March 2, 2023 - U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, has questioned Joseph Goffman, nominee to be assistant administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Air and Radiation, during an EPW Committee hearing.
During a first round of questions, Ranking Member Capito pressed Goffman on his own office projecting the ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ (IRA) will cut production and kill jobs in the coal and natural gas industries. During a second round of questions, Ranking Member Capito questioned Goffman on harmful regulations coming out of the EPA, some of which the Supreme Court ruled to be outside the agency’s legal authority.
EPA, GOFFMAN SAY INFLATION REDUCTION ACT WILL KILL COAL, NATURAL GAS:
SENATOR CAPITO: “I want to go back to the charts that I spoke about in my opening statement. On the coal capacity, and the blue line would be what's predicted to be the retirements, and then with the IRA you see drastically by 2040 many, many more.
“On this one, this is how much are those plants running, the ones that are remaining. You can see with no IRA, close to over 50. Post-IRA looks like 15 to 18%. So do you agree with the conclusions that were drawn? These were made by your Office of Air and Radiation staff recently and presented at a conference.”
EPA’S JOE GOFFMAN: “I believe that the model that we developed, and the run that we did to produce these results was solid and methodologically sound.”
SENATOR CAPITO: “And there's also an additional one…for natural gas that has the same, not as dramatic, but the same post-IRA implementation of drastically down and generation also and capacity a factor. So same thing for natural gas.”
REAL-LIFE IMPACTS OF JOB LOSSES FROM INFLATION REDUCTION ACT, OTHER REGULATIONS:
SENATOR CAPITO: “So I've talked to you about this, and you emphasize a lot in your opening statement, how you started and the kind of community that you were in, and how difficult it was for you to go through joblessness of your father.
“This is what our communities, my communities are going to be seeing and have seen. And more drastically over the next 20 years. So are you concerned about the number of jobs that will be lost in this? If these projections are correct. Are you taking that into consideration at every step of the way as you're putting forward your regulations?”
EPA’S JOE GOFFMAN: “Senator, that is one of the central questions that we always have for us, which is how to establish standards for, in this case, the power sector that reduces pollution while preserving economic opportunity and jobs.”
SENATOR CAPITO: “And how does this preserve jobs?”
ON INFLATION REDUCTION ACT, EPA REGULATIONS HOLDING AMERICA BACK: “How are we going to power our nation with this? And meet the demands of electric cars? We're not going to be able to do it with what we're seeing. I mean, we can't permit anything so that's a problem. And so where does this leave us as a nation is being able to power it?”
ON EXPECTATION OF EPA KEEPING STATES INFORMED OF UPCOMING REGULATIONS, RULES: “I would say anecdotally, if you have a provision that's directly going to affect just my state of West Virginia. I would expect you to come and tell me that in advance. I don't think that's an unreasonable request from Senator Sullivan. Thank you.”
Click HERE to watch Ranking Member Capito’s first round of questions.
Click HERE to watch Ranking Member Capito’s second round of questions.
Click HERE to watch Ranking Member Capito’s opening statement.