn't bring upon themselves. it's just their inability to afford the new equipment or the new hardware that it takes to get where they want to go. and that's where the assistance and the technical assistance comes in. i think you and i are on the same page there.él&(r but i want to -- i hope you can 17 >t assure me that you're going to work in a collaborative way with these associations, who absolutely want the best water
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and the cleanest water for the members of their association and their neighborhoods. >> i will. and this is where the president's plan, looking at the number of investments that we need in our water infrastructure's so critical. in north carolina, we have somewhere between $17 and $21 billion worth of water infrastructure needs. we've got advanced technologies that can detect water chemicals and pollutants that no one ever dreamed of. we've got to find a way to partner with these water associations, invest in this infrastructure, so that we can do a couple things. the first is that we can protect water quality, but number two, without this infrastructure, these rural towns and cities are lagging behind in the ability to develop economically and attract businesses. >> i think i'm understanding from your answer that north carolina rural water associations are not quite there yet, either, and it's going to take some federal assistance? >> i think every state's struggling across the country, sir. >> well, let me mention one other thing.
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senator cardin went on about chesapeake bay. senator whitehouse could hardly wait until he got to the microphone to mention narragansett bay. i'm sure they're mighty fine. there is also the gulf of mexico. and i certainly hope you'll be down to see us soon in the gulf of mexico. you should know, if you don't already, that after the deepwater horizon spill in 2010, the largest oil spill in the history of the country, congress passed the restore act. and there is a restore council. and are you aware that they unanimously voted that the epa administrator will serve as chair of that council? are you ready for that? >> i was not aware of that. >> okay. well, i'm telling you for the first time that you are. and under the previous administration, the chair worked collaboratively with the five states on the restore council. so, if confirmed, you're going
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to need to get back to us and tell us how you would work and view your role as chair of the restore council, which is responsible for deciding how the support for the impacted areas will be handled. >> well, thank you for that. and i can tell you just based on my experience, the way i would manage that body is, number one, ensuring that all of the stakeholders have a voice. number two, that we understand what the clear rules of engagement are. and number three, that we will follow the science and the intent, the original intent of this restore council. i believe firmly that rules are set for a reason, that science and data can inform us, and that all people sitting at the table should have an equal voice in terms of how we move forward and find solutions. >> can't wait to see you down there. and madam chair, i just might observe that, as other members have found, you've sped that clock up this afternoon, somehow.
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and -- >> and your time is over. >> well, for five minutes. thank you, ma'am. >> senator duckworth. >> thank you, madam chair. i'm trying to start my video, but it does not seem to be working. so, hopefully, you can hear me. >> we can hear you, for sure. >> okay, great. then i'm going to go ahead and start with my questions. thank you so much for, mr. regan, for, as we discussed for you being here. and as we discussed during our courtesy meeting, solving the climate crisis must be a top national priority. and a critical pillar of this effort should be the american biofuel industry. in particular, farmers in illinois and throughout the heartland are ready to do their part to help lower carbon emissions in the transportation sector and reduce dependence on foreign oil all while supporting or creating quality jobs here at home. it's hard to think of a better way to put american interests first than supporting the u.s. biofuel industry.
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that is why one of the most surprising actions of the trump administration may have been its cynical betrayal of the midwest. while the former president campaigned on grand claims of being a champion of the renewable fuel standard, upon entering office, however, the trump transition immediately empowered a billionaire in the oil refinery business to begin secret plotting to dismantle the rfs. my constituents in illinois were betrayed but remain optimistic that the biden administration will be a staunch champion of our farmers and of american biofuels. mr. regan, if confirmed to lead epa, will you prioritize the faithful execution of the bipartisan rfs program, just as congress intended? >> thank you for that question, senator duckworth, and you have my commitment that we will take a look at the rfs program and we will introduce some transparency into that program. we will let science lead us, and we will follow the letter of the law as it was intended for that program.
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president biden has not been shy that agriculture will have a seat at the table as we tackle climate, and he's been specifically focused on biofuels and advanced biofuels. one of the first conversations i had upon nomination was reaching out to now secretary tom vilsack to talk about how we can partner together to pursue these efforts. so, you have my commitment in this area. >> thank you. we also need to look backwards a little bit in terms of the backlog. much attention was given to the prior administration's unlawful abuse of exemptions for oil refineries. however, the trump administration's sabotage of the rfs program was not limited to doing the bidding of big oil. in fact, epa was also slow to act or refused to act in certain cases on applications from innovative american companies developing new, advanced biofuels that are ready to qualify for the rfs. epa now faces a huge backlog of applications, some of which have
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been sitting for over four years. if confirmed, will you commit to prioritizing clearing this backlog so that new climate-friendly biofuels can enter into the market as soon as possible? >> well, thank you for the question, senator. and i will spend some time with our staff taking a look at this backlog and working on processes of efficiency so that we can make up for lost time. >> thank you. i also want to talk to you a little bit about environmental justice. my partner in this, senator booker initiated the conversation, and we've talked about this at length on both sides of the aisle. i'm so happy to see that there's bipartisan support for fixing environmental injustice. you know, if confirmed, what actions would you take to institutionalize a focus on environmental justice in every region of the epa? for example, some of the us justice happens because of structural injustice. you just don't have enough staff
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members that can do the monitoring, that can actually go out there in some of these regions, whether it's the south side of chicago or a rural community loo sagee, illinois, far illinois where there's not enough people to go out there and look at the ambient air monitoring of chemical emissions. what would you do to actually fix the inequities within the institutional structure of epa so that we have a focus on environmental justice in every region where epa is? >> well, thank you for that question. and i'm proud to say that president biden has made environmental justice a centerpiece of this administration. so, we're going to have some help in terms of looking at ceq and other agencies as well. but as it relates to epa, it's my intent to have an environmental justice and equity adviser to the administrator, if i'm lucky enough to be confirmed. we also are looking at how we need to organize epa to be ensured that environmental
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justice and equity is a top priority. we know that in looking at the preliminary hiring of a lot of officials at epa, we will have environmental justice and equity experts, people who have on-the-ground experience and expertise, placed in all of our media offices so that that lens is applied at every level of our decision-making. we have a lot of work to do. we have a lot of ground to make up. and i'm sure that i will be back before this committee asking for additional resources in this area to be sure that all americans have access to clean air and clean water. >> thank you. in the coming weeks, i will be introducing the comprehensive environmental justice for all act in coordination with leaders of the house ej caucus who will also introduce the house companion bill. if confirmed, will you commit to directing epa to provide technical assistance to support my office and this committee so that we may strengthen and advance this important legislative proposal? >> thank you for that question. and you have my commitment that the staff and myself at epa will
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be a partner in any legislation that advances this topic and helps us do a better job of protecting each and every american in this country. >> thank you, senator duckworth. thank you. time's up. thank you. >> thank you, madam chair. >> senator ernst, i believe, wants to question, but in person. she's not here, so we'll go to senator van hollen. oh, excuse me. >> before we do that, could i ask unanimous consent to place in the record a statement from, gosh, over 20 agricultural organizations in support of the nomination of secretary michael regan? >> without objection. senator van hollen? >> thank you, madam chair. and thank you, senator carper and others. and mr. regan, congratulations on the nomination. thank you for your service in north carolina. and just as the top of my question comments here i do want to associate myself with
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the remarks of senator duckworth and appreciate the focus on environmental justice and also with respect to senator merkley and other comments about the president's climate change agenda and how that is so important for american jobs. we don't want to leave any community behind, as you say. but by not engaging, by leaving the paris accords, by ceding leadership to china and others, we actually fell behind in an area that is essential to american jobs and good-paying, homegrown jobs. and the costs of doing nothing not only come in the form of more severe weather events and other costs to all of our communities, but also in lost job opportunities in the clean energy sector. so, i appreciate this administration's focus in that
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area. i wanted to follow up on some of the comments of my colleague from maryland, senator cardin. and on this committee, you have a number of senators very engaged in chesapeake bay protection, including chair capito and chairman carper, senator cardin and myself. and it's because it's a multistate responsibility. and because it's a multi-jurisdictional responsibility, epa is right at the center of it. it's part of the glue that helps all of us row in the same direction. at least that's what we're supposed to be doing. and so, over the last many years, we succeeded on a bipartisan basis in preventing, you know, deep cuts proposed by the previous administration to the epa program. i want to thank my colleagu=çapcñ both sides of the aisle for that effort.kñ we're going to need you front
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and center here now to make sure that we hit our goals under the chesapeake bay agreement for 2025. some states -- all states can do better, but some states are really lagging behind, including the state of pennsylvania. so, i just need your commitment that you will work with us across the state lines to make sure that we hit our targets in pollution reduction in accordance with the 2025 goal. >> thank you for that, senator van hollen. and yes, absolutely, it is my goal and desire to mobilize all of the resources that we need at epa to be a partner to these states so that we meet that 2025 goal. >> all right, because we're already behind. and in the case of pennsylvania significantly behind. we hope to work with the previous administration to close that gap, and of course, with
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the state of pennsylvania. lawsuits have been filed, both by the state of maryland, but also other organizations, and we'd like to resolve these issues as soon as possible. let me ask you about the good neighbor air transport issue. maryland has worked over the decades to address the issue of air pollution originating in other states, but falling in maryland and into the chesapeake bay. in 2018, the trump administration's epa denied maryland's good neighbor petition under section 126b of the clean air act, regarding 36 upwind electric generating units in five other states. on may 9th of last year, the d.c. circuit court of appeals granted maryland's good neighbor petition for review, in part, and remanded the issue to epa. i'd like to get your commitment here today to work with us to address this downwind air
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pollution issue and new review of maryland's good neighbor petition under the clean air act. >> thank you for that question. and you do have my commitment that this agency would review that petition. north carolina is one of the states that has had to exercise that good neighbor petition, and we were granted the petition. we ended up in court, and we won under the leadership of now governor cooper. and so, we understand the impact of transport and the implications that might have on a state's economy. and so, you have my commitment that we will review that. >> i appreciate that. and finally, just as you probably know, thousands, actually, over 1,000 really
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dedicated epa employees have left the agency over the last four years, including a lot of people with very special expertise. so, i hope you'll work with our entire committee as you seek to rebuild morale at the epa. thank you. thank you, madam chair. >> thank you. >> thank you. thank you. senator carper? >> yeah, madam chair, let me just say to senator van hollen, who's leaving our committee, is going to join the foreign relations committee, i think something he's wanted to do for a long time, just to say how much we value, how much i valued his work with us and the spirit that he brings to these issues. i want to draft on him just for a moment -- mr. regan, i want to draft on for a minute -- that's what we say in nascar. i want to draft on senator van hollen on the transport issue. similar situation, when i was governor of delaware. let me say, roughly 80%, 90% of the harmful emissions that come into our state come from not generated within. they come from outside, blowing
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into our state, from the north, from the west. and i used to say, i could shut down, literally shut down the economy of the state of delaware, shut it down, and we would still be out of compliance. and we've basically got nowhere no help from the last administration. i'm encouraged that this is something you're knowledgeable about, have worked on before, and we want to make sure we treat others as we want to be treated. it's the golden rule. it's the golden rule. and i think in a way everybody can understand. i want to mention some of what we're experiencing. delaware is the lowest lying state in america. the seas around us -- our state is sinking. the seas around us are rising. and we've -- that's something that we're witnessing. we've also witnessed in this country of, i think nine of the last ten years, the hottest on record. hottest on record. in iowa about a year ago, they
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had hurricane-force winds in iowa, in the middle of the year wiped out about a third of their crops. firestorms in california last year, oregon, washington last year, the size of my state. the size of my state. sea level rise in louisiana. we're reminded by our colleagues, john kennedy, bill cassidy. in louisiana, they lose -- listen to this -- they lose a football-sized area of wetlands, lost every year to the ocean, to the sea. every 30 minutes. every 30 minutes. i remember being down in that state with senator landry 10, maybe 15 years ago. and she said they would lose maybe one or two football fields of land. now it's like one every 30 minutes. sea level rise in louisiana. arctic circle. my wife was down in the arctic, antarctica a year ago. temperatures down there broke records, all-time records. and we learned earlier last year
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that up in the arctic circle, the temperature there reached 100 degrees fahrenheit, in the arctic circle. 100 degrees fahrenheit. we had more named hurricanes last year than any year before. we ran out of names. we had to start with new alphabet or something, as i recall. and i understand hurricane laura damaged last year, property damage casualty damage, to $19 billion. last year, we had 22 $1 billion disasters that flowed from hurricanes and storms. 22. in excess of $1 billion. hurricane florence was, i think just in north carolina alone, i'm told, $24 billion. $24 billion. and the science is in. the reason why all this calamity, this extreme weather is going on, an enormous loss of life, endangering property and economic value, is because we have too much carbon in the air. we have too much carbon in the
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air and too much methane in the air. hydroflorocarbon in the air, and we've got to do something about it. and if we don't, it's just going to get worse. in fact, it's been getting worse. the question is, can we do something about it, reducing hfcs, whether it's reducing carbon dioxide, black carbon? can we do those things and create economic opportunity and jobs? the kind of stuff that senator sullivan is talking about. every fiber of my being says we can do both. i think we've got to. we've got to do both. would you just comment on that again? i know you talked about it a little bit. just come back to it again. >> well, thank you for that. and i absolutely agree that we have to do something about it. in north carolina alone, in the last five to seven years we've seen three or four so-called 500-year, 1,000-year floods.
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these storms are very intense. we know that human activity is contributing to the inbound intensity of these storms. so, not only do we have to focus on solutions to mitigate climate change, which president biden's aggressive agenda demonstrates that we can create good jobs on the mitigation side. we've also got to design resiliency in infrastructure plans so that we can adjust to this new norm. we've got to adjust to the new storm intensity, the new flooding. we cannot build the same way we've always been. we can't put humpty dumpty back together the same way every time. so the answer to your question is yes, we believe that human activity is intensifying the situation we find ourselves in. yes, we believe that there are solutions to mitigate climate change. yes, we believe that we can create jobs and safety while becoming more resilient. and yes, we believe that we can create jobs on the mitigation
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side as well. we believe that there's safety, that there is health outcomes, and there's job creation in all of these various scenarios. we just have to have a plan. we all have to be rowing in the same direction. and we've got to come together, and everyone has to see themselves in this vision that we're painting. >> yeah. senator coons and i had the opportunity to have a conversation today with our new president. and we talked about, what do we do to help people, the kind of people that senator sullivan was just talking about, people whose jobs, job skills maybe are not relevant anymore. maybe they're just -- we have a lot of people -- maybe that's the wrong way to say it, they're not relevant, but there's just not the demand for those skills there might have once been. is there something we can do to help them? and one of the things we were experimenting with in
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delaware -- and we might want to consider this in other places -- is how we help folks like retrain, retool, to fill the jobs that are out there? like, i grew up in west virginia, born in west virginia. a lot of my neighbors were coal miners. we used to have hundreds of thousands of jobs in coal mining, including a bunch in west virginia. i think in the country now we might have 50,000 jobs. and we can't just forget those people. we have to find something to help them to do, to find new skills. how -- just give us some examples of how we might do that. >> well, one example is looking at president biden's executive order solely focused on this question, looking at how do we help transition our states that are heavily dependent on coal and mining. the reality is, is that as we think about epa sort of setting the rules of engagement for the level of emissions that we need to reduce in order to save the planet, the reality is, is that there are other agencies that are also major players in this that have resources to invest in research and development.
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we can really think about some new advantages in the supply chain that coal actually offers. we can really think about when we retool these communities, really understanding what the skills are. most of the skills are transferrable to needs that we have right now, in terms of infrastructure, fill in the gap for some of the research and development that is going into new science, technology and the like. so, my point is, is that i don't believe there's a silver bullet. i believe that it requires a robust conversation. i believe the market is trending in this direction. i believe technology's trending in this direction. and i believe that american ingenuity, if we can all come together, can solve these problems, and we can lead the world. >> all right. i think we have a second left. i appreciate the time, madam. >> thank you. senator ernst. >> thank you. senator ernst. >> thank you, madam chair, and thank you, mr. regan, for appearing in front of our committee today.
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i've got a couple really important issues that i want to 1! y visit with you about, very 3a9uk important to our iowa farmers and our producers. and i'm so thankful to have the conversation we did the other week, so, thank you so much. one of the most important issues that the epa will consider for my state is how to handle the renewable fuel standard. and we all have very differing opinions, maybe, on this committee, but it is very important to iowans. and should you be confirmed for this position, waiting on your desk with anticipation, when you get through the door, will be a number of pending items related to the rfs. there will be some decisions on small refinery exemptions. you will have an rvo for 2021.
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there's pending sell inging cellulosic biofuel conditions, and a request to waive the program because of covid-19. then a few months later, epa will begin figuring out the 2022 rvo and how to handle volumes in 2023 and beyond, as well as determining how to handle some regulatory hurdles facing fuels like e-15. there's a lot going on in this space. so, in short because there is a lot happening, epa really does need to step in and provide guidance. so, how will you ensure that these important matters, which really do have an outsized impact on many states like iowa, and for a number of these states in the middle of the country, how will you look at this and make sure that they get handled in a way that provides further economic opportunity? >> well, thank you, senator, for that question. and i, too, have enjoyed the conversations we've had on this topic. rfs is definitely a priority for
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this administration. i recognize that there will be a number of things sitting on the desk, if i'm fortunate enough to be confirmed. the reality is is that i want to sit down with my staff, sit down with legal counsel. there are a number of things that are caught up in litigation. there are a number of things that we need more transparency around how we arrive to those decisions. and we need to be sure that the agency actually applied the latest data, the latest science, and followed the letter of the law in some of the decisions that have been made. so, we plan to do a of all of the decisions that fit under the umbrella of the rfs, but we don't plan to do that without consultation with you and with other stakeholders that will be impacted by these decisions. what i can promise you is, we will take a no-surprise approach. we will be extremely transparent. we will be forthcoming with the science and the data and the
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legal determinations that we come to in order to make those decisions, and we will share those decisions with you. >> and i think that is an important, a very important first step. and hopefully, we continue to work beyond that. transparency is something that we have felt has been lacking. and we fully expect that to have integrity in any sort of program, we need that from the epa. we need to understand how those decisions are being made. so, if confirmed, staying on the topic of the rfs, can you commit to a strong and growing role for corn ethanol and the rfs, including for 2023 and beyond, when the statutory tables have expired? again, we have some hurdles coming up after 2022. epa will be heavily, heavily involved in this. we do want to see the continuation of our renewables. is that something you can commit to? >> yes. i can commit to the fact that
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the president has indicated that agriculture will have a seat at the table in this administration, especially as it relates to climate change. we're going to take a look at all of the latest science and be sure that we're communicating that with you all. and there is a commitment that, again, following the science and following the letter of the law, the intentions of the rfs, will be a top priority for us. >> wonderful. and my time is running short, so i'm going to jump ahead to wotus. in the first day in office, president biden gave clear direction to epa to review and rescind a number of the trump epa's major rulemakings, including the navigable waters protection rule. and as you know, this rule replaced the obama administration's 2015 wotus rule. and the navigable waters rule does enjoy widespread support from our farmers and ranchers. if confirmed, do you intend to
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rescind the navigable waters protection rule? >> thank you for that question. and if i'm confirmed, i plan to take a look at what our options are to address any kind of lingering concerns, whether that be litigious or concerns with the community, bring our stakeholders together, as i've done in north carolina, and take a look at what we need to do to move forward to provide some certainty to our farming community, especially our small farmers, so that decisions can be made and investments are not stranded on the sidelines. but i also want to be sure that we do that in a way where we are protecting our water quality, our wetlands, and our bays. >> and i always believe, and maybe you do as well, but our farmers are the first conservationists and do a very good job through education and other means putting those things into practice. so, i appreciate that. >> senator ernst, your time is -- >> what we don't want to do --
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>> -- expiring. >> what we don't want to do is exacerbate the problem further. and thank you very much for your indulgence, madam chair. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. so, i believe all of our members have, wishing to ask a first round of questioning, have had the opportunity to do so. i'm going to ask if you're okay if we go to a second round? it won't be very long, i don't believe. do you need a bit of a break, or are you okay? >> oh, i'm fine. thank you. >> okay. and your son is amazing. >> how's matthew holding up? >> he's just great! i've been watching him. i'm like -- i have seven grandchildren. not sure that would happen at our house. >> i can share, when our boys were that age -- what is he, 8 or 9? our boys were that age -- >> he's 7. >> no way in the world i would have brought him to a hearing like this. i don't know if you have him sedated or what because he's a trooper. >> there's a toy in the deal, senator. >> okay. okay. >> i hope it's a big one. >> i hope it's a good one, yeah. so, i am going to yield my first questioning time to senator sullivan. then we'll go to senator carper. >> thank you, madam chair. and, mr. regan, thanks again. and i do want to get your commitment, if confirmed, to get up to alaska? >> yes, you have my commitment.
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>> absolutely, great. listen, to my friend senator carper, who's a good friend of mine, i think we -- i just want to caution everybody on these discussions. the discussion of, like, what is a relevant job and what isn't? all my constituents have relevant jobs right now. let me give you one example. we can grow the economy, create millions of jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. how do i know? because we've already done that from 2005 to 2017. the united states reduced greenhouse gas emissions by almost 15%. that's more than any other major economy in the world, by far. how did that happen? it wasn't epa regulations. no offense to the epa. obama, trump, now biden. it was the revolution in natural gas. period. everybody knows that. president biden used to brag about it last year on how important it is. that's oil and gas workers. so, they're incredibly relevant. so, i want to -- we need to be
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cautious. every job's relevant. my constituents have very relevant jobs. the last thing we want is to have senior administration officials, john kerry gina mccarthy, others, telling americans what's relevant and not. that's not the way to bring people together. but let me -- i want to talk a little bit about alaska. we're the classic place where one size does not fit all. we're very big. my texas colleagues get sick of it when i talk about we're 2 1/2 times the size of texas. if you split alaska in half, texas would be the third largest state in the country. but i mention that because so many things the epa does have an enormous impact on my state. let me just give you a couple stats. let me give you a couple stats. alaska's home to 63% of the nation's jurisdictional waters under the clean water act. we are home to 65% of the nation's wetlands. 65% of america's wetlands reside
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in my state. so, that is why issues like the waters of the u.s. are really, really important to my constituents. we have more coastline than the rest of the lower 48 states combined. we do. just in my state. so these issues are huge in alaska, which is why i look forward to getting you up there, if confirmed. now, i want to turn to this really important issue, and i'm glad you're raising it -- equity and environmental justice. the one groups that i want to talk about, in particular, are the large minority group in my state, which are alaska natives. the population includes my wife my daughters, almost 20% of the population. we have over 30 communities in alaska, mostly alaska native, that have no running water, no flush toilets, nothing. so one of my first pieces of legislation that i passed in this committee with senator
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boxer was for communities that are disadvantaged like that. so, can i get your commitment, if confirmed, to work with me on this issue, which just shouldn't happen? there shouldn't be communities in america that don't have running water and flush toilets. can i get your commitment on that? >> senator, absolutely. absolutely. >> that's an equity and environmental justice issue if there ever was one. let me turn to a big map that i trot out a lot. this is from the american medical association. we're talking about jobs? why these policies are important for jobs? i'm going to talk about not just jobs but for lives. the ama did a study from 1980 to 2014, and it looked at what part of the country, what region, had life expectancy increases. where you see blue and purple, that's the most. my state had the biggest life expectancy increases in the country, by far.
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7, 8, 9, up to 13 years. i've asked my colleagues in debates, because i've trodded this out a lot -- give me a policy indicator more important than, are your constituents living longer? there are not many. and in my state, that's happened. the reason it's happened is because these communities that you see in alaska, where there's been big life expectancy -- a, they start from a very low level. mostly, alaska native communities, really low life expectancies. but what happened from 1980 to 2014 was resource development happened. oil and gas happened. mining happened. and that's why i get so emotional about these issues. these are equity issues. these are environmental justice issues. if this administration wants to shut down these kind of economic opportunities, this impacts people's jobs, but also how long they live.
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so i would like to get your commitment before any big decisions are made on undermining these kinds of industries to work with me, workùwt with my stakeholders. madam chair, i would just like qimy"ñ to introduce a "wall street journal" op-ped from the mayor of the north slope borough, a leader that was entitled goldman sachs to alaska natives: drop dead." this was all the big bang. so we're saying, we're not going to invest up there. and what he said in his op-ped is that, i worry about the livelihood and life expectancy of the native people of alaska. so when you're talking about environmental justice, please, don't forget about the native people of my state, because they have benefited from oil and gas and resource development jobs in a way that most americans can't
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even imagine. so can i get your commitment when you're working these equity, environmental justice issues, to have my constituents front and center in your mind as well? >> senator, i look forward to working with you and your constituents on all of these issues. and i would really love to get the details and the data behind that life expectancy chart there. i'd love to study that, have my staff study that. in areas where states are leading, we want to learn from those states. we want to replicate those things. so, i look forward to that. >> great. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you, madam chair. >> senator carper, do you have a second round? >> thank you. greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions in this country are mobile sources -- cars, trucks, and vans that we drive. we heard earlier today that our friends at general motors have announced that they're going to be basically phasing out gasoline and diesel-powered cars, trucks, and vans by 2035. a group of five auto companies found common causes with california in about 20-some other states last year to begin
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reducing, ratcheting down greenhouse gas emissions. i'm encouraged with a letter that's been sent by the auto industry -- many of the companies in the auto industry. the president just in the past week -- that there is an eagerness to build on that five-state deal -- or rather, the five-car company deal with california and others. there is an interest in building on that as a foundation to ramp up greenhouse gas emissions so that, actually, eliminating, if you will, gasoline-powered cars trucks, and vans by 2035 is not a pipe dream. the -- would you talk about that? would you talk about the willingness of the administration to work to try to build on what's already happening in the marketplace and to work with companies like general motors, toyota, and others, to actually get us to where we're talking about going? reducing emissions from the greatest source. that's our mobile sources. >> absolutely. thank you for that question and those statements. and you're exactly right.
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i think that we're seeing the markets trend in a direction where technology is leading us. and i believe that there are lots of jobs to be had in this area. you know, under president biden's aggressive agenda, there is a real focus on transportation. epa has a large role in that. i think that we have a lot of authority under the clean air act, using some of our mobile source rules to really structure and set the stage for how we usher in this new era that we're seeing the private sector move towards. a couple of points that i'd like to make is, number one, we have the power to set these standards in a way that, again, defines the rules of engagement so all of these companies can move together in sync but compete in a competitive market. number two, if we work very hard, we can see the benefits of good paying union jobs here in the united states, help to usher in this new era and earn a great salary at the same time.
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and number three, we'll see tremendous benefits, not only from a climate standpoint, but tremendous benefits to air quality. and as we look at our roads and bridges and traffic patterns, we know that many of these roads go through communities that are disproportionately impacted by air pollution. and so, there's just so much to be gained here. epa can play a leading role using the clean air act and our mobile source rulemaking. we can partner well with an automobile industry that is seizing this momentum. and we'll get climate benefits, we'll get jobs, and we'll get better air quality for those who have been disproportionately impacted for too long. >> thank you. i had a conversation with mary barra last year, the ceo of general motors. about the future of the auto industry and the propulsion in the auto industry. and interestingly enough, he said -- i was trying to get her convince her from gm to join these other five auto companies in the agreement with california
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and a bunch of states. and she said i'm all in on electric. i know that's the future, that's where we're going. she said, i need three things, and the industry, three things in order to be successful in this regard, with respect to electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered vehicles. one, she said, we need easy access to charging stations and fueling stations for hydrogen. we need technology that, where you have the batteries that can recharge in minutes, not in hours. and she said, we need the ability to get range to at least 300 miles for a vehicle on a full charge of the battery. those are three things we need. one of those is something this committee can do something about. and the -- i'm sure my colleague, senator capito, remembers this. when we passed the five-year extension in the service reauthorization act in this committee, we included in there the support -- we had a significant climate judge chapter.
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part of that was -- part of that was building a series of corridors across the country where we have fueling stations and charging stations. and that would be part of that as an inducement in support of moving the industry. it's no good for us for gm and ford and some others to build electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles if no one's going to buy them because they can't get them charged and refueled and we can do something about that. last, renewable identification numbers. we have a refinery in delaware, in delaware city. they keep getting hammered by the volatility of something called rens -- renewable identification numbers. somebody else i think mentioned this in conjunction with the renewable fuel standards. it's become a commodity. it's traded in a commodity. and disadvantages refineries, especially the smaller refineries because it's like someone's like, using, making out of this tool that was designed to make the renewable fuel standards work. it's making it hard to be successful.
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is this something that you care about, know about? >> yes. we've had some discussions on this and understand how it fits into the full picture of the rfs, and understand that we really need to protect the integrity of these rins, also ensuring that we are looking holistically at the original intent of the rfs and the law and applying the correct data and science to be sure that we're protecting the integrity of those rins. >> good. i have one more quick question, if i could, madam chairman, would that be okay, one more? >> oh, sure. >> yeah, thanks. mr. regan, the aim act legislation we passed here, the goal to ratchet down hocs over 15 year period of time. hocs are more dangerous in terms of greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide, as you probably know. would you commit that if confirmed, you will support the president's direction to the state department to send that to the senate for ratification, and will you make implementation of
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the a.i.m. act which is legislation that does the phase-down over 15 years of hocs, to make implementation of the a.i.m. act a top priority for epa under your leadership? >> yes. first of all, thank you and the other members for your leadership. hfcs is such an important topic. >> what is it worth in terms of climate change and temperature was it half a degree celsius, just this one thing, right? >> it's huge. it's our job to do imp lemation of that law. >> madam chair, i ask for unanimous consent, place tribe support for the biden executive order into the record and also ask unanimous consent, if i could, to place in the record all materials a catch-all statement, place all materials in the record -- a pretty big record -- but i'd like to --
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variety of materials that include news articles, letters from stakeholders reports fact sheets and other materials that relate to today's nominations hearing for secretary regan to be administrator of the epa. >> without objection. >> let me say again, thank you so much. you've been a splendid chairman. >> however brief this is. >> nothing like going out on top. >> right. >> you just knocked the ball out of the park. >> thanks. >> and it makes me more excited about working with you and our colleagues in the years to come. mr. regan, michael, you did a great job today. we're proud of you. i could barely see your wife's lips move when you spoke, and we very much welcome her and your son, matthew, to our family. hopefully we'll be able to somehow convince our colleagues to vote for you, get you confirmed so you can go to work. thanks so much. god bless you. >> thank you.
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and i have just a few wrap up questions for my second round. i told you at the end of my first round that i wanted to go back to the talk about your experience in north carolina with the regulations under section 111d of the clean act act, including the clean air plan and the ace rule. you talked slightly about this. do you believe that section 111-d of the clean air act provides the epa with the authority to regulate greenhouse gases in a power plant from only inside the fence line? or can epa regulate beyond the individual plant fence line? how do you feel about that? >> you know, i'd love to confer with my staff and with legal counsel to best determine how the courts have ruled on epa's interpretation of that. >> as you know, the courts have kind of been on both sides of that issue, and i think it would make a determination to whether you could force a power plan to force to switch generation sources and would only require say a coal plant or natural gas
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plant to come up with best practices. so, it does have great impacts obviously in certain parts of the country and certainly in my state as well. senator gillibrand mentioned pfas. you and i talked about this on the phone. i'm very passionate about this issue, concerned about it in the long term. did press administrative wheeler to get to a clean drinking standard. didn't get there. i agree with her, there is a pathway toward it, but i am likeminded with her in terms of the restlessness of getting there and the delay. so, i would impress upon you how important i think that is to our nation and to our nation's younger as they're living through the impacts of what this could have on the drinking water. so i would just ask a pledge to keep working with me and us on that. >> absolutely. absolutely. >> the last thing i would say
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is and to senator carper it's been -- thank you for letting me have the joy of chairing my one committee hearing here. i know we're going to be able to work together and we are anxious to go to the transportation bill. but when i hear senator carper talk about electric vehicles i mean i think that's a very aspirational -- i saw z8 where the president said he wants all federal vehicles to be electric. and i think that's a great aim. but we've got to realize here we've got to power these things with electricity. and if we disenfranchise a lot of the power sources that we can make cleaner in the process -- i'm talking natural gas and coal -- that now provides our baseline fuels still here -- i mean our baseline power here in this country -- we're going to stick the plug into and try to power the vehicle and there's not going to be enough power. it's going to be a power surge
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in this country, if we get to this point of having electric vehicles. so, at some point we've got to really look at -- and we see certain states like california that have had outages and have had to throttle different power sources because they're running low on a really hot day or maybe a really cold day or something of that nature. so, i would just in west virginia we say coal keeps the lights on, which it does. but it also powers a lot of vehicles, and it employees a lot of people. and so, again, when we talk about what the effects are of transitioning jobs and environmental justice and how it impacts people in all different communities, and senator booker is very passionate in this area, i think the experience that i experienced with the 1.8 million west virginians in the past several years during the obama administration where now we see some of the same players -- not you, you're a fresh face, very transparent, very ready to work,
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and i really welcome that because i am concerned because some of the same words and the same rhetoric was given to us. we're going to take care of you. we're going to retrain workers. they're going to learn to code. you know, they're going to move. they're going to do this, they're going to do that. and we just got dropped on our heads. and it really, really hurt our part of the country. and i'm sure you've seen some of that in certain parts in north carolina in different industries. and so i just am -- i'm hoping -- i'm hoping, and i'm an optimistic person, so i'm maybe hoping towards believing. but i'm hoping that it's not just another committee that's going to give the state $2 million to have a committee meeting so we can figure out how we're going to make things better and then nothing ever happens and no change ever occurs. so, i want to be your partner on
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this. i want to be able to join with you and the rest of the members really of the senate, but particularly those hard-hit areas because it has been very, very difficult to try to rebound from. so, with that i would say unless you want to make a comment, i would say we're about to wrap up. >> madam chair, before we with wrap -- >> yes. >> -- one last thing. for a long time, delaware did not use -- when i was the governor, we didn't use the economic development administration. we didn't use eda. and it turns out we hadn't produced the kind of comprehensive economic development plan that eda was looking for in order to make us eligible to apply for grants. one of the grants we pained from eda about a year or two ago was to enable to take money raised by, believe it or not, auto dealers, by upholstery processors, and an eda grant, and the idea was to work with
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our statewide community college, delaware county technical college, to create something where we -- center for automotive excellence. and we now have in southern delaware in our county seat, georgetown, a delaware technical community college, top of the line, to retract and retain folks to work for auto dealers, to do the maintenance work, to work for the poultry industry and other trucks and so forth. we did it with the help of the eda. and we did it with the community college. and i think there's something there in term of retraining and retooling. we have jurisdiction over eda. >> right. that's the good news. >> we have jurisdiction. the biden proposal bill back better, they asked for $3 billion. $3 billion for the eda. we've never done more than about $300 million in a year.
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$3 billion dollar is a huge amount of money. i think it's to meet the needs in the marketplace. but also that a lot of folks given the untopportunity to learn new skills, they'd do it. and they're signing up fully at the center for automotive excellence in georgetown. >> well, i look forward to the eda discussion. i think that we've used the eda actually really well in west virginia most recently on a lot of different infrastructure development and job training and development. and so i do think it has a place because it is for underserved and unserved areas. so, i look forward to working with you on that. so i just want to really thank you. you've been an excellent witness. i think that you've answered questions with a lot of honesty, and your promise to get back to people is very much appreciated. i think there are no more questions. so, members may submit follow-up written questions for the record. they're called qfrs here. and by 4:00 p.m. on friday february the 5th. the nominee i would ask
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secretary regan to respond to these questions by 10:00 a.m. on monday february the 8th. so, there goes your weekend. and i would like to thank secretary regan for your time and testimony and thank your beautiful family for being here with us. and i wish you the best of luck. >> well, thank you so much. >> thank you.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] .
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week nights this month we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span3 and tonight pulitzer prize-winning photographer david hume spds kennerly talks to
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historian jon meacham about his more than 50-year-long photography career. among the topics mr. kennerl'sy's time as gerald ford's official photographer and photographs. enjoy american history tv every weekend on c-span3. confirmation hearing for neera tanden president biden's nominee for director of the office of management and budget, is on wednesday at 10:00 avm.m. eastern on c-span3 before the senate budget committee. watch live wednesday on c-span3. watch live and on demand at c-span.org.

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