Latest Posts

Testimony Before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Power and Environment and Economy


March 11, 2011

Excerpts

Without adequate funding, EPA would be unable to implement or enforce the laws that protect Americans’ health, livelihoods, and pastimes. Big polluters would flout legal restrictions on dumping contaminants into the air, into rivers, and onto the ground. Toxic plumes already underground would reach drinking water supplies, because ongoing work to contain them would stop. There would be no EPA grant money to fix or replace broken water treatment systems. And the standards EPA is set to establish for harmful air pollution from smokestacks and tailpipes would remain missing from a population of sources that is not static but growing.

I will address Chairman Upton’s bill to eliminate portions of the Clean Air Act. The most extreme parts of that bill remain unchanged since I testified about it a month ago. It still would presume to overrule the scientific community on the scientific finding that carbon pollution endangers Americans’ health and wellbeing. Politicians overruling scientists on a scientific question – you might be remembered more for that than for anything else you do.

Testimony Before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture

March 10, 2011

Excerpts

I also believe an important part of that commitment is to dispel certain myths about EPA’s work and its impact on agriculture.  These mischaracterizations are more than simple distractions; they prevent real dialogue to address our greatest problems.  Let me give you five examples:

One is the notion that EPA intends to regulate the emissions from cows – what is commonly referred to as a “Cow Tax.” This myth was started in 2008 by a lobbyist and –quickly de-bunked by the non-partisan, independent group fact-check.org – it still lives on. The truth is - EPA is proposing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a responsible, careful manner and we have even exempted agricultural sources from regulation.

Another mischaracterization is the claim that EPA is attempting to expand regulation of dust from farms. We have no plans to do so, but let me be clear, the Clean Air Act passed by Congress mandates that the Agency routinely review the science of various pollutants, including Particulate Matter, which is directly responsible for heart attacks and premature deaths.

Another example involves spray drift. While no one supports pesticides wafting into our schools and communities, EPA does not support a “no-spray drift policy.” EPA has been on the record numerous times saying this, but the incorrect belief that EPA desires to regulate all spray drift persists.
Yet another mischaracterization is the false notion that EPA is planning on mandating Federal numeric nutrient limits on various States. Again, let me be clear: EPA is not working on any federal numeric nutrient limits.

And finally is the notion that EPA intends to treat spilled milk in the same way as spilled oil. This is simply incorrect. Rather, EPA has proposed, and is on the verge of finalizing an exemption for milk and dairy containers. This exemption needed to be finalized because the law passed by Congress was written broadly enough to cover milk containers.