tv EPA Administrator Pruitt on Agencys Budget CSPAN April 26, 2018 11:22am-12:00pm EDT
secretary pruitt: once is an always in approach we took to this issue along with a project netting approach that was the second step. we're engaged in those kinds of initial steps that overall we're looking at a comprehensive rule that will secretary pruitt: address new s reviews that will provide certainty and clarity to those across the country as they make investments to improve outcomes. but they are not going to face new programming requirements under the clean airr act. so that we continue to protect air quality i while removing unnecessary burdens placed on t. >> in regards to the clean airr act, how is the e.p.a. striving o provide more flexibility and deference to state agencies? secretary pruitt: we're
providing guidance to certain programs. encouraging states to be active partners there. one of the things i think is most essential is respect to air quality is the utilization of state improvement plans and us being responsive, responding to those departments of environmental quality, natural resources, whatever the agency is, to work with them in close partnership to adopt dont those plans and improve them in a timely way. it sends a bag message when states take those steps, invest, and then don't get a response to he agency for years. >> i have other questions, but i'm running out of time. lastly, i know that e.p.a. has expressed interest in finding a resolution to some of the concerns regarding e.p.a.'s current rule which was issued in 2015. will you commit to working with me and this committee and providing further information on this work and any potential possibilities?
compliance dates are right around the corner. it's important to provide this industry with some commonsense regulatory certainty. secretary pruitt: yes, congressman. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> choir. the chair -- the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. mcnerney. mr. mcnerney: since becoming e.p.a. administrator your public calendar is filled with meetings of oil, trade association, lobbyist, not with environmental groups or public health groups. it seems the deep pockets are a prerequisite to getting a spot on your calendar. isn't it true that you and your affiliated political organizations receive nearly $4 million in campaign contributions from fossil fuel interests? secretary pruitt: i haven't looked at those numbers in some time. mr. mcnerney: i can assure you it is. as an example of pay to play. on june 5, 2017, you announced the e.p.a. halted immeltation of the methane rule. this was an attempt to
retroactively delay the rule requirement on oil and gas industry for 90 days. a few weeks prior to that on may 24, 2017, you spoke to the american exploration and production council. r. pruitt, was your june 5 actions made in response to a request by the council or any individual members? secretary pruitt: methane is something we take very seriously and will regulate. we've got proposals that we're considering now to regulate methane going forward as part of the d.o.t. approach. mr. mcnerney: are you not answering my question. you had -- secretary pruitt: actions taken there were unrelated to any meetings or events. it was actions to provide certainty to those in the marketplace with respect -- mr. mcnerney: oil and gas and exploration and production company is a mefment american exploration and production council.
they also happen to be represented by the washington, d.c. lobbying group williams and jensen. you made these decisions on the methane rule that would directly benefit their client while living in a capitol hill condo owned by the wife of a then williams and jennings lobbyist with the rent of $50 a night. i wonder what the owners got or tried to get in return for generosity. this is another example of pay to play. arbitrarily delaying a rule is illegal and the d.c. circuit court found your actions to be in excess of statutory authority. mr. chairman, i have a statement from the american association for the advancement of science on the e.p.a. administrator's plan to disallow the use of scientific evidence in decisionmaking. >> if the gentleman would pass it over to the chair so i can look at it. mr. mcnerney: mr. administrator, do you have confidence in the union of concerned scientists
what would be the best practices for transparency and good science? secretary pruitt: i'm sure their opinion is credible. mr. north carolina americany: thank you -- mr. mcnerney: thank you, how can supported by these agencies? secretary pruitt: the action that is we take at the agency are different than their responsibilities. we actually issue rules, general applicable, that provide to people all over the country and we need to ensure the science we use that underpins those rules -- mr. mcnerney: disagree with professional scientists. practicing professional scientists. by reducing the cafe standards, you will allow more pollution on american streets and make u.s. cars less competitive with overseas manufacturers. yes or no. did the $4 million you received from the oil and gas industrial influence your decision? secretary pruitt: the decision we made was a decision based upon the record.
mr. mcnerney: administrator pruitt i find it interesting you personally benefit from many of your decisions and actions that ultimately harm the people of this country, especially people who have little or no ability to fend themselves. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. flores. mr. flores: secretary produce, thank you for joining us. let me start by going chairman shimkus' comments. i'm pleased that the agency is beginning to look at its authorities after 2022. i would like to respectfully remind the e.p.a. administrative actions prior to that time are limited by statute. accordingly, i request that the agency work with congress, particularly chairman shimkus, mr. welch, and me as we try to develop interim and long-term solutions, fuel solutions are good for the environment, good for auto mileage, good for the american consumers, good for the agricultural and metal interest
and the stakeholders. a few minutes go mr. ruiz was trying to defend the e.p.a.'s practice under the prior administration of using hidden science to develop policy solutions. you weren't given a chance regarding your efforts to open that process up and become more transparent with scientific studies. can you spend about 30 seconds to describe what you are trying to do to make science inside the e.p.a. more transparent. especially because it's paid for by the american taxpayer. secretary pruitt: it seems to me it's common sense that as we do rule making at the agency we base it upon a record, scientific conclusions, that we should be able to see. the data and methodology that actually caused those conclusions. that makes common sense to me. that's the only change we're making. any third party study, we'ring a notic about -- agnostic about who adopts the study. we're saying to all third party science, they need methodology, data, and findings packaged
together so we can make an informed decision about the efficacy. mr. flores: the american people deserve to see that science. it shouldn't be hid yield back the balance of my time as it was in the prior administration. thank you for that. to my questions, the american people are well aware under the e.p.a. -- under the obama administration abuse environmental regulatory process by ignoring congressional statutes and by circumventing the u.s. constitution, fortunately the federal court system stepped in to protect american families from this abuse and rule of law. in this regard i have the phone in question. i'm -- i'll go to the questions first. he provides this committee with a list of those overreaching and overturned regulations that were overturned by the court systems. can you provide this committee with the economic cost of those overturned regulations? can you also inform the committee about e.p.a.'s actions, if any, to modify those regulations.
to conform with the rule of law. secretary pruitt: on all fronts. mr. flores: i ask you to you do a supplemental. thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from michigan, mrs. dingell, for five minutes. mrs. dingell: thank you, mr. chairman. administrator pruitt, yesterday i sent you a letter on e.p.a.'s january 25, 2018 guidance to reverse the long-standing once and always in policy for major sources of hazardous air pollutants. this document rules one of the bedrockcy of dards to limit pollution from factories and industrial regular laces. the clean airr act requires the e.p.a. to control hazardous air pollutants to protect public health. these pollutants are the worst of the worst. and they include many that cause cancer in children like mercury, arsenic, and lead. the law focuses eliminating these solution from industrial
sources by requiring them to control their emotions using the maximum achievable control technology. the once and always in policy ensured that polluters continue to clean up their act and didn't backslide on their progress. in the january 25 guidance, you punched a huge giant loophole in these critical public health protections essentially allowing sources to increase their toxic air emissions with no consequences. at a senate hearing in january, you were asked about the new once and always in guidance and indicated that, quote, it was a decision made outside of the air program office. it was a policy office decision, unquote. at the time, you didn't seem aware of the details and i'm -- that happens when things are -- you have a lot of stuff. but i'm hoping now that you have had more time to familiarize yourself and i'd like to ask you some questions.
it's not clear whether e.p.a. has any idea how many sources might increase their emissions of hazardous air pollutants as a result of this policy change and i would like to ask you some yes or no questions. yes or no. e.p.a. determined which sources and how many would be covered by this policy change before releasing the january 25 guidance. secretary pruitt: yes. here was a review. mrs. dingell: yes or no. secretary pruitt: this is incentive to companies to invest in emissions. mrs. dingell: yes or no. did e.p.a. determine the locations of these sources. secretary pruitt: that's something -- i don't know about the location. mrs. dingell: did e.p.a. provide that. yes or no, did e.p.a. assess the magnitude of hazardous air pollution that could increase as a result of the january 25 guidance? secretary pruitt: it's actually a benefit with respect to providing incentive as i indicated. mrs. dingell: yes or no.
secretary pruitt: yes. mrs. dingell: has e.p.a. initiated or completed any of the previously mentioned analysis since the release of january 25 guidance? secretary pruitt: the work that was done was in support of the guidance issued. mrs. dingell: it's less not clear whether e.p.a. has looked at the potential health effects of this decision. yes or no. did e.p.a. conduct an analysis of the health effects, including the potential increased risk of cancer of this decision before releasing the january 25 guidance memo. secretary pruitt: that's something we have to provide. mrs. dingell: did you provide an analysis on the effects on children, babies, or pregnant women? secretary pruitt: that's something we have to assess and provide. mrs. dingell: yes or no, did e.p.a. conduppingt agnatcies of the potential health effects of this policy on -- conduct analysis of this potential health effects on this policy? secretary pruitt: i hate to be
redunt can't. mrs. dingell: did they provide analysis on minority and low-income communities before releasing the january 25? secretary pruitt: answer the same way. mrs. dingell: in the absence of information from the e.p.a., a number of independents groups have taken it upon themselves to animalize the potential toxicity this would have on communities near and downwind from major sources. they found the chemical industry stands to benefit substantially from this loophole. if you met with representatives who requested the repeal of this once and always end policy? secretary pruitt: a decision to provide incentive to companies to invest to lower emissions. p mrs. dingell: i'm going to conclude with one different subject. very important to me. you recently concluded the midterm evaluation of fuel economy standards for model years 2022 to 2025. my deep belief that the
auto companies, their works, and consumer have benefited from having one national program for fuel economy and that's critical to preserve that moving forward. the importance of these standards besides saving energy, reducing emissions is the certainty that businesses need. i'm deeply worried about reports that california doesn't matter. mr. shimkus: the gentlelady's time is expiring. mrs. dingell: it's my hope we can have one national program moving forward. if you do, we work on it together. everybody wins. mr. shimkus: the gentlelady's time has expired. we accept for commission from the record the statement from the american association for advances of scientists. for our colleague's note, the chief executive officer is rush holt whom you-all remember. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. hudson, for five minutes. mr. hudson: thank you, mr. chairman. i have two areas of questions i
want to jump into with you. irst relates to the chemical gwen-x. in your tum highlighted the importance of safe drinking water and the e.p.a.'s efforts to proactively protect source water as well as address contamination concerns. i am asure you are aware my state of north carolina is facing growing concerns over the emerging contaminant gwen x. i have been compaged with you on this issue sever times in the past. my gern we have a chemical spreading we simply do not know enough about. i'm worried on the e.p.a.'s website, the related family of chemicals won't be developed until the fall of 2018. two days ago i received a letter addressing some but not all our questions that i have asked about genx. i understand e.p.a. has posted comprehensive scientific literature related to again -- genx on its website. and setting or refining public
health goals. i would ask what information does e.p.a. seek that the literature has that does not already provide. when will the results of the e.p.a.'s development be available to the public? secretary pruitt: very important issue. i have talked to them in north carolina. it is something i am aware of the issues in north carolina. we have have a toxicity review by the summer. with respect to genx. is is -- an iteration beyond it was a chemical. i'm very concerned about its impact. we're accelerating that tox review. and we'll look at further steps in the fall. we have been in communication was north carolina about that. >> i appreciate the attention. what are the updates to the risk management of genx based on independent laboratory analysis in the water samples. what about those can you discuss now? secretary pruitt: with respect to the toxicity review or other
studies? mr. hudson: independent laboratory analysis of the compounds. secretary pruitt: that's part of the work being done to support the tox review. there will be additional standards set in the future. what we're trying to do is work with those states like north carolina that have an eminent concern. as they adopt state responses as well. mr. hudson: i don't know if you're able to make a conclusion yet, but was genx used in a manner incompatibility with the consent agreement under the toxic substance control act? are you in a position to determine that? secretary pruitt: i'm not able to speak to that at this point. we can get you the information. mr. hudson: i appreciate the seriousness you have taken this anti-work you are doing with our governor. thank you for that. secretary pruitt: governor cooper has been very concerned about it and foed upon t it's important we address it with him and the state. mr. hudson: thank you. i'd like to discuss another policy, clean air. in the 47 years since the
enactment of the clean airr act the e.p.a. has never taken an enforcement action against amateur racers who make modifications to vehicles used exclusively on traction for -- tracks for racing. do you support this policy? secretary pruitt: the policy of taking no enforcement? i think it's wise, yes. mr. hudson: under the previous administration the e.p.a. slipped a few sentences into a 600-page unrelated rule that proposed to repeal thispolicy. after public outcry and a number of us raised concerns, they backed off. but they sort of left ambiguity there about the legality of this. would you support legislation clarifying vehicles can be modified for racing and that doing so does not violate the anti-tampering provisions in the clean airr act as long as those vehicles are not used on public roads, used exclusively for competition? secretary pruitt: it's helpful to us to get congressional clarity on these issues. absolutely. mr. hudson: i appreciate the time. thank you for your focus on clean air and clean water.
goals we all share. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. mr. shimkus: the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from california, ms. matsui, for five minutes. ms. matsui: thank you, mr. chairman. administrator prosecute, it's widely reported at this point -- administrator pruitt, it's wildly reported at this time point information is from the coal industries. coal-fired utility, methane gas emissions from oil and gas, air pollution from glider trucks, all translate into additional profit for those industries but impact public health. it doesn't come as a surprise that you determined in the midterm evaluation that the stronger vehicle fuel efficiency standards are too stringent. i strongly disagree with this determination. there is a very robust record to support the need for stronger standards and availability of technology to achieve them. highlighted by the 500-page
technical assessment report issued by the e.p.a. administrator pruitt, you have stated many times you intended to operate the e.p.a. on the basis of cooperative federalism and the rule of law. when it comes to california, and vehicle emission standards, all of -- neither of these concepts seem to apply. you made it clear that you do not favor california's favor and wish the state that greenhouse gas emission standards for vehicles and you stated that california should not have, quote, an outside influence on vehicle standards. the disposition is inconsistent with your preference for states' rights. more importantly it is inconsistent with the law. california special status with respect to vehicle emission regulation has been enshrined in federal law for over 50 years. section 209-b of the clean airr act states the administrator shall, not may, shall grant a waiver to any state if the state
not the agency determines the state standards will be at least as protective of public health and welfare as the federal standards. the auto manufacturers have repeatedly said they do not want to protracted legal fight that would inevitably occur if e.p.a. ved to revoke california's waiver. but many of the public statements allude to the agency moving in that direction. i would ask you, does the agency intend to initiate proceeding to revoke california's waiver. yes or no. secretary pruitt: not at present. we worked very closely with california officials on an issue. i have sent e.p.a. representative -- ms. matsui: that is a no? secretary pruitt: it's important we work together to achieve as was indicated earlier national standards. ms. matsui: it's not a yes or no. secretary pruitt: congresswoman, we're working diligently and diplomatically with california.
ms. matsui: ok. i believe your answer should be a no because you said you want a national program and you won't get this without california agreement. the law requires you to set standards and protect public health and welfare. california standards does just that. california agreed to a national program to enter into an agreement to accomplish that goal. if you challenge a waiver or significantly weaken the standards, you're not following the rule of law. if you are doing what you were appointed to do which you said you are going to do, you must uphold the law and set protective standards. o far you have demonstrated, you intended to do that that's why the entire country needs california's waiver to ensure the public health and environment are protected even in the faith of the administrator who cares more about repaying special interests than about safeguarding the public's interest.
now, administrator pruitt, i believe to a question that you answered from mrs. blackburn, earlier you said the e.p.a. has data supporting your decision to revise emission standards for light duty vehicles. will you commit to providing that data to both sides of the committee by the end of the day? and that's a yes or no. secretary pruitt: we'll wee actually have two responsibilities under this process. one is determine evaluation in the proposed making that will occur. we'll provide the data to you. ms. matsui: at the end of the day? secretary pruitt: i'll instruct our team to get that together as soon as possible. ms. matsui: end of the day, yes. secretary pruitt: i'll instruct my team to get that to you as soon as possible. ms. matsui: hopefully within a week? secretary pruitt: we'll get it to you as soon as possible. ms. matsui: i'll hold you to that. thank you. i yield back. mr. shimkus: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the
gentleman from north dakota, mr. cramer, for five minutes. mr. cramer: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. administrator, for lots of things. first of all for being here and once again i never cease to be impressed with the incredible depth of knowledge you have on the details of so many things. it seems to me, however, the more details you know, the more some people demand and they expect you to know everything. i have to say in my years, both on this committee and previous committees, i never had a cabinet official that knew as much about the policies of your agency as you have with yours. thank you for that. i also want to thank you for your incredible, not just understanding of but commitment to cooperative federalism. it is something that has been lost in previous administrations, including by some of your critics that were predecessors to you. the restoration of it is no small matter. i want you to know on behalf of the people of north dakota how very much we apreesh iate your approval you are o state's application for primacy over
class 6 wells, which is our co-2 wells. think it's a clear demonstration of the policy. i'm also -- i have to say i'm of the struck by some accusations that have come at me today. for example, you were accused of picking winners and losers with your policies. and i just have to ask, isn't the clean power plan at its very core the picking of winners and losers by trying to regulate electric generation outside of the fence line? isn't that picking of winners and losers. secretary pruitt: the agency in response to that, congressman, defined the best system of emission reduction under the statute is being able to coerce decisions being made at the local level how you generate electricity. by definition that was almost picking winners and losers. mr. cramer: you have been accused of hypocrisy. you have been accused of a lack of transparency by people who in the same breath are defending secret science as a means of
carrying out their political philosophy. all the while accusing you of being ideologue in the room. the irony is rich beyond rich with me. secretary pruitt: if i may. i think what's important with respect to the scientific transparency, it doesn't apply to only certain studies. it applies to all third party studies. every type. many members on this committee i'm sure would be very concerned if a.p.i. went out and did a study, didn't provide the methodology, data, provided conclusions to the e.p.a. and the e.p.a. acted on rule making with respect to methane or other issues, there would be tremendous concerns about that. it applies to all third party science, irrespective of the source. it just simply says data, methodology, conclusions matter and the american people need to be able to consume that. mr. cramer: it seems to me. i appreciated the inquiry earlier, maybe you could elaborate, how personal data can be protected and is protected.
nobody's asking for the names of pollution m of every source that's ever happened in the world. not asking for personal data. we're asking simply for the science to be revealed. you can protect the personal data, right? secretary pruitt: both the personal data as well as confidential business information. they can be redacted and can be addressed and still serve the d rule.s of the propose mr. cramer: of all the accusations today it was interesting after four minutes of defenged the swamp, one ever their leaders said so much for draining the swamp. mr. administrator, the greatest sin you have committed is you will you have actually done what president trump ran on, what he won on, and what's what he's commissioned you to do in finding balance in both carrying out the mission of environmental protection law, at the same time looking out for our economy and
jobs creation. and i just, again, for the people of north dakota, appreciate that so much n my remaining minute, if you take time -- elaborate a little more on the new source review issue. north dakota we have a number of existing plants that are finding it difficult to even meet the spirit of the intent of new source review. i think it just seems to be working against it. secretary pruitt: for the american people as we talked about -- what new source review is we had a company that wants to invest, sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars, in their facilities, to reduce pollution. they refused to do so because if they invest too much it's considered a major modification to the facility which then requires what? additional permitting responsibilities, which they may not get. it is something that is very, very important to actually incentivize companies and reward companies who want to invest in better outcomes. it was talked about earlier. that effectively is what that is. under the category of major
emitters and minor emitters. if you were-r major and reduce your pollution down to minor levels, you can be rewarded for that. and incentivize to do that. mr. shimkus: the chair recognizes gentleman from california. >> thank you very much. mr. chairman, for calling this hearing. also i mark your words that you said that today hopefully we'll be talking about policy and stewardship. i hope that we can get that on the record as well. on both those fronts. mr. pruitt, welcome to the people's house. your failures -- list of failures slong and wasteful spending is an embarrassment to government and very offensive to the taxpayers who pay all of our salaries. mr. cardenas: this administration is so packed with unethical behavior, at the same time you have to understand that your power directly i am pacts health and well-being of vulnerable populations in this country. seniors, our children, our sick
and disabled. it's tempting to ask why you spend nearly $68,000 on hotels and travel from august through february just in five months, and $50,000 in modifications to your office, including a privacy booth that cost over $43,000, and an oversight of ornate wood working that cost over $2,000. but we already know some of these purchases were made in violation of federal law. when you appeared before the subcommittee in december, this subcommittee, you said that your phone booth is used for classified conversations and sensitive conversations with the white house. has this $43,000 phone booth -- >> coverage of this hearing with e.p.a. administrator scott pruitt continues online at c-span.org. we'll also air tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span2. u.s. house about to start its session working through 116 amendments to the six-year f.a.a.