tv EPA Administrator Pruitt on Agencys Budget CSPAN April 26, 2018 8:00pm-11:52pm EDT
>> tonight on c-span2, epa administrator scott pruitt appears before the energy and commerce committee. the senate votes to confirm mike pompeo as secretary of state and homeland security secretary kiersten nielsen's testimony before the house homeland security committee. >> at house hearing on the epa annual budget epa administrator scott pruitt addressed allegations of ethics violation
and fiscal mismanagement saying he has quote, nothing to hide. members asked him about wasteful spending and staff salaries. congressman john chairs this house energy and subcommittee hearing. >> can we get the door closed at the back, please? the subcommittee will come to order. before we begin i like to take a moment to address the guest in our audience. first of all, thank you for coming. we think engaged citizens are welcome and available part of the blood of the process. i only wish every hearing drew this much interest. the purpose of this hearing is to hear from the administrator of the epa on important matters currently before the agency including the subcommittee's
continued interest in the workings of the environment protection agency. it's an opportunity for the subcommittee just questions and have a thoughtful discussion on these issues and the number of people in the audience is morning demonstrates a strong interest in the topic and we welcome that interest in your attendance today. you do want to remember our guests in the audience that the chair is obviated under the rules of the house and the rules of the committee to maintain order and preserve decorum in the committee room. i know that we have deep feelings on these issues and that we may not agree on everything but i ask that we abide by the rules and be respectful of our audience members, our viewers and our witnesses. the chair appreciates the cooperation in maintaining order as we have a full discussion on these important issues. i'd like to recognize myself for five minutes for an opening statement. good morning and welcome back to
the environment subcommittee. i'm glad to be here with you today and look forward to our discussion. from up policy perspective and from my seat outside the agency i'm generally pleased with the direction you're taking it the epa. as i mentioned when you were here five months ago the american people don't want ideologues realigning or interpreting our laws in the expect and deserve agencies like the epa to faithfully intimate what congress has passed. i'm especially happy with the reinvigorated superfund program and in particular after more than 20 years on the national priorities list i'm glad to see progress finally been made on the landfill which we talked multiple times. superfund fights are an environmental health problems that pose immediate thoughts. one of the bills i worked on it when i joined this committee was to help make the superfund program operate more rationally.
to see that you care about this program is important to me. i also want to applaud your initiative to look at bps workforce and identify ways to make the agency more efficient and effective. as i mentioned back in december this exercise not been undertaken more than 20 years. i believe a lack of consistent review can lead to complacency or foster regulatory overreach and i look forward to learning more about efforts to reshape the bureaucracy. as the author of the changes to title i i also want to commend you for reducing the backlog of applications for new chemicals. i understand the backlog has crept back up by one third of this normal level. i look forward to seeing what actions you take including the use of new user fees and help the new review process. finally, glad to hear that the regulatory process you are running is not looking to short-circuit public. past issues or employed other
tricks to get their way on policy when many americans and their representatives have disagreed. as public servants it is our job to not be solely on the things we do for the things we have done but the way we conduct our business. it is no secret that there have been many stories in the press about the agencies and you're dealing with potentially regulated sectors. consider much of this narrative to be a distraction but one this committee cannot ignore. i look for to hearing your side of the story on the rumors and allegations were facing. before yielding back my time i want to make environment for budget and policy observations. first, even federal law requires the u.s. constitution says th the -- second, the presence budget was released on the very 122018 without full knowledge of what congress would do in the consolidated operations act.
had the administrator joined us in february or march he would not have had to face this dynamic. regardless of what members think of the administration's budget proposal i hope today they will remember our own role in the budget and spending debate. finally, i want to say something about initiative efforts regarding transportation fuels. recently the white house engaged with epa and department of agriculture to consider and measure the changes to the renewable fuel standard. i've taken these efforts seriously and not only as subcommittee chairmen but also the representative of the corn and soybean going to start in southern illinois that happened to have two oil refineries. i believe that no matter how well intentioned any regular tree efforts maybe the only way to get a lasting solution especially one that will not spend time in court than on the book is by having congress settle this issue by statute. we urge you, mr. administer, and other members of the executive
branch to patiently work with us in good faith on a legislative solution to the renewable fuel standard. with that, i have 50 seconds left and seeing no one pushing the time i go back the balance of the time and organize the rigging member, the gentleman from new york for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chair. we are here today to discuss epa's budget for fiscal year 2019. the president has called for a nearly 30% cut in epa which would severely impair the agency's ability to fulfill its mission and to safeguard public health and our environment. we know all too well the cost of feeling that mission of the pain of community of children, families who suffer illness resulting from pollution in the air and water. yes, i am concerned that epa is increasingly allowing polluters to set the agenda and then public health with minimal accountability. under administer the pruitt commonsense environment objections are being slated for elimination with no regard for
scientific evidence and little justification for the wishes of regulated entities. these actions include reopening clean car standards without original health or pollution. they continue to repeal the clean powerplant and dismiss the science of climate change imaging reforms that ignore bipartisan congressional intent and the number of attempts to undermine the clean air act. i expect to the courts will agree that many if not all of these actions are unjustified. in addition troubled by the dismissal of science by the agency's political leadership. hundreds of scientists have left epa with no apparent plan to replace it. expertise on the science advisory boards have been eroded and recently proposed rule to undermine the use of science in rulemaking will severely limit the agency's ability to safeguard public health. i know many career employees at epa simply want to work hard to ensure the air we breathe is clean and the water we drink it
safe. to them, i say thank you. but to the political leadership is pursuing a different agenda. the mounting evidence of ethics violation and incredible investigations at the highest levels cannot go on scrutinize. mr. chair, i value the subcommittee bipartisan record in their times we disagree but we have worked through tough issues together as they are often able to find bipartisan belts. i know there are those in the majority support rollbacks of epa rules but all of us to be troubled by the numerous reports of misuse of taxpayer dollars and apparent conflict of interest that have made the administrator of the subject of investigation. i am referring to the administrators pattern of
wasteful spending and luxury travel and persico security and yes, office upgrade. to say nothing of his most document it sweetheart rental from the lobbyist with business before epa and huge unapproved raises for top political staff amongst others. perhaps the most disconcerting have been reports of retaliation against both career and political have dared to question the most troubling abuses in expenditures. in almost all cases where we have learned the worst they get. at this point we must ask if the inspector general will have the resources needed to investigate the administrators seemingly endless misconduct and at the heart of these issues is an apparent pattern of a demonstrator refusing accountability and putting personal and special interest head of the american people. it is my colleagues on the underside of the aisle to imagine if a democrat acted in this manner would you stand for it and the answer is clear, you are not. my colleagues and i disagree but policy decisions coming out of the epa and one thing i hope we
can agree on is that we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this mismanagement and abuse of the position. mr. administer, the evidence is clear. if i have failed as a steward of american taxpayer dollars and our environment. you claim to believe that the mission of the epa but your actions including your mistreatment of the dedicated career staff tell a very different story. evidence from you time in state government should have made this obvious and only in recent weeks have we come to fully understand the extent of her political ambitions in your tendency to abuse your position of personal gain and to advance the agenda of political benefactors and what appears to be a propensity for grips. most importantly your contact as a minister has demonstrated a lack of respect for american taxpayers in the agency you were appointed to lead and has
affirmed but the inevitable conclusion that you never fit for this job and you refusal to provide any serious transparency and accept any accountability or show even the slightest contrition is inexcusable. mr. chair, no one is above the law. congress must hold this administrative accountable on behalf of the american people and i hope our committee can continue to investigate and bring the truth of these important issues to light in a bipartisan manner. with that, i'll back. >> the chair thanks the gentleman. the gentleman from oregon is organized for five minutes. >> mr. pruitt, welcome back. as you know we scheduled this hearing to focus on the epa's policy and budget priorities some time ago but you surely understand the members on the sides of the aisle have a serious questions about management and operation of the agency and we expect you to answer these questions fully and truthfully. i'm concerned that the good progress being made on policy is being undercut by allegations about your management of the agency and use of its resources. these issues are too persistent
to ignore and i know many members are looking to hear more clarity from you today. you have ample opportunity to provide us with any information that can help answer these questions. additionally there are numerous ongoing investigations into these issues and i want you to commit to the committee that you will provide us with the same information you provide to the epa inspector general and other congressional committees. having said that let me also say that i appreciate your good work to focus the epa on the mission that you are tasked with in statute and clean arab-americans to breathe safe water for citizens to drink in a soils free from pollution. as an example entrepreneur efforts to reinvigorate the superfund program and specifically to accelerate the cleanup of the river at the portland harbor. it has gone on long enough and you stepped in and made a difference and the satisfaction of the people of portland oregon. even some of your most liberal protectors upon your efforts. i also appreciate your desire to rebalance the states and
washington dc. making our efforts more efficient. to truly succeed we need a stronger, local state, federal and private partnerships we can team up and leverage all available resources to accomplish the goals of cleaner water and cleaner air cleaner sales. i appreciate your stated commitment to administer to the law as congress intended to have the agency concentrate on the statutory obligations under environmental and public health laws as well as the admission of procedures act. bringing a new transparency to your public process especially when it comes to the data and science that underpins policy is a welcome change for past epa.
too many of your predecessors believe the clean environment was also incompatible with a healthy economy. i share your view that we can in must-have both in america. we need commonsense regulation that protects the public and cleans up the environment and does so in a way that does not unnecessarily suffocate the economy. i believe dba should focus on innovative problem-solving and partnership with the state private sector and other stakeholders to leverage their resources and expertise. i look forward to our discussion today about the agency's budget and the epa's direction now and in the future. as with our hearing we did five months ago remain interested in the goals you are establishing for the programs at epa and the metrics you wanted to use to measure their progress. particularly, i notice objective
number five in the proposed budget discussion and staffing and internal management issues and important at epa not be bloated but essential that they have a staff with proper expertise. finding that critical staffing balance is one of the most important roles of anyone giving the nervous task of managing a large taxpayer-funded enterprise. finally, i want to applaud those objectives in the agency's budget to reduce red tape and result in the regulated community better knowing what is expected of them in promoting prompt and fair enforcement of the law. the court to learning more about all of that today. thank you for joining us again and before the energy and commerce committee and look forward to your test money. with that, i yield back the balance of the time. >> the chair now recognizes ranking member from new jersey for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. pruitt has brought secrecy, conflict of interest and scandal to the epa. in any other administration republican or democrat you would be long gone by now. 140 house democrats have signed on to a resolution introduced to express no, and is in you. additionally, for republican house members of also calling you to step down. the voices are growing. just look at the critique from former bush epa administrator in
new jersey governor todd whitman who called the tenure and i quote, a slap in the face of fiscal responsibility and responsible governance. they said also it's abundant evidence that is supposed to be guided by science. another form of republican william riley called the admission pruitt", a third-rate ideologue. past demonstrators of all parties believed in the epa's mission and understood that they have been given the sacred trust by the people of our country. unfortunately, this is not the case with you, mr. pruitt. you do not believe in epa's mission and appear to have forgotten that you are here to serve all the morgan people, not just a select few or just yourself. fact is you have used this office as nothing as an opportunity to enrich themselves or his corporate friends and president trump seems to be perfectly fine with all these
actions so much for draining this one. when we met in december you pledge to be more transparent and promised to do a better job providing technical assistance and witnesses to hearings and responding to congressional requests. you have followed through on of these promises and what you have done is generate scandal after scandal and when confronted about them you repeatedly failed to take responsibility for your actions and blamed her staff and security and critics and anyone but yourself and you are accountable for your agency and all scandals in my opinion. there are so many out any questions that we need truthful answers to today but so far we've only gotten half-truths and misleading answers or outright falsehoods. for instance, you rented a condo at well below market value and then statically claimed on fox
news that your landlord's lobbyist husband had no business before the epa. it was a statement that was proven to be untrue. it is that kind of contact the product the ranking members to request that you be placed under oath for this hearing and that and be expanded to conclude the oversight and investigative subcommittee. the chairman did not agree to that request by remind you what chairman said to the press with declined our request. he said lying to congress is a crime regardless of whether or not you are sworn in. now committee republicans have conveniently to the press they are investigating you for some of your outrageous ethical uses and i've seen no evidence from committee republicans that that is really happening. fortunately, many democrats have been demanding answers and five independent federal investigations are now being done into your contact at our request. yesterday, i joined with ranking member of the oversight and reform committee to request an additional investigation by the office of special counsel into your troubling pattern of apparently retaliating against the epa employees to question
your extravagance many. i'm confident that these investigations will affirm what i've come to believe is true. you are unfit to hold public office and undeserving of the public trust. i don't they those words, you know, because i particularly dislike you or, you know, hold you in a reputed but i think that every indication we have is that you really should resign and you are undeserving of public trust. i yield back, mr. chairman. thank you. >> we now conclude with members opening statement and the chair would like to remind pursuant to committee rules they will be made part of the record. we would also now welcome and thank our distinguished witness, scott pruitt for being here today. you will have an opportunity to give an opening statement followed by a round of questions by members. you are joined by the honorable holly, chief financial officer. welcome to you, also.
we appreciate you being here and we now recognize you for five minutes for opening statement. >> in morning to you. members of the committee it is good to be with you today and i appreciate the opportunity to discuss these matters that you have raised. there is consequential in important work being done at the epa since the beginning of the trump administration. both in terms of improved of our mental outcomes as well as a substantial regulatory reforms. we are stripping the burdensome cost from american economy at an unprecedented pace and we are doing this while inspiring confidence in the american people that it is government going to work with them as opposed to against them to achieve harmony between job growth and environmental stewardship and in a short time of the trump administration we've made enormous progress and these are just a few. we have removed over three times the number of sites across the country as compared to the previous demonstration for 2017 and for 2018 we are on pace to
root as many ten times the number of polluted sites and we are working cooperatively with the states to improve air quality and approval of the university state and private plans and with regard to water we are leading a multi agency approach that set a goal of eradicating lead from tricky water within ten years largely to the utilization of a toll you provided. it's my goal to prioritize applications for critical water in the structure over the next ten years to see 4 billion a year dedicated to the replacement of lead lines in order to reduce lead in our drinking water. president trump is set in a vicious goal for the epa under his administration and are measurable achievements are testament to the fact of this which result that epa can achieve. president trump to not only test us with establishing the core commission more efficiently and effectively ever been before. he demanded regulatory reform
and the transformational changes happening. it is one year the trump administration saved in american people almost $8 billion in regulatory savings. in the epa alone response for nearly two dozen regular reaction to saving 1 billion of that a billion and revelatory costs. these actions are providing america's job creators with the regular tory clarity they deserve. repeal and replace the so-called clean power plant we are ending a one-size-fits-all regulation and energy providers and restoring rule of law. by rescinding and rewriting the 2015 lot we are ending washington's power grab over decisions across country. it's indisputable that we made enormous progress in advancing president trumps form agenda and turning back decades of regulatory overreach that was
unnecessary, burdensome and ultimately harmful to hard-working americans across the country. when the president nominated me to this position i believe the work was going to be impactful and it has been. it's a tremendous progress has been made but i did not expect the work to be easy and a new there would be meaningful opposition. as i said before you today i recognized their been troubling media reports over the past few weeks. i promise you that i more than anyone want to establish the hardbacks and provide answers to questions surrounding these reports. let me be clear. i'm nothing to hide as relates to how it run the agency the past six months. i'm not afraid to admit that there's been a learning process and with congress or independent bodies of oversight find fault in our decision-making i want to correct that and ensure that it does not happen again. ultimately, the administrator and that responsible for identifying them making changes rest with me and no one else. with that being said facts are facts and fiction is fiction. ally does not become truth just because it appears on the front
page of the newspaper. much of what has been targeted between me and my team has been half-truths or the best stories that have been so twisted they don't resemble reality. i'm here and i welcome the chance to be here. i will set the record straight in these areas. let's not have illusions about what is going on. the epa they are doing so because they want to detect and derail the president's agenda in their priorities. i'm not going to let that happen. i look forward to your questions today. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the administrator is thanked. i like and i'll start the series of questioning and i recognize myself for five minutes for the first time. we got a media presence here and i've been asked in the last couple of days what will i do and say and i will talk policy and stewardship so i'm going to task my five minutes on policy issue and hopefully we will talk about stewardship issues. since you last testify before the subcommittee they posted a number of meetings and some of
which has included you and other cabinet officials and various stakeholders to discuss changes in the renewable fuel standard. as i alluded to those hanging like a sword of dynamically's over capitol hill to ensure an enduring solution to those problem. are any of these initiative changes imminent or will you commit to allowing congress time to work on legislative solution? >> i think both are important and there are regulatory options that we can pursue. many have talked about transparency as an example in response to the trading platforms and how long you can hold [inaudible] in can buy and sell and those are evaluations we can engage and there's also consideration about the waiver and the e15 allowed year-round. it's a legal determination not policy but we've been earnest and the last been evaluated that and were hoping to get to occlusion on our ability to get
those actions. i believe congress role in this is terribly important. as you look at the issues we are facing with respect to of viability and we need congress and triggered her response to be working together. >> from my perspective what happens as we try to get our disparate groups together is that every time someone gets called down the other side goes crazy and the other side goes down and the other side goes crazy and that's the perspective that i come from. follow up on this is what action, if any are you taking now to prepare for the renewable fuel standard 2022? >> we have the ability to reset those and we are evaluating that it is a cap of 15 billion for conventional presently in another area that you have been interested in is high-octane.
with respect to as was mentioned in the comments about the café standards and needs to be a series of consideration about us pursuing as a country fuel choices to meet those standards and perform have i acting to the american people. there is a potential that will serve both the sector and auto sector in consumers across country that we can pursue together. >> thank you. i will move to the invention of portion of my two questions. obviously, you alluded to in my colleagues have alluded to the recent stories and issues and your willingness to set the record straight. in my minutes and 45 seconds left i will give you the time to address those as you will. >> well, i think, mr. chairman, there is no comment. i want to address each of these
respective issues and provide information and work with congress both with oversight as well as this committee to provide any and all information that helps answer those questions. those are been a distraction to our agenda. i think it was mentioned earlier and that troubles me. ultimately is the administrator of the epa i have to take response ability to make changes internal to the agency and get a con ability to process to ensure that in each of these areas we get better result and that we show the american people that we are committed to being good stewards of taxpayer resources and staying true to our mission at the agency which i believe that we are in half. i'm committed to doing that. that is why am here to talk to you about it today. >> i thank you and i you back my time. i turned to the ranking member for five minutes. >> recently came out that two epa employees came with you were given significant raises over the white house objection.
when you were interviewed by ed henry on fox news you claim to have been unaware of those races and at the time and henry asked you whether you intentionally one round the white house and whether you simply had no idea what your staff was up to. the epa inspector general is looking into those races and last week be id release preliminary information showing that the forms to get the raises were signed by your chief of staff, mr. ryan jackson who wrote that he was signing on your behalf. this is your opportunity to set the record straight. did you, administer, authorize mr. jackson to sign those documents for you? >> those were delegated to and the inspector general did reference that in his management alert. ... one of the e-2 received us substantial raise said you were
aware in support of the races. was that true? >> with respect races. >> with that true? i have five minutes so i have to move along. >> i was not aware of the amounts. i was not aware of the amount nor was i aware of a bypassing for the process not being respected. >> then i'm concerned you have no idea what's going on at your agency especially on an issue under ig investigation. on tuesday you blocks the press from attending an event where you announce new proposal that would severely limit the agencies use for policymaking. when internal e-mails came out of this policy was revealed they had done by political staff without a robust stakeholder process. once the press started covering the females they were removed from agencies portico. do not know if you are
personally involved with the decision to permit those e-mails that certainly was not transparent. mr. administrator you like to claim to support the rule of law any of our environmental statues are clear. epa must use the best available science of the foundation of policymaking to this proposal would prevent that. are you aware yes or no there were concerns raised that such a policy could impact data that would be important industry such as confidential information. yes or no? c it was about ensuring. >> were you aware the agency that raised the concern, were you aware? this effort is a reflection on the transparency. >> i take that as he yesterday appears the proposal so the administration has any transparency or accountability for your decision. for example if epa was assessing
the safety of the chemical you would have the ability to collectively block studies that did not support your political priorities. not only does this open the door to special treatment for industry over the public health which could pick -- pick one or solutions against the industry do think it would be hypocritical for and the street data used for disclosure but not personal health information. yes or no. >> congressman i believe what is clear is what actions we took this week were to ensure the data were available to the concern about a row making. >> i believe that's hypocritical but moving on given your track record how can the public trust your discretion to make your decisions when it comes to those bodies? >> congressman this was an effort to ensure transparency. we do rulemaking at the agency. "the mick" based in the wreckage
the public trust your decision-making with the hypocrisies that would exist? >> this is transparency for all row making it the agency. this is not an individual decision made. these are rules based on transparent guidance. >> i think it boils down to an issue of trust and you've developed a system where you are picking winners and losers when he picked the industry against the dash i think there's a hypocritical outcome to it all and with that mr. chair yield back. >> i think my colleague for staying within this time. the chair recognizes mr. waldman for five minutes. >> there many will refuse going on at the inspector general's office and accountability office and other congressional committees about some of these concerns you are hearing about today mr. administrator. my question is pretty easy.
will you commit the epa will provide this committee with all the documents and information the epa produces for those increase? >> absolutely. >> thank you. as i told you last time you were here this committee is responsible for the bulk of the statute that the epa money can best be spent. the principles for determining federal uses of money by the epa including whether you use any kind of previous spending tightens to make these decisions. >> congressman i believe as we are making decisions we have policy guidelines that drive those decisions. some of those are trivial to the program and those guidelines governor decisions each each and everyday. >> are they similar to the guidelines that govern your practice -- or the scissors decisions? in what way? >> these are policies that
predated my time so the internal decision-making on allocation of our offices so these are predated policies that govern our actions every our actions every single day. >> let me ask you about the issue of science of transparency. i've had lots of physicians who are very concerned about the various agencies by administrators or bureaucracies and in some cases they can get access to the underlying data that underpins this decision. as the proposal you have put forward this last week or so how does that address that issue? are we going to get the science everybody gets a chance to see and it can be replicated and maybe peer-reviewed so we can all work out the facts? >> this is an interest of congress. there has been proposed legislation and there was a regulator action this week a proposed rule as i was trying to
share earlier. requires only do rulemaking at the agency began simply publish the summaries because what has happened historically is third parties have provided studies for summary. we have taken those conclusions and use them for basic rulemaking but not publish the data and not publish the methodology that supported the conclusion. those rules were ill-equipped whether the conclusions were rightly -- so this is an effort on our part to ensure that if we do science at the agency internal at the epa we use theirs for -- third parties. data and methodology and solution should be a apart of the package. >> so what you are trying to do is make more information available or less? >> absolutely more information available. >> you are going to require that everyone of these decisions whatever they are based on data and the methodology as well as the conclusions are transparent and available to the public?
is that going to be on the web site? >> it's actually proposed rule congressmen. i'm sure there will be a lot of comments on that very proposal but the objective once again is to ensure transparency reproducibility with respect to the science we rely on in making our decisions in rulemaking. >> as you know mr. administrator last year and i think we passed into law this year this committee unanimously i believe here in the house rewrote american -- legislation we are working together to rewrite the clean drinking water act as well making additional grants available. what are you doing to open up these field sites that litter our neighborhood's? >> you are right it's been a tremendous success reclaiming polluted areas across the country to allow communities to once again enjoy those areas. with the partnership of congress
be increased omnibus money for us to enhance that program we are administering those grants and making it available all over the country to make sure these areas are cleaned up. >> i have a few seconds left. i want to follow-up on what the chairman of the subcommittee talk about regarding the rss. i want you to know mr. shimkus and others on this committee have put a lot of time into the priority of figuring out going forward how we have a standard that works for those who grow corn and those who refined fuel, the auto industry and the environment and i would hope this administration would look to our leadership in this effort as well within the independent actions or coal equal branch and the house has some authority in this area as well as the senate. >> i think it's essential.
as i shared with the chairman earlier at the end of the day's certainty is very important and as we see tremendous investment investment. >> the gentleman time has expired. we have a lot of people lined up. the chair thanks the chairman and the chair recognizes the ranking member for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. i listened mr. administrator to the reasons you haven't resigned and basically you said only you can can carry out the president's president's mission and i strongly disagree with that. i think your actions are embarrassing and distract from epa's ability to effectively carry out its mission. if i was the president i would want your help. i would just get rid of you but i'm not the president so let me move on. it's been reported that you have even gone so far as to retaliate against epa's employees punishing those who question your spending and management and sidelining those who attempt to
advance important public-health resection -- it has been reported that at least five employees were recently reassigned who were retaliated against after they raise concerns about your spending. is that correct, yes or no? >> i don't ever recall a conversation. >> i will take that as a yes. i was further alarmed that your move ahead of the epa office that found you did not face direct death threats because of the new process to fire people who disagree with you? >> congressman the inspector general himself has noted. >> you are not answering yes or no. >> he's on the record saying so. >> this is a pattern. i think you need to start taking responsibility.
i'm very concerned by the troubling retaliation which is not only potentially illegal that has created a environment that's expediting the expertise from me epa. you are installing industry lobbyists. let's look at the case of windy hammond is an expert who finalized the methylene chloride a deadly chemical is used in paint strippers to "the news york times" and other media have reported that her efforts were opposed by -- the chemical industry lobby that you put in charge of regulating chemicals the last year nancy beckert was paid by the chemical industry to lobby against chemical methylene chloride has been abandoned. yes or no were you involved in the decision to abandon that rulemaking or was that decision made by nancy that? >> the rulemaking is not than advance. >> you know that manufacturing of methylene chloride paint has
been linked to more than 28 years to continue to produce at yes or no? >> that sexually assaulted. >> you don't want to admit to what it does pick despite all of your scandals the white house says you have the deregulatory agenda but i think that agenda has -- in october 2017 right before the epa abandon the rulemaking the 31-year-old small-business owner in south carolina died while using methylene chloride. his brothers here today and i want to thank him for traveling from south carolina continuing to advocate for this deadly chemical. would you want -- were you or anyone else aware of his death? >> is important to know that we ever proposed ban in place. >> obviously you are not going to admit. unfortunately in february another 31-year-old man joshua
adkins died using a methylene chloride p. to refinish his bike. i learned about joshua from his mother lauren in a deeply touching letter and i would ask unanimous consent the chairman put that letter into the record in which she states she hopes her son would be the last to die from this chemical. i will give it to you right right now mr. chairman. again mr. pruitt your deregulatory agenda caused lives. real people with names with brothers and mothers. you have the power to prevent more deaths but you haven't done it. you have anything to say to these families at this point? >> congressman as i tried indicate earlier there's a proposed ban in place that we should comment on that we are reviewing on and there has been no decision at this time. >> obviously have nothing to say to these families. you say you are going to do something but these chemicals are still on the shelves and they make a mockery of the toxic reform legislation that this
committee worked so hard on including our chairman mr. shimkus and it makes a mockery of the epa. you have the power to get this chemical off the shelf then you are not doing it and you should do it. again mr. shimkus i appreciate your help but he's not implementing it so i wonder if our efforts were totally in vain. thank you mr. chairman. >> the gentleman yields back his time per the chairman recognizes congressman barton from texas for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and i'm honored to have the epa administrator back before the committee. mr. administrator you are the victim of lack of a better term washington politics. you've got picked as the epa administrator because of the service you provided to the great state of oklahoma and
biting some of the obama administration radical clean air policies. you recommended and i support the wreck inundation that you made to the present that we withdraw from the paris climate change agreement. that is a decision that most of the stakeholders at epa violently opposed. if you can't debate the policies in washington you attack the personality and that is what is happening to you. republicans do it and whether it's a democratic president, democrats do it when it's a republican president. in my opinion and is just my opinion that's what's happening to you. on your housing costs, were those approved contracts before they were signed? did and you get an ethics review
and in that individual seau is acceptable? >> there have been two ethics reviews congressman. the quick answer is the ethics review speaking to that lease itself saying --. >> you have been attack for flying first class. is that illegal? >> congressman that was approved by the travel office. i've since made changes to that. >> is it illegal? it may look bad but it's not illegal. there was an energy secretary under the clinton administration. she least party jets that were used by rock stars, not one time but several times. have you ever rented a party jets? >> no, congressman. >> okay that's good to let's talk about this transparency issue. as i understand it transparency
proposal is that if they are going to use the science to make a recommendation on epa regulation they have got to actually report what the science is. they have got to release the documents in the datasets. is that correct? >> that's exactly right. >> is there anything wrong with that? >> i think it enhances transparency and rulemaking. >> i think it's an excellent idea and it's long overdue. in your budget. >> will the gentleman suspend for a minute? we have guests in the gallery. if you are. if your guess to have the magic words that will cause you to have to leave. i do not want to say that so if you would respect -- and we were asked for decorum. that's not the whatever the word is. let's continue on with the testimony. the chair recognizes the chairman emeritus.
>> thank you. on your transparency proposal if it is actually accepted we will actually get to see what the science is behind the support for the regulation. is that not correct? >> it is and as i have been serving at the agency of note to me there's reliance at the agency on many third-party studies and if the studies in support of our rulemaking it's important to have the data accompanying the rules to make sure they are based on sound science. >> the budget that we are here to discuss this a program and your agency called leaking underground storage tanks. in short the acronym is -- the
money that goes into that fund is supposed to be used to cleanup and prevent leaks from underground storage tanks. to your knowledge is there anything under current law that prevents the state from using it for other purposes? in other words the money is supposed to be used to cleanup these underground storage tanks but my understanding is very few states use it for that purpose. >> congressman i'm not aware of that happening but it's something we will investigate and look into. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the chairman recognizes the gentleman from california. >> the mission to protect the public demonstrating that concerning lack of integrity and a pattern of the rich and powerful putting their rich and powerful friends and their own self-interest above the interest of the public health and at the
expense of the common good. clean air debris and safe water is not a privilege only for the rich and powerful that a right for everyone and there will role of the public servant is to serve and protect the public in particular the public health. however the gross elimination of many public health protections are kickbacks to the rich lobbyists and corporations friends that have a real impact and i want to highlight one example. this week the epa announced it intends to limit the kind of scientific studies that would use to issue a new protection to only study and make public the private personal confidential information that people who are participated in a studies of the people who participated in the studies. revealing that information is a clear violation of any reputable research institutional review board in the united states. the type of study you want to
exclude are the same kind of scientific studies that were used to prove that lynn pipes harm children and secondhand smoke is a dangerous carcinogen. we are talking about landmark study such as the harvard school of public policy studies which proves the connection between air pollution and early death back in 1993. just by living in a city with poor air quality or average life expectancy was lower than those who didn't. the study later became the basis of fine particulate matter regulation in the clean air act. in december umi spoke about finding particle matter studies based on confidential patient health information we now know is associated with premature death asthma attacks chronic rent hike is decreased lung function and respiratory diseases. you acknowledge these risks and agreed there was no level of fine particle pollution but
didn't consider the studies that have shown these dangerous health implications. do you deny now that's a fine particle pollution has a health impact and will this new regulation cause your agency to disregard the original studies? >> that is a clear violation of ethical rules protecting patient confidentiality. who is protecting the subject in the studies? you have a replacement rule for the clean power plan appeared will that rule address the fine particle pollution? >> as you know there's upper pools -- proposed rule launches that issue. >> i mentioned the risk of lead in drinking water so in the new world the resource shown by epidemiological studies have protected asian confidentiality and the other intricacies of confidential information. the rules would lead to the idea
that if it doesn't suit the manufactures and tent that now the studies could be disregarded so do you believe that mesothelioma or asbestos causes mesothelioma? >> that information. >> you have been in office and you have dismantle protections for the public health. protections for children who suffer from asthma, seniors with respiratory illnesses. you demonstrated disregard for two scientific studies and the scientific process and the confidentiality that people who want to participate to further collect knowledge to protect the public good. you have done this and allowed
your rich and powerful corporate friends to increase prophet at the expense of the common good. again children with asthma and seniors with copd i'm an emergency physician and i have participated in irp boards and i know the importance of protecting the information in order to get more participants and i have also treated children with asthma gasping for air or seniors. when you remove these protections under the guise of a false transparency notion then you are making life more difficult for everyday american families. this is disgraceful and the american people deserve better. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from west virginia for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you administrator for coming before us.
i think that was the first policy question you got from the other side of the aisle in observation. in public i think this is a classic way of innuendo and occur at the-ism that we are seeing too often here in washington. unfortunately i think it works against civility and respect for people in public office. i'm hoping we will be a will to stay on policy today as much as we could but i can see some just can't resist the limelight and the opportunity to grandstand. so having said all that, i done. there's discipline on these policies. when west virginia the impact it's had on brownfield legislation what you are doing on that pace seen the rollback of the regulatory reform but there's hope now and a lot of people in the fossil fuel
industry saw the deterioration in the past eight years prior to that. there is hope and we are seeing the economy start to rebound thanks to you and the administration taking this fight on. i know as an example, here is an example that said the achievements that you have made that the epa awarded $1.9 million to research in drinking water in flynn, the research and flint's. people are ignoring the progress we are making. they are trying to make this another attack on president trump and unfortunately there are a lot of people that are going to go along with that. if i could get back to it, one of the things that is disturbed me some with some of the offense over the last number of years as we have a good friend leslie lampton who passed away last week. less lampton located in
mississippi but the only refinery in west virginia. so small boutique operation with 23,000 barrels. i know the definition of the small refineries 75,000 barrels so they are at third the size yet they are struggling meeting all the qualifications and all the requirements of the major refineries. is there something that we could work together or something to help out these small refineries so they can compete because they can't handle it. they don't have a market so is there something we can be doing to help out these boutique company's? >> congress has been very helpful in providing a small refinery exemption under the statute. it is 75,000 barrels as you indicated production and we have received i think 24 applications
and 30 and 2018. it's the volatility of the platform is creating instability across the discussion so it's in everyone's best interest to get more clarity and confidence in how this relief needs to occur to benefit the ethanol industry and to benefit those that are suffering with rent obligations. it's our hope that we can chart a path forward with congress to receive -- achieve those kinds of outcomes. >> mr. administrator for years have been trying to get results for something that's been sitting out here for 20 or 30 years and it was the coal ash issue. we got that taken care but my question to you at mr. administrator other states that have opted not to put together their own program and turned over to the epa? can you give me an update on where we are with some of the
stabilization? >> we provide guidance to the states. very few states have done that to answer your question. we are working at the state partners to equip and educate them on the option and provide guidance. i think it's important that they pursue it in a timely way and it has not taken place yet. ..
i know my colleagues on both sides of the i/o were disappointed in that they sent a letter for the record if you would be willing to answer questions regarding his lifetime ban from the banking industry of the activities that lead up to that and now we've got no information from mr. kelly and we are told a political politicp prevented him from speaking with us. you were interviewed on fox news and he asked you several questions use of the details of the settlement were private and nervous know what happened but my question is if he is sharing the details as a matter of transparency is he not telling us the truth or is he stopping us from doing that flex to go if he is willing to share that with you, we should do that.
>> i would encourage him to do so. the fdic ban is not the only concern. it's been reported that his family has a priority list site as the head of the program creating a perception of conflict of interest in that he might be favoring the site next to his property. has this been reviewed by the officials and develope will prol of the necessary to conduct a review of the? when you came to testify before the subcommittee in december, you claimed you had to remove from the science advisory board because of the appearance of a lack of independence.
they were reviewing grants to provide media consulting advice from the affiliated consulting firm. don't you think this creates an appearance of the lack of a flex do you have an opinion personally about that flex >> if he is working for people outside of the agency that could be a lack of independence.
from 4.9 to $400,000 were you involved in the decision to reduce the fine? it's my understanding that it occurred after the position with respect. without respect to timing were you personally involved in the decisions to reduce the fine? i would suggest it also creates the appearance of bias and independence and with the head of security that promoted the federal did outside investigative work in the presidential election as the national enquirer or the purchase do you think that outside work creates the appearance that is being reviewed and i wasn't aware of the review.
to follow up on the first question, are you willing to produce mr. kelly? >> i'm not in the way. would you be willing to exercise it? i will take that as a know it yelled back. thank you mr. chairman and mr. administrator we do have questions about the budget and we are interested in ways we can stop federal overreach for my constituents in tennessee and something we hear about a good
bit. we want them to kind of get off their backs and as a matter of fact talking with some of my farmers in columbia tennessee they were talking about the role and i want to ask about the because they say they have to move heaven before they can do for. they've had the delay and it's important to them and to manufacturers who feel like they can move forward and do something and they are not finding with this rule, so i want you to talk a little bit quickly because i have one other question about where we are with
the repeal and a free ride and then the cost of a o the cost of compliance. >> of the decision on repeal and replacement will all occur in 2018 we will be done with the process this year. you've made reference to the compliance dates have been extended and we have other roles in the marketplace. let's talk about the fuel economy standards we have gm
which is in my district and you've got volkswagen over in chattanooga. one of the things they talked about as the fuel economy standards and the cost per car going to these standards you talk to adjusting the standards of. we had a midterm evaluation and we determined that the standards that have been sent were too ambitious and didn't meet the facts and the data that we currently have at present so we started and will be starting a a rulemaking process along with
the dot to evaluate the standards. we ought to endeavor as a country to set standards for lover initiatives on cars people actually want to buy on these arbitrary levels that has a certain sector in the market place no one is purchasing which actually defeats the purpose of the act so we are working with the dot in collaboration to address that and that proposed rule will be coming out very soon. we hear that from the dealers.
they feel like it is going to be a safer vehicle for them. so appreciate you being here today and i wil won't yield bacy 30 seconds. the past ten years the congressman and i have shared that area although now anytime the federal courts decide this so we've been working on it for ten years and i want to thank you the remediation process is
expected to take months. how certain is the timeline for the sites once you get into it you will find other problems. >> i find confident on that. it permits the and it costs $115 million. this is developing and we have had to sign a about expectant mothers and children shouldn't eat crabs and fish.
the. it will break the caps that they have and they've been good on the job and the regional office balance of. there was a concern about the measures being displaced which is what hastened the solution. >> the hurricane broke but that was coming from the gulf and our problem was the flood coming downstream from the end like i said they came loose and ran into it. let me talk about the renewable fuel standard as you know it
went down and we now only have three of them, but the american petroleum institute and the ethanol industry agree that a number of the agency created in the refinery at hampshire and managed to get everyone's attention. they wrote a letter in february and stated to epa shouldn't grant small exceptions it provides flexibility to however if reports that they have been given as many as 25 including some that are not experienced in the hardship and some may not be that small. the smallest i have designed their bowls a day and the others have a quarter of a million everyday. there is a lack of transparency in the process and we understand the confidential business information but the epa i that a
federal government agency and secrecy isn't something i think the epa ought to be worried about and it gives impartiality and fairness. do you know how many applications or waivers they've received and in 17 compliance years for the waivers? scenic the application is hitting 17 related to the obligations and as i recall they were somewhere in the mid-20s. we received more than that this year for the 2,017th. what's driving this in a lot of respects as the prices dropping so there is a lot of pressure on those particularly because of the escalating prices and instability of the market. >> we have a difference from southern illinois.
has the agency granted waivers that exceeds 75,000 barrels a day? >> we look at it and the statute said 35 or less, so that is determined in that regard. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas again for four or five minutes. >> i think the chairman. welcome to second appearance i wish was under much different circumstances. as you know there've been many press reports about problems at the epa under your watch. they can't be solved by congress and the committee that isn't the goal. the solution is between you and president donald trump. say right now you are the
administrator and in my home district of texas, they need you to work hard for the district. we are still trying to recover from hurricane harvey and have a clean air act that works with local officials to make our air cleaner instead of the goals that can never be achieved if technology doesn't exist. we thank you for two things. first of all, your epa helped break through the regulations to allow us to start dredging the waterways quickly. thank you and i hope going forward also i want to add to my
comments from the senator added this may be the only bipartisan thing you will hear in the committee today, but it's true i want to thank you for all the hard work you did to fast track to. hurricane harvey displaced you don't know how much exploded out there. you've stepped up with a plan to fix it and now in the next year or so at the latest so thank you for that. my first question is about air quality. this is heard over and over about how the impacts some of it happened outside of our control and if for some reason we have to regulate that it comes from as far away as china and may be as close in taxes a couple of
years ago. of these uncontrolled sources can't create chaos for compliance with the world by the government they are just frustrated. we ask you to respond faster to the state positions for the relief and omissions provisions of the clean air act. for eight years those were never used before and now you have a great weapon to help us out. how we can't buy gives efforts to make sure they are contemplating to take into the account the issues. >> it's a very important question and i think there's probably more latitude but you
mentioned something else that is extremely important and that is the international transport. we have areas over the country being caused and there's been much effort and work done by the industry and states through the country to lower the omissions and we made tremendous success but some of the problems are caused by others as you indicated particularly in the international arena so it's something we may need to come back to congress and ask for your assistance to address. it's a little bit different i think it is more factually driven but nonetheless it is an important issue that we need to address. >> we have heard about the burdens placed on the states regulation after regulation. the last administration would save three times in three different laws and regulations. that puts a huge by those trying
to compete in the federal law. do you have the resources you need to help make sure we are working with states to make these things viable? >> as we came and we had the implementation of plan plans wis invested money and resources to provide a plan on how to improve air quality and they were sitting on a shelf. i mentioned in the openin openie between to focus on the priority is and the first place to start is to work on the state implementation plans. >> thank you mr. chairman. when you were in front of the committee in december we discussed the implications of the soundproof privacy booth in the administrator's office and it cost them over $40,000. at that time you told me the
view was the expenditure that wasn't appropriate despite their wordespite therewere two other a is that correct? you express your view that it was appropriate yes or no? did you know at tha know at that this expenditure violated 710 of the appropriations act and be -- >> you're not going to answer that question either do you know if any of your staff knew that it violated the law yes or no? you are not going to answer that question. if we can giv get the witness ay of the april 16th 28 team lead or are you familiar with that letter.
the gentle lady may continue. thank you mr. chairman. the convolution of this is that the two laws were violated is that correct? >> they were not followed by the agency. >> did you know about that at the time? did your staff know about that about the two walls that were supposed to be complied with before the expenditure haven't? the office of general counsel. >> the filibuster.
>> i'm trying to answer your question. the epa has to do nobody to impose penalties for this activity. will you or your staff be subject to these penalties yes or no? >> with appropriate individuals both here as well as -- >> would you agree public officials should be held to the highest standards of ethical conduct? >> i believe that, yes. >> i want to ask to troubling financial housing conventions that you have been involved with as a state and federal elected official. in 2003, you were an oklahoma state senator with a salary of $58,400, correct? >> and also an attorney. >> correct?
it wasn't a shell company. >> but it was a capital house, correct? yes or no would work. what was your financial investment? >> once the purchase price. >> do you remember the amount of? you put that amount into the llc is that right? >> did you actually pay that amount of? it's been reported another lawmaker rented a room and pay rent to you although you never lend us your share on your financial disclosure is that correct? what that distributed among the owners and the company and the portion you contributed.
>> those were reported as inco income. >> can we get that information, you personally pay taxes on your income from that rental? did you pay taxes on that income? >> i received a k-1.>> k. one. >> did you pay taxes? you are not going to answer that question either. >> i'm answering the question. >> did you pay taxes on the income that you got for your share? to provide information and they determine what you pay. >> so you are not going to answer the question. i have other questions that i am out of time and i just want to say to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and also to you. as the elected and appointed officials, we have the public
trust. everything that we do has to be to the highest ethical standard just agreed with me. and when we have t we have these transactions it brings disrespect on us. >> i'm going to continue and hope you would be forthcoming. >> we will put the letter into the record. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from ohio mr. johnson for five minutes. >> i've served for 26 and a half years in the united states air force and i do believe that public officials have a standard of conduct that should be beyond reproach bu but so should membes of congress to. i think it is shameful that this hearing has turned into a personal attack and a shameful
balance between jobs and environmental regulations. on those lines i would like to talk about the new source review into the agency's work on some of the issues surrounding the new source review and this committee held a hearing exploring the challenges. many of them improve the existing facilities because they are afraid of being targeted by the epa enforcement action are having incorrectly interpreted resource review requirements.
you mentioned in the guidance is that we provided once is the approach we took to this issue along with the project approach for those initial steps but overall we are looking at a comprehensive rule that will address the review to provide certainty and clarity to those across the country as they make investments to improve outcomes but they are not going to face the requirements under the clean air act. >> do you think it can be further reform to protect the wall removing unnecessary burdens? >> the clean air act was in 1990
and i think that there are provisions that should be looked at and that's one of. >> in regards to the clean air act hell were they striving to provide more flexibility into the difference? >> responding to the department of natural resources and with the agency may be to work in close partnership to adopt plans in a timely way that sends a bad message when they take the steps and don't get a response for years and air quality suffers as well. >> i have some other questions, but i'm running out of time.
last i know that they've expressed interest in regarding the current rule that was issued in 2015. would you commit to working with me and the committee to provide further information on this work and any potential possibilities compliance states are right around the corner and it's important to provide this industry with some commonsense regulatory certainty. >> mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i thank the chairman. administrator since becoming the administrator your calendar is filled with meetings of a whale and gas companies, trade associations and lobbyists and environmental groups and public health groups it seems the to pt for a pre- requisite to getting a spot on your calendar. is it true that you and your affiliated organizations receive
nearly $4 million in campaign contributions on fossil fuel interests of? >> i haven't looked at the numbers and sometimes though i'm not sure. >> i can assure you it is. june 5, 2017 you announced the implementation of the methane rule. this was an attempt to retroactively delay the rules and requirements on the oi oil s industry for 90 days. a few weeks prior to that on may 24, 2017, you spoke to the exploration and production council. was your june the fifth action made in response to a request by the american exploration and production council or any individual member's? >> ethane is and we take seriously and will regulate and we have proposals now to regulate it going forward as a part of the approach.
>> so you are not answering my question. the actions taken were unrelated to the meetings or events, it was to provide certainty to the marketplace. >> the production company is a member of the production council that the visa process for them to be represented by the washington, d.c. lobbying firm williams and jensen. you made these decisions that would directly benefit clients while living in a condo owned by the wife of a then lobbyists with grants of $50 a night. i wonder what the owners caught or tried to get in return for their generosity. this is another example of pay to play. arbitrarily delaying the rule is illegal and the court found your actions to be in excess of the
authority. i have a statement from the american association for the advancement of science and the plan to disallow the use of scientific evidence in decision-making i would like to submit for the record. >> if you could pass it over to the chair so i can look at it. >> do you have confidence in the reunion deciding what would be the best practices and transparency and good science? >> i'm sure it is credible. >> how can you justify the proposed rule that was supported by these agencies? >> the actions we take our different famvir responsibilities. we issue rules that apply to people all over the country and we need to ensure that the science underpins those rules. they are practicing professional scientists. by reducing the café standards
would both allow more and make u.s. cars more competitive with overseas manufacturers yes or no did the $4 million that he received from the oil and gas industry influence your decision? >> the decision we made was a decision based upon the record. >> i find it very disturbing that you appear to personally benefit from many of your decisions and actions that will ultimately harm the people of the country especially people that have little or no ability to defend themselves. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the gentleman from texas. >> administrator pruitt, thank you for joining. let me start with the comments on the renewable fuel standard in a place where the agency is beginning to look at the authorities after 2022 i would like to remind them of the
administrative actions prior to the time are limited by statute. accordingly i request the agence agency work with congress particularly the chairman, mr. welch and me as we try to develop the interim long-term solutions that are good for the environment and the american consumers and agricultural interest and good for all the stakeholders. a few minutes ago he was trying to defend the practice under the prior administration of using hitting scion to develop policy solutions and you were not given the chance regarding your efforts to open up the process had become more transparent. can you spend about 30 seconds describing what you're trying to do to make science more transparent especially because it is paid for by the american taxpayers. >> it seems to me that it's common sense when we base it upon the record, scientific conclusions that we should be able to see the data and the
technology that caused those conclusions. it does make sense to me that is the only change we are making. we are agnostic about who actually about the study and we say to all third parties i am a need to have methodology, data and findings packaged together to make informed decisions about the efficacy of the findings. >> you and i both agree the american people deserve to see that science and it shouldn't be hidden as it was hidden in the prioprior administration so thak you for your efforts to make that more transparent. now to my question as the american people are well aware that the obama administration in the regulatory process by the congressional statute and by circumventing the constitution fortunately the federal court system stepped in to protect families from this abuse and in this regard i have a question.
number one, i will go t to thes% you can respond if you would like. can you provide the committee a list of those overreaching and overturned regulations overturned by the courts systems, can you provide the committee with the economic cost of the regulations and can you also informed the committee that the epa actions if any to modify the regulations? of those overreaching regulations to conform and the rule of law? think you and i will yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentle lady from michigan for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. the administrator, yesterday i sent you a letter on the janua january 25 letter 2018 guidance to reduce the long-standing policy the major sources of pollutants. this document rules that one of the safeguards to limit from
factories and industrial operations. the clean air act requires them to control hazardous air pollutants to protect public health. these pollutants are the worst of the worst and include many that cause cancer in children like mercury, arsenic and lead. the focus is by requiring them to control their emissions using the maximum achievable control technology. the policy ensured they continued to clean up their act and didn't backslide on their progress but in the january guidance, you punched a huge loophole in the critical public health protections potentially allowing the sources to increase their emissions with no consequences. at a senate hearing in january you were asked about it and
indicated it was a decision made outside of the program office and it was a policy office decision. at the time, you didn't seem unaware of the details and that happens when you have a lot of stuff, but i'm hoping now that you've had more time to familiarize yourself and i would like to ask you some questions. it is an clear whether they have any idea how many sources might increase their emissions of hazardous air pollutants as a result of the policy change and i would like to ask some yes or no questions. yes or no if epa determines which resources and how many would be covered by this policy change before releasing the january 25 guidance? >> guess there's a review of those issues. >> this was an incentive to the companies to actually invest. >> did epa determine the location of the resources?
>> i don't know about the location. >> for the record if epa provide that, yes or no did they assess the magnitude of the pollution that could increase as a result of the january 25 guidance? >> it's with respect to providing the incentive to the major mentors to get him -- >> yes or no. >> have the initiated or completed the previously mentioned analysis since the release of chandler 25th guidance? >> the work done was in support of the guidance issued. >> have they looked at the potential health effects of the decision yes or no did the epa conduct an announcement of the health effects including the potential increased risk of cancer of this decision before releasing the january 25 guidance memo? >> that is something we want to provide. >> did they conduct an analysis of the health effects of the
policy on children, babies are pregnant children before the january 25? >> yes or no did epa conduct an analysis of the potential health effects of this policy on older americans or those with chronic health problems before releasing the january 25 guidance? >> i hate to be redundant. yes or no did they conduct an analysis of the potential health effects of this policy on minority and low-income communities before releasing the january 25? >> i would answer the same way. >> a number of independent groups have taken it upon themselves to analyze the potential tactic impacts the policy would have on communities near and downwind from the major sources. they found that the chemical industry stands to benefit substantially from this loophole. have you met with any representatives who requested the repeal of this once been and always outpollin andalways outp?
>> to provide incentives to invest in the lower emissions. >> i'm going to conclude with a different subject because this is important to me. you recently concluded in a midterthemidterm evaluation of l economy standards for 2022 to 2025. it is my deep belief that the auto companies, the workers and the consumers have benefited from having one national program from the fuel economy and that it is critical to preserve that they think forward. forward. "-begin-quotes and that the standards besides saving energy, reduce emissions is the certainty that the businesses need. i'm deeply worried about reports that california -- >> the time is expiring. >> i just want to say it is my hope that we could have one national program moving forward. if you do, w we work on it together and everybody wins.
>> a statement from the american association for sciences for the chief executive officers. the gentleman from north carolina. >> the first relates to the chemical river back home in north carolina and in her testimony you highlighted the importance of safe drinking water and the produc strip of ay protect source water into the contamination concerns as i'm sure you are aware we are facing growing concerns over the contaminant issue. my concern is that we have a chemical that is spreading that we do not know enough about. the plant will be developed until the fall of 2018.
i received a letter from the office addressing some but not all of the questions that have been asked and they've posted a comprehensive literature related on the website but they are also developing information on them to aid th to the states and localities and we're finding these public-health goals so i would ask what are they seeking that i it has and will be provid and when the wealth of results of the information development be made available to the public? >> i have talked to the governor in north carolina and it's something i'm aware of the issues and north carolina. we will have a toxicity review by the summer. as you know, this is an innovation that was a successive chemical. we are very concerned about its impact and we are accelerating the review and then we will look
at further steps in the fall faf defending communications with about that. >> i appreciate this. we will update based on the analysis of the compound space in the water samples and what about the findings can you discuss no? >> with respect to the toxicity review or other studies? >> the analysis of the compounds. >> that is part of the work being done to support the review that will occur this summer and then there will be additional standards set with what we are trying to do is work with states like north carolina that have a concern and try to provide an guidance as theguidance as theye responses as well. >> i don't know if you were able to make a conclusion yet, but was it used in a matter that is incompatible with the distant agreement on those acts or are e you intwerearguing the positiono determine the? >> i am not able to speak to that at this point that we can
get a information. >> i appreciate the seriousness and the work you are doing with us on this. >> the senator has been very concerned about evidence importanit isn'timportant that . >> i would like to discuss another area that you've highlighted as a priority which is clean air. in the 47 years since the enactment, the epa has never taken actions against amateurs who make modifications to those exclusively on the tracks for racing. do you support this policy? >> the policy is taking new enforcement think it is wise yes. >> in 2015 of the previous administration thespot a fewseno propose to repeal the policy and after we raised concerns they backed off but they sort of left some ambiguity about the
modality of this. the vehicles can be modified for racing and doing so doesn't violate the provisions of the act as long as they are not used on public roads or for competition? >> it's always helpful to us to get congressional clarity. >> i appreciate the time you've given us today. thank you for your focus on clean air and water. with that i will yield back. >> thank you mr. chairman and administrator it is reported at this moment that they are from the oil, gas and coal industry. the regulation roles on the coal-fired utilities, methane gas emissions from oil and gas operations, air pollution from glider trust, formaldehyde all translated to additional profit for those industries but never
to impact public health. so it doesn't come much as a surprise to you but determine the strongest standards are too stringent. i strongly disagree with this determination and there i if tha robust record determined the need and the availability of technology to achieve them. highlighted by a 1200 page technical assessment report issued by the epa administrator you stated many times that you intended to operate on the basis of cooperative rule of law but when it comes to california andd the vehiclvehicle emission stanl of us say none of these seem to apply. you made it clear that you do not favor their waiver under which the state greenhouse gas emission standards are in the vehicles and used it to california should not have, quote and outside influence on vehicle standards. this position is inconsistently in the presence for states
rights and while importantly it's inconsistent with the law. california special status with respect to vehicle regulation has been enshrined in the federal law for over 50 years. section 209 of the clean air act states the administrator shall grant a waiver to any state if the state of the agency determines that the standards would be at least as protective of public health and welfare as the federal standards. the manufacturers have repeatedly said that they do not want to protracted fight that would inevitably occur if they move to revoke the waiver but many of the public statements eluted to the agency moving in that direction so i would ask you what i does the agency inteo initiate a waiver yes or no? >> we work very closely with california officials on the
issue. >> to meet it is important that we work together to achieve as it was indicated earlier the national standard. >> so it isn't really a yes or no. >> we are working very diligently. >> okay. well, i believe the answer should be no because you said you wanted a national program and you won't get this without the california agreement. the law requires you to set standards to protect public health and welfare. california standards does just that. california agreed to a national program to enter in to an agreement to accomplish that goal. if you challenge the waiver or significantly weaken the standards you are not following the rule of law. if you are doing what you are appointed today which is you must uphold the law and protect
standards. so far, you've demonstrated no intention to do that and that is why the entire country needs a waiver to ensure public health and environment unprotected even in the face of an administrator who cares may be more about special interests than about safeguarding the public interest. now, administrator, i believed the question you answered earlier you said that they are supporting the decision to revise the standards for the light duty vehicles. will you commit to provide the data to both sides of the committee by the end of the day? >> we have two responsibilities under the process once the midterm evaluation so we will provide the data. >> will you provide at the end of the day? >> to get tha it as soon as
possible. >> i will instruct my team to get that to you as soon as possible. >> hopefully within a week? >> as soon as possible. >> i will hold you to that. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from north dakota for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and administrator first of all for being here and i never cease to be impressed with the knowledge you have on so many things it seems however that more details you know them or some people demand and expect you to know everything and i have to say in my years on this committee and previous i've never had a cabinet officiacabinet officials much about the policies you're agency is implementing so thank you for that. i want to thank you for your incredible not just understanding of that commitment
to cooperative federalism. it's some thing that has been lost in previous administrations including by some of your critics who've worked with predecessors and the rest is no small matter and on behalf of the people of north dakota i very much appreciate your approval of our state's application for primacy over the wells that is to co two wells, so i think it is a demonstration of the policy. i also have to say i am somewhat struck by some of the accusations that have come out here 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 to at its very core of trying to regulate electric generation?
>> they do find the best system under the statute as being able to coerce the decisions being made on how you generate electricity, so i think that by definition, that was almost picking winners and losers. >> you've also been accused of hypocrisy and a lack of transparency but as a means of their political philosophy all the while accusing you of being the ideologue in the room. >> with with respect it doesn't apply to only certain states that all third-party states many members would be very concerned if they went out and did a study and didn't provide the data provided conclusions and they acted on rulemaking with respect to methane or other issues, so
it applies to all third-party science irrespective of this was that simply says data, methodology, conclusion conclusy and the american people need to be able to consume back. >> i appreciated the inquiry earlier and maybe you can elaborate on how personal data can be protected and is protected nobody is asking for the names of every victim of a tree pollution source that's ever happened in any study. not asking for personal data but simply for the science to be revealed. you can protect personal data, right clicks >> the information can be redacted an and addressed and sl serve the purpose of the proposed rule. >> i have to say i think all the accusations today it was interesting after about four minutes of defending the swamp
one of the leaders said so much for draining the swamp. i think the greatest thing that you have committed is that we've actually done with president trump ran on and what he is commission you to do in finding some balance goes in carrying out the mission of the empirical protection law of the same timee as the economy and jobs creation and again just for the people i appreciate that so much. and my remaining minutes if you could take some time to elaborate a little bit more on the review issue because we have a number of existing plants that are finding it difficult to even meet the spirit of the intent if you will and i think it seems to be working against itself. >> we talk about what the resource review is when there's a company that wants to invest sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars in the facilities to reduce pollution they refuse to do so because if they invest too much it is considered a major modifications to the facility that then requires additional
permitting responsibilities which they may not get so your resource review a something that is very important to actually incentivize the companies and reward companies to invest better outcomes. effectively a is what that is because you have a major and minor antheminor and what we sau are a major emitter that could reduce down to the minor levels you can be rewarded for that and actually i think incentivize it. >> the time is expired. thank you for calling this hearing and also use it today hopefully we are going to be talking about policy and stewardship. hopefully we can get that on the record as well on both of the fun is. welcome to the people's house. thpeople's house.the list of fad
you're wasteful spending is an embarrassment to the government and its very offensive to the taxpayers who paid all of our salaries. this administration is so packed with unethical behavior but yet at the same time, you have to understand the power to impact the well-being of the populations in this country. seniors, children, the sick and disabled. it's tempting to ask why you spend nearly 68,000 on hotels and travel just than five months 50,000 modifications to the office including the privacy booth that cost over $43,000 an oversized desk with woodworking but cost over $2,000. but we already know that some of these purchases were made in violation of the law. to appear before the subcommittee in november, this subcommittee, you said that the phone tha but is used for classd conversations and sensitive conversations with the white
house. has this $43,000 phone booth has been certified as also for classified conversations is that appropriate? >> it is not and it does provide protection on confidential communications and it's important to know where this originated. i did have a phone call that came in at a sensitiv of a sense and i didn't have access to the secure communications.
i am sure you can see the irony of this expenditure and you are not taking responsibility for the epa's budget is far from unlimited when you come into public resources for your personal use and other agency activities to separate another troubling example than v-8 -- epa epa appointee timothy from oklahoma and was awarded with a large raise over the white house objections. he went out to open houses in search of a condo for you. mr. pruitt i hope you understand you used public employees for your private business is illegal. turning to your highly questionable condo lease i find it highly concerning that you apparently never had an epa ethics attorney review the least before you signed it. did you have an epa ethics attorney look at that lease
before you signed it? >> on the other issue i'm not aware of any kind being used by her. >> she's a friend of both my wife and myself and has been for a number of years and she is a friend. >> you have stated for the record that you were not aware that used her for official time? thank you very much. did any of the attorneys look at your least before you signed it? >> afterwards. >> what did they say about that lease afterwards? >> they said the rate paid was comparable to -- . >> did they state that in writing or verbally? >> actually in writing. >> can you get a copy that to the committee? it was recently reported attorney general of oklahoma as attorney general of oklahoma you reassigned and investigative staff at the office to be your personal security team. are those reports accurate?
>> i'm not aware of what you were referred to congressman. >> my next question. in an apparent attempt rebut reports or agency publish date in february claiming a large increase in penalties against polluters but that date included the penalties assessed by the obama administration. in fact 90% of those numbers that you reported were actually assessed by the previous administration. did you intentionally claim credit for the enforcement actions taken by the obama administration to obscure your weak record on enforcement yes or no? >> the obama don't administration cut the agency. we have increased the number of agents in our office. >> thank you. i'm out time. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman -- the gentleman will suspend. his time has expired or the chair will recognize the gentleman from michigan for five minutes.
>> i think the administrator for being here. appreciate you taking the time to do this and support for us as we work in our constitutional relationship that we have time with you so thank you for being here and thank you for your policy efforts as you perform your functions. mr. pruitt the last time you were before this committee you told me in that quote the great lakes restoration initiative is something that we should work together to make sure it's achieving good outcomes and i think it has and we will continue that discussion as we head into 2018. i appreciate those words but we have seen a lack of support. again and this fy19 budget request gli was funded at 30 million by this administration. obviously i was and am not okay with that level of funding and work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the great
lakes caucus in an effort to restore full funding, which we did. i would certainly love to stand on the banks of one of the great lakes with you and just have an opportunity to discuss further what is so important about 20% of the world's freshwater resources eating there in the great lakes and what a job we intend to do is great lakes states to make that work for us. do you believe that 30 million is adequate funding for such a critical program? >> i commend what congress has done. congress restored that level to 300 million in on the bus and personally and as administrator of the epa i'm committed to you. can you make a request to the administration to work with us? >> i will continue to do that congressman. >> i think again is something we want to in the great lakes region take care of that
resource and i believe you do as well. >> the challenges, we want to do all that we can. i was -- earlier this week and i am locust on those efforts as well. i believe we can find better options on the funding level. >> with the invasive species and algae bloom which is significant touching my district across the line in ohio as well when we discussed last time you mentioned that there would he and interest and you said it's something that we ought to do going forward and ensured there's a partnership like that specifically referring to agriculture and interior. have you had an opportunity to talk with sonny perdue or ryan zinke about this issue of algae bloom and how to address the great lakes? >> the secretary and i talked
about issues with respect to geographical areas but ryan and i have not. it's important for states like the great lake initiative you have states partnering and collaborating with the federal government to achieve better outcomes. that's an example of true federalism. >> is there anything i can do to assist in bringing that coalition together? i'd be lighted be delighted to stand on the banks of lake erie with you. >> next topic. it's the constant threat of invasive species. i believe we have an administration right now that isn't committed to some of the shipping interest in illinois and indiana and i don't discredit that but we have a water resource that could be impacted in many different ways
recreationally, commercially as well if asian karp one of those species were to get into the great lakes. can you please provide an update on what your efforts have been with the army corps of engineers that have been dragging their oars in the water for too long on this issue and have you had any significant contact in moving this issue forward? >> i had that contact with mr. ebbers on a multitude of issues. i don't recall this particular issue but i appreciate you making me aware of it and we will talk to them about their involvement. >> if you could get on that, that's just so significant and it's amazing right now we have seen dna that have come from karp in the great lakes and thus far we have not seen the impact of the fish themselves. if that happens there's no turning back and this is and
environmental protection issue. i hope that you'll check into that further and i certainly would like to check with your office. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you mr. pruitt for being here. as you know i've had the honor privilege of representing the first congressional district which includes the entire coast of georgia and savannah harbor. the savannah harbor project is a billion-dollar project arguably the most important economic development project in her state's history next to the interstate system. it supports the infrastructure and economic principles laid out by president trump and it is exactly that, what he has been talking about woody's been talking about investing in the infrastructure in our country. it is one of the most important projects in the history of mankind but we started this project in the late 1990s. since that time three ports in china have been incomplete yet
this has not been completed yet. back when you were here in december i brought to your attention to the tear for initiative standards that are required for the harbor pilots and their boats and the problems it was causing us. do you understand the less we can get those ships in and out of the port it doesn't do any good to invest a billion dollars into this project. we have to have this harbor vessels in order to get the ships in and out of the port. the emission standards, this was that her months of my staff and your staff going back and forth to discuss this. since that time almost five months ago i have had the pilots come up to watch them at their own expense and on their own time to meet with your staff. your staff was completely and prepared. it was a complete waste of time
for the harbor pilot to be here. you gave me a commitment in december that he would look into this. i need to know where we are at. this is the extremely important for us. can you give me an idea where we are at? >> first congressman my apologies to you and your constituents that we weren't responsive. that's the first i've heard of that and i will check on that and my apologies there. secondly is i shared with the recently we were sending representatives to california to meet with the architect on the construction of the vessel to determine whether there's a way. >> in april of? >> may, i'm sorry. >> so next month. can i have a commitment that are you personally involved in this? >> i am now. >> you are now zip today but you told me you were and i want to believe you.
>> apparently that has not been done. >> that has not been done. then i will be personally gauge was going forward. >> i certainly hope so. i want you to help me. this is extremely important and as i've said before the largest project in the state of georgia and we have got to have this done. they don't have the vessels and they cannot meet the standards and build these vessels that they need. >> it's also a competitive situation with other agencies outside of her agency along with the engine. there is work to be done. >> can i have a commitment from you that this will be resolved in 30 days? >> you have the commitment with me to engage with the officers. >> and have a commitment from you that you will get this resolved as soon as you can? >> i will try to answer to it in
30 days. >> i can't stress too how important this is. the tear or emission standards are causing problems with generators. they are large one megawatt generators and we have hurricanes in georgia and therefore we need generators. last month we had some hurricanes. can you commit to reviewing the tear for standards and are they practical and rational? >> i will engage in conversations on this issue to see what the options are. >> the last thing i want to ask you about is bio but in all. this is one of the biofuels that is in all sorts of fuels and it's my understanding you have a -- that's about to end at the end of april. is that correct? please verify that because as you know the ethanol additives cause a lot of deterioration and
it's much better and much more compatible and we need that to come to market. i hope that you will act on it. >> advanced categories is that what you are referring to? >> yes. >> the gentleman's time has expired. mr. harper. >> thank you mr. chairman. administrator cruet, welcome. appears that it has become a political bloodsport to try to destroy anyone associated with the trump administration and i want to say thank you for what you're agency has done and the attention that they have given to the new source performance standards for residential wood heaters. that was very helpful. employers were in danger of not being able to meet a particular deadline and i appreciate the work that you're agency a thumb on that.
i also want to ask you a few questions and they need to ask you about a series of media reports that i found particularly concerning that according to these reports at least five epa officials have been reassigned to motive or requested to switch jobs because they raise concerns about your spending management of the agency. you have party testified this morning that these actions were based on other reasons but even the invocation of retaliation has an impact on morale at epa employees. will you explain these allegations and tell us what steps the epa has taken to investigate alice nations by epa employee's? >> first there's no truth to the assertion that has been made about reassignment or otherwise. i am not aware of that ever happening and something i want to make very clear the folks
that i am aware of those individuals are individuals that are serving in another capacity. i think that's important to note i want to emphasize to you that there is no action that we have that i'm aware of that in any way bring up the issues you raise such as reassignment or employment action based on that. >> can you assure me any employees of the epa that all whistleblower complaints are taken seriously at the epa and you will make your best efforts to make sure the whistleblowers are protected from any kind of retaliation? >> absolutely and i think that's how we get better. we have proven that in our processes. absolutely it's something i can commit to you that we will look at. >> i have had some of my constituents raise an issue regarding oil spills in late
ponchartrain and i'm told that funding for certain training courses for federal and local responders involving england oil spill prevention and cleanup have been eliminated and the epa environmental response teams are no longer able to consistently make these courses available. with an increase in oil production across the country there remains the need for oil spill response from local and federal responders. would you be willing to commit to looking into whether funding can it will be made available? >> yes congressman, i agree with that. >> over the last six years epa has used his discretion to reduce and perhaps eliminate the on-site technical assistance appropriated by congress to small in rural communities in my home state of mississippi including terminating funding for my states to full-time epa funding positions.
my rural in small communities have told me numerous times that this is the best and most help all assistance with epa water standards and unfunded mandates. to address this problem in 2015 congress passed and the president signed a version of my build the grassroots small community water systems assistance act. this problem was caused by epa still continues today so this bill requires the epa to give preference to the tape at all assistance to the small honor communities to find the most beneficial and effective. on april 11 of 2018 epa announced the technical assistance grant and would return the two circuit rider positioned it to mississippi and the other states yet i'm told there is less help with epa mandates to small and rural communities. did the epa conduct a review of
what is official and we look into this for possible correction? >> some of our water infrastructure as far as age infrastructure that those rural communities also need tremendous assistance. those grants are something that should be a focus in that area that you raise and i will look into the status of that for you. >> thank you very much for what you are doing for the country. >> the chairman recognizes the gentleman from illinois. >> no thank you to the policies of the environmental protection agency under your tenure. in my home of chicago we are in a dire situation.
an article entitled lead found in tap water tested across chicago signed a maple 12 of 2018. the article went on to say on the nearly 2800 homes tested between 2015 and 2017 close to 70% were found to contain elevated numbers of lead. additionally contained lead concentration higher than parts per million and a lesser amount allowed. i understand the epa is currently considering -- supposedly issued less under
your leadership and delayed any action on this. you have also delayed action on the painting rules for congressional buildings. in your recent proposal unscientific data the epa considered landmark studies which you labeled secret science quote, end of quote. these important studies are critical in identifying potential risks including those related to led contamination cancer related to smoking as well as the health impacts associated with other dangerous contaminants.
i want to hear from you on how the agency removes lead in drinking water that requires replacement of service lines and what are your justifications for your intent on the scientific data? i've also been concerned by some of your public statements expressing a belief in the safe number of lead in suggesting that led contamination and drinking water is -- [inaudible] mr. administrator you have declared their limits of lead for consumption. according to the center for prevention humans are consuming tiny amounts of lead can permanently damage the brains of
children and contribute to heart disease and other severe health problems. i also understand this issue of replacing -- will require billions of dollars for remediating this problem on a national level so i'm curious to hear from you on other ways to help address this issue. >> the administration's budget proposal, proposes $863 million for remodeling funds and $81.2 million for the fy17 connected level. there will most recent estimate
estimates it will cost $472 million for capitol improvements between the years 2015 and 2034. in the near future where you assess these other issues and i'd like to hear from you on what steps you'll be taking to address these critical issues. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> there is no safe level of lead in our drinking water. something we need to act aggressively on. we have estimated about or he $5 billion to replace the service lines across the country and the authority has given the epa i believe we can prioritize it. up to 4 billion a year and it's
a tenure process or there about. >> that tome and time has expired. they chairman recognizes the gentleman from -- . >> thank you administrator pruitt and mr. chairman if we can submit for the record the article from the times from today. the article came out yesterday. virginia tech -- epa grant for the water quality project could you recall the previous administration there was a regional epa administrator who looked the other way and it became a problem but it was exposed by mark edward said professor at virginia tech because he went out there on his own dime in his own money and started doing the studies that need to be done. now you're epa has granted his group $1.9 million to have folks test their water and send it in so we can find a techie where the hotspots are.
professor edwards says he calls this the largest engineering citizens science project in american history. the three-year grant will support his team and other universities are involved and he said all the work we did for consumers over the years in this students at virginia tech created this autumn up organic science phenomenon that created a tidal wave of understanding that couldn't be ignored. this is how science is supposed to work to me. mark edwards virginia tech if we could have that article put in the record. >> without objection that submitted for the record. >> thank you very much now it will switch gears. those comments were timely for that but i want to switch to the greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency -- phase two
approved in the prior administration. you all are taking some action in regard to one part of that which i want to talk about in a minute but i first want to talk about trailers that asked this question to the prior folks at the epa and i don't know have how they have authority to regulate trailers but the clean air act says the term motor vehicle means any support code motor vehicle designed for transporting persons or property on a highway and it's not -- trailer is not self-propelled. it might have a refrigerator truck. would you agree with me that this needs attention and we need to make sure trailers are not being declared by the epa to be so proposed -- so propelled vehicles, yes or no. you are also no progress -- process of looking at the same regulation related to big trucks.
my district has the north american truck manufacturing site. billions of dollars were spent to meet that requirement. i would agree with you that the law does not say the epa can do what they did because they went after bladders and they said he basically can't do with which they don't have authority to do because it is not a new motor vehicle engine which is in the code of similar sections which i just read on the utility trailers in my district as well. and what is interesting is i do believe there ought to be something because volvo and those manufactures have spent billions upgrading and with the code says is they really don't have any authority over used motor vehicles during the useful life of that motor vehicle but that's 11 years and 120,000 miles. what is happening is in some
cases the latter should not use just gone trucks that might be within that timeframe but used on trucks outside of their useful life. don't you think it would be appropriate to take a look at the law. take a look at it and see what can be worked out. we don't have trucks that are being recalled or overhauled by the bladder companies that are decades old and nowhere near meeting the emission standards of united states but wrecked nice and they have a right to do that. >> the alternative is something we have at the epa. we are focused upon the statutory analysis for gliders and trailers and is something we can add to the evaluation. >> i think 80 to 85% of what the previous administration wanted to accomplish could have been
accomplished without -- . >> i apologize for the abrasiveness of some of my colleagues who want to tarnish your -- i want to discuss the obama administration waters of u.s. rules. no congressman blackburn congresswoman blackburn brought it up earlier but i want to go into more detail. did you know the regulations sought to expand 60% of our streams and previously were non-jurisdictional? the rule would create unnecessary confusion and they would regulations have done very little to benefit environmental stewardship. it's the largest issue for agriculture in south carolina
and your -- you saw the real negative impact these regulations have on farmers and local businesses. these regulations are emblematic of the aggressive overreach by the federal government under the obama administration and the habitual undermining of state and local authorities. the responsibility to use their lawmaking powers to enact legislative and permanent fix. administrator i perceive your efforts to curtail these rules. we talked about the presidents executive order and i want to ask this question. i saw earlier this month a memo taking care of this issue from the epa to reach administrators on important matters in wetland jurisdictions. can you elaborate on the intentions of this document and why you issued that memo? >> there've been many decisions made at the regional level at
the delegation we talked about earlier. we had inconsistencies with respect to what jurisdiction we have and an effort to make sure we have uniformity in the clean water act and make sure every region is implementing that the way they should. certainty and clarity is terribly important because if you have landowners across the country about whether the epa or any other agency of the government has jurisdiction means they have to seek a permit and they don't want to find out-years later that they should have gotten a permit signed each day. so clarity and certainty around federal jurisdictions is at the heart of her effort. >> is there an effort by the
agency to go back and look at these maps that were drawn because when i look at though water ruling and streams and ditches in my district that were falling under the jurisdiction. these are ditches that only cold water and a rain event under navigable waterways. he came out and looked at some of these issues you'd say when the world was not covered. is there anyway to review these maps and really pull some of those designated areas back end? >> that's part of our objective to real writing of the rule. where's the clarity and word is that jurors diction and? you are rate they've been so inconsistent so different. puddles in north dakota, water
and united states under the clean water act so we are going through that process providing that clarity and those jurisdictions will take effect after that. >> this is the last question. during my time as state legislator we had incidences where areas were considered isolated wetlands. they sat there for a while and the water settled. no wetlands, no streams because water settled and all of a sudden was designated an isolated. is there anything the epa is doing to look at those eyes with a wetlands? >> there are troubling. there are issues around the statue's absolutely are. >> thank you. mr. chairman i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the
young lady from california ms. eshoo for five minutes. >> i thank you for holding today's hearing and extending the courtesy permitted participate in the subcommittee which i am not a member of and i'm very happy to be here. administrator pruitt public officials and public office have a public trust. we are called to hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards so the people that we serve have the confidence that would work for them. not for special interests but for them. in the front of your title administrator is u.s.. epa. an agency that was founded.
i think if a public official loses the trust of people it then becomes crippled because of the trust factor. if you have a solid record of breaking ethics rules at the state level right up to the federal government. it's a long list and it includes wasteful spending. i think it's an embarrassment to our country and it's offensive to constituents. my constituents have raised a lot of questions about you and they say how can he be doing this? so the first question i'm going to ask you might be an unusual
one. do you have any remorse for the excessive spending on behalf of yourself, the expensive air tickets and shopping in paris or the amount of knowledge that you have expended at the agency for an expensive telephone booth? i know it's a skiff that there is a skiff at the epa. do you have any remorse about this? >> let me say congresswoman. >> you can answer yes or no. >> i echo your comments. i think what you've said is absolutely true about the importance. i endeavor to live anyway -- . >> do you have any remorse? >> i think there are changes that have been made already from first-class travel.
>> you're not going to out talk me. you can't go lobbyists below market rents however we now know mr. hart's firm disclosed that he met with you regarding cleanup. did you have any other officials other than mr. hart? yes or no. >> with respect to -- . >> okay moving on. did you discuss mr. hart's clients outside of a professional setting? do you have any other lobbyists of interest before the epa provided you personal favors previously disclose? >> congresswoman as i've indicated with mr. hart the only vendor to place was a nonprofit. >> are there any other instances
in which it granted access to donors or lobbyists whom you owed personal favors? >> i'm not aware of any. >> travel included upgrades to first class at taxpayers expense which cost over $200,000 when you became administrator. are you reimbursing the taxpayer's? >> we have provided you the analysis. >> i don't need any analysis. >> i've changed it recently. >> you didn't answer my question but i'm asking if you are reimbursing taxpayers for the overage. this includes 10 trips to oklahoma. are you going to reimburse? >> all trips i'm taken with respect to epa dollars have beneficial trips. >> and maybe elected that i'm
not a fool. that's really a lousy answer from someone who has a high position in the federal government. this is not dodge question day. we asked these questions on the half of our constituents and i don't really find you forthcoming so the last few questions i would like to ask with five seconds left, when you travel to your home -- . >> the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> thank you mr. chair. mr. pruitt i think the appropriate and you have generated on some of these spending decisions is actually ward said. i have reviewed your answers and i find some of them lack or are insufficient and i believe he demonstrated or if not
demonstrated a judgment required the executive branch official on these items. and i'd like to follow up on it couple of specifics. it's been reported that epa officials who have challenged her spending decisions and do it then reassigned or demoted or not to reassigned or demoted in the challenging of your spending decisions but they all have performance issues. in each of those instances those performance issues that documented prior to them being reassigned i'm not sure to what you are referring as far as the conclusion and performance related. i talked about this earlier. i'm aware of individuals being reassigned. that routinely happens in that category. i know of no instance where
decisions were made at the agency. with respect to employment related decisions. are there instances where epa officials at the jacket to spending decisions. >> i'm not aware of employment with respect to anyone and spending related. individuals can be referred. they did not spend they did not spend time with recommendations on spending. the most of the time i've spent with numbers in the field but not headquarters. and he counseled regarding spending -- . >> with the two aides oklahoma in the toupee race is are you
saying that you are not aware that those pay raises were provided to them until after-the-fact? >> i was not aware of those individuals seeking a pay raise. i was not aware of the amount that was provided and what was utilized to evaluate data and that is what i have spoken to a store way. the other issue that received a lot of attention is is the 43,000-dollar phonebooth. and you are saying that at no time from the point from when you learned it was $13,000 to the time of that it became $42,000 you were never a prized of the additional cost related to that? i gave simple instructions to my leadership team to address your communications in the office.
and we have documentation we can provide. career individuals were involved in a process from beginning to end and made the decision. >> i tend to be very conscientious of those who have personal security related concerns and i don't know what was said to you or when and there's a lot more to that than some people. having said that it has been reported that what the ig has indicated or at least someone in the igs office has not found some of the personal security concerns that you have proffered in relation to the enhanced security that you have perceived to be either warranted or credible. would you kindly provide a little bit more detail on why
you think and i'm just going to be very honest with you when folks read about trips to disneyland in professional basketball games and the rose bowl and the additional security detail related to that that doesn't sit well with a lot of people. >> i can read her glee from the inspector general's report to you. this is with respect to threats and i will read you two. the threats were directed towards a father. the threats that i hope your father dies soon. there's another entry corresponding to the subject. pruitt i'm going to put a bullet between your eyes. don't think i'm joking. the ig has said -- . >> mr. administrator i think the point has been made.
the chair now recognizes atonement from new york. >> thank you chairman gibson. ranking member talgo. therapists are pruitt. you are protecting the health and safety of people all across the country. you have had a pretty good track record with the epa administrator's but your time in office has been different. violations of ethical guidelines and guidelines designed to ensure that the government business conducted with the partiality and integrity. what really bothers me on top of that era agency is the protections they keep millions of americans safe and making our water less safe to drink in our air was safe to breathe.
you are exposing them to dangerous chemicals. that is not just hyperbole. under your leadership the epa has weakened standards for ozone and to lock in reductions of hazardous air pollution. to play the implementation safety procedures at chemical plants. withdrew a proposal to track emissions of methane and organic compounds. announce the reconsideration of a rule regarding coal ash announce the reconsideration of vehicle emissions standards for model years 2022 through 2025.
we do a lot of work in this committee on those vehicle emission standards. approached heavy-duty vehicle's announce a plan to weaken emission standards for manufactures paper poster rule reducing air pollution and -- the web site including a page devoted to explaining climate change. you dismissed 12 of the 18 members of the board. counties failed to meet ozone standards by the october 25 teen deadline for the epa has collected far fewer fines from polluters than any in the last three administrator's during the same time. fewer toxic chemicals and environmental toxins will be
measured. there's so much here mr. administrator which had more time. i will focus on an issue. the paris agreement. we will abandon the commitment of the paris agreement. this administration is setting the clock back on u.s. climate action. it's the global leader of developing a clean energy -- this decision is bad for the planet and public health. scientists and epa and the global change -- research program increasing exposure and increasing the risk of illness death with poor air quality and increasing risks to extreme weather events. the paris agreement was our best chance to address this for all americans. we can't do it alone.
mr. pruitt you have supported the present decision announced the withdrawal from the paris agreement through president trump in you've said the deal puts constraints on the u.s. coal industry and somehow it's a threat to our sovereignty. it doesn't make any sense because the paris agreement is voluntary. absolute no constraints on u.s. trade pelosi and the u.s. energy policy. there is an historic economic opportunity for american companies and workers lead the world in providing cleaner forms of energy. yesterday french president macron reminded us there is no planet and i quote returned to her future in the said quote i am sure we can work together and on the end visions of the global compact on the environment. a sydney is this right for the sake of our children and grandchildren. we need someone that cares about
these things not someone who's going to make our future more dangerous for our families. >> i'm finishing mr. chairman. >> finish quickly. >> instead you are going against the tenets of what your job is supposed to do and that makes me very angry. >> the gentleman time has expired. the chairman recognizes is on -- the gentleman from new jersey. >> administrator per at the epa has a long and distinguished history established by president nixon as you know better than anybody. i representative district in northern new jersey outside of new york and we are concerned about some of the allegations regarding the overspending. in particular the $43,000 for the security of the phonebooth and as you know this has been
criticized by the government accountability office, general counsel. mr. armstrong said he had a responsibility to notify lawmakers. you have indicated that you believe this is not part of renovation. having said that aren't there other secure locations within your agency and why did we need to spend taxpayer money to build a new secure -- are making telephone calls. >> on the gao matter with respect to those issues based on the determination i do want to say the office of general counsel at the agency interpreted the expenditure is not being within the guidelines of the statute. those were all career individuals that were part of that process. the general counsel disagrees, that's right.
the steps were taken in notifying irrespective of that. >> i intends to agree with gao council. i want that on the record provided we need another skin for skin flight so they win their was already won their? >> it was not intended to be a skiff. >> another question i requested a secure line and my office based upon oh said a crew that are confidential in nature. based upon that instruction to process ensued. >> have any of your predecessor suggested this be needed for public and our democratic? >> i'm not sure congressman. >> either yes or no in your allowed to elaborate. i am not a person requiring yes or no. i'd like to answer in detail did any of your predecessors require that?
>> i'm just not aware. >> i had the honor of representing a predecessor of yours. she was a constituent of mine. she was the administrator for second president russian she indicated she saw no need for such an enhanced telephone system. there were secure connotations then and she did not think it was appropriate and respectfully i do not think it's appropriate. there are are ready secure locations and i think it was a waste of funds. regarding a completely different issue in a march 30 memo you stated companies signed a direct if they gave more authority to your office over environmental regulations on regional waterways. it is my view that taking this authority may -- a local
representative. you have relied heavily when you were attorney general of oklahoma on federalism, perhaps appropriately so for local and state control. it appears to me local control would give u.s. administrator final decisions over protection of streams ponds and wetlands under the clean water act. i'd be adjusted in your views. your views may have changed now that you are the administrator from your position as attorney general of oklahoma. >> they haven't changed with respect to the vibration with the state in that regard. what you are purring to is bringing that delegation back from the region and what we are seeing congressman a great erudition and inconsistent from one region to the other with respect to the issue you describe. the effort is to get uniformity and consistency and collaboration will continue.
>> thank you. i will and my question by saying i am concerned about what i believe is overextending a pretty early concerned about the secure location in my judgment that was not needed and that is the judgment of -- the judgment of at least one of your predecessors. >> congressman i agree with your statement that i believe that was an amount of money that should not have been spent and was never a price. >> the chair recognizes the gentlelady from illinois michigan house he for five minutes. >> i'd like to thank the chair for allowing me to be a member of the committee but not the subcommittee to be here today. i also have been troubled by certain behaviors and it has been reported that your decision to abandon the planned fuel efficiency standards was heavily influenced by one of the
employees you brought with you from oklahoma who was now under investigation for receiving a salary from taxpayers despite not coming to work for three months. you personally brought him on the job at epa when you became administrator. if that corrects? >> she is not from oklahoma and she came in with their administration. you were fern to her evaluation? >> i am going to continue with my questions. she was hired using the same drinking water act authority that was used to bring unapproved raises to other staff that you did -- is that corrects? >> i'm not aware of she was hired under that authority.
legal authorized and used by previous administrators and it could have been used but i'm just not aware. >> how much was samantha travis paid during the three months in which he did not report to work? >> i am not aware that she did or did not appear for work so that something is being repeated this point. >> senator carper has stated on the basis of information i believe from a whistleblower has stated he worked with you on a deal to preserve fuel efficiency standards. he says that you abandoned that deal at the urging of samantha. did samantha travis urge you to abandon the potential deal with senator carper? >> i don't know of you are speaking of the midterm evaluation or another issue.
>> regardless of what the source , these are pretty straightforward questions about her in the three months. are you contesting that she did not work for three months? >> i'm not saying that at all. >> i don't know what you're point is about where it came from. i'm asking if she worked for three months, she did not work for three months? >> your question was about fuel efficiency and i'm not entirely sure what that question was so that is what i was trying to determine, what area you are talking about. i am not aware of any fuel efficiency café or otherwise. >> are you aware that she did not work and she was paid for three months? >> i am not aware. it's under review at this point in those facts will bear out.
>> yes. >> there was a replacement that occurred because the other became out of service. >> not just that it had to be replaced but it had to be replaced with a bigger and less fuel-efficient larger more expensive car? and this pattern and a thank you for your answers. >> thank you mr. chairman and administrator pruitt edit has been well established since the code of silence since 86
but i have a 30 year career as part of a real estate broker and when they were looking for a new home looking for the that they complied with that so you talk about the energy star program and how it helps businesses and consumers to provide consumers with accurate information to deliver high quality savings. and that process involved with updating the energy star standards with the most up to date technology that can outperform current energy star ratings. >> from the public-private partnership actually there was
a rulemaking schedule occurring january next year to establish fees to support the program i think the concern has been the viability of the program so we are in the process now of preparing for that and we have committed to and i think is very successful. >> okay. it is important for the regulator community and the public that the government speaks with one consistent voice i know they call the irs office maybe seven different days and get eight different answers so what are your plans to ensure the epa policy and with the headquarters and regional offices with litigation and i would use irs that is where people get a lot of different answers.
>> we have ten regions across the country from the different perspective with many issues with consistency we are in the process at the agency to evaluate it is a management program that we have the metrics and objectives to the regions with compliance with these various issues and with the dispersion. >> with the epa proposed revisions we look at the importance of the implementation to regulate coal production i believe that
is critical has your agency given more thought to adjusting under the existing federal rules and you make a great point that timeline and you provide guidance and to enforce those timelines and with the startup of the programs. and then to rely on the balance portfolio of energy and it is with a carbon regulation that is in the marketplace today yes.
that the carbon in dangerous environment. >> and from a rulemaking perspective. >> your recognize for five minutes. >> mr. administrator back in the room you are watching it constantly on television this is very disturbing. one of the most alarming aspects that i have heard of expenditures. i'm talking about security and what is even more alarming is the fact there is an obvious practice of retaliation against the epa employees who even question your spending.
you have done a lot of great things in that whistleblower protections are essential to ensure fairness and good government. five epa staff members were fired or reassigned after questioning your spending to notify congress of expenditures now the nonpartisan ga office has now validated seeing that you broke the law not just democrats or any other political group but a nonpartisan gao office has now validated those findings you broke the law failing to notify congress. did you intend or do you intend to hold yourself or staff accountable? >> first under no instance
with the employment status related to spending or recommendations i said it before and i will say it again now. >> but notifying congress? >> i have addressed that already to the career individuals advise going through the expenditure process they did not need to notify congress gao came out and said otherwise. the notification has taken place those career individuals that made the decision were following advice of counsel and the direction. >> it is your position you had no responsibility to notify congress? >> i believe the decision was remedied and should have been done at the beginning but it was not so as they made those decisions who invited that? they were career individuals. >> i was alarmed with the pattern was extended to homeland security to sign off
on a february memo that it did not face direct death threats that person was removed the day that the senate democrats revealed the existence of the memo the timing clearly suggests evidence to intimidate in my opinion and deter staff who share concerns with congress any truth to that? >> anyone would say contrary to that. the reference i made earlier to the question about the inspector general with threats i can provide to you congressman the person that you refer to does not have that for threat. >> question number two move into weekend protections with toxic coal ash has serious risk to human health and the environment so in my state of north carolina that is still mitigating the damage so in kingston tennessee to cause
those serious illnesses and amazingly you have proposed weakening the protections despite the hard science proving the dangers cause this is unacceptable. were you aware of the impact proposed weakening the coal ash rule? >> no not with those specific examples. >> you delayed the protections for farmworkers including delaying protection that has now been thrown out i guess we may call that dismissed as lawyers, is that true or not true? >> no it is my understanding there is a proposal considered but not any final action states have requirements as well and they are
contemplating in that process of those should be deferred to in this process but i am not aware of it being final at this point. >> thank you for your testimony i've been listening and again i say i'm very disappointed with your record at the agency. is not commensurate with your record over many years in other capacities and what concerns me most of all wasting taxpayer money. >> your gentlemen time is expired. >> i appreciate it thank you for allowing me to sit on the subcommittee administrator pruitt talk about the environmental review with a significant portion of my constituents living on florida's west coast, i am am always concerned about hurricanes as you can understand as well as flooding however our area only has two evacuation routes to move
residence inland during an emergency. so to alleviate this plan the pascoe county government had an extension project approved for third evacuation route but they have been working on this in 1997. can you believe that? over 20 years the county has been treading through regulations forms, meeting with federal officials to get this up and running. so again public safety project to stabilize god for bid we have a disaster. while they met with recent success the project still has not received final approval so administrator pruitt what has the agency done under your
leadership to streamline the review of projects when they involve public safety? where lives could be on the line and they definitely are? is this something you're epa is addressing these issues? >> we began an effort last year before we arrived at the. they didn't know how long it took to asked that? arrival just to give you an idea this will not surprise you it takes a long time so we are making changes for the decisions that we make occur within six months up or down this is an interagency approach we are collaborating with other issues to make sure
we have consistency working with them. >> you say within six months beginning in 2019? >> as of this year we will have a plan in place beginning january 19. >> to the present release the infrastructure plan including sections on permitting improvement one of the proposals is the decision? the environmental review structure? allowing for localities to have a single environmental review document are these you could support. >> i do they are great recommendations made by the infrastructure package the president made and i hope congress adopts but we are looking at that six month review process in terms of the agency. >> there are a lot of local governments to hire high-priced consultants so
this is very important to them. and then to be penalized my area they've spent a lot of money on this project i'm sure there are examples all over the country which has taken many years and i appreciate you working with me on this and hopefully we can get approval soon. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes that gentleman from florida. >> allowing me to participate today, thank you mr. pruitt your pattern of unethical conduct and conflict of interest but today by your failure to take responsibility for your actions you simply dismissed all of the ethical lapses at the beginning of your testimony as troubling media reports.
i think that is a failure of leadership but the point i want to make today is that the cost of your wasteful spending that pales in comparison to the damage you are doing to the health of american families and the assault of our clean air and water protection against dangerous chemicals and pesticides. to highlight the issue of the paint stripper at the beginning known to have caused over 50 death but yet the epa that we don't have a final decision but in essence but to those families also the case of a nerve agent in the same chemical class asked erin gas
-- searing gas there was a recommendation by epa scientist when you came in to say we would propose significant restrictions especially to protect babies and children people under 18 and you turned that around it's not final but you set a standard the americas pediatricians are outraged advocates are outraged and so are my because we are talking about the development of brains in babies and children and not just children in the farmland but where they live and play in those areas. for a lot of kids in the audience today parents care about this a great deal so why are corporate profits more important to you than the health of families and
children? >> so the issue that you have raised i would ask you not just look at the inclusion but the final process the final administration. >> but there is a pattern and your actions go against what you say when you're epa scientist and public health advocates say you come into office time and time again you side with the special interest. >> what you are referring to are those chemicals that we are reviewing that you authorized. >> but the recommendation of this committee and you set the pattern whatever you can say today people need to look at your actions rather than your rhetoric but in addition to your failure to take responsibility am disappointed with my colleagues on the
other side especially administrator barely asking any tough questions there were a few exceptions maybe they try to save his job they are worried if he doesn't perform well today he would be fired but republicans have already called for your firing but unfortunately none on this committee. either way it is embarrassing as most republicans refused to take this oversight responsibilities seriously to hold you accountable they claim to have requested documents from the administration regarding administrator pruitt conflict of interest but no evidence of any investigation. democrats we have sent numerous inquiries to the office of inspector general, the gal and some of those have borne out and you have been found in violation of the law. unfortunately we have yet to
see a real effort from my colleagues on the other side so i am competing on -- keeping a list today of the unanswered questions that you say it isn't final we are looking at this, the jury is out but you fail to give direct responses on a number of questions and mr. chairman i would like to submit this list for the record the endless string of questions asked that administrator pruitt has not answered today. >> passed that over here please. >> your time is expired. >> the gentlelady time is expired recognizing the gentleman from maryland for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman for being here either watching you during the hearing you certainly have the bearing of a man who thinks he is untouchable it is not that is true but i would be careful because i don't think americans go for that and in your position they just want
you to protect their air and clean water and conserve the land. as has been said by many colleagues that has been cloaked in secrecy with ongoing legal and ethical failures refused to release detailed information from your calendar and provide no advance notice we will be agency career staff we are told have been instructed not to take notes or carry their cell phones and this level of secrecy has forced a lot of citizens to file a freedom of information act request. i understand the political leadership is under those awareness review that can delay the release to the public and also limit the amount of information redacted so are you aware your political appointees are conducting these reviews before information is released to the public? >> there has not been any obstruction that is plane
fabricated but according to the freedom of information act is governed by statute. >> the office of general counse counsel. >> i will move on. we are limited but if that was done that is a clever move we wrote to you last year concerns about carl icahn and his role special advisor with a potential conflict of interest with his financial holdings and with the renewable fuel standards programs and here we are one year later epa implementation of that program with a small refinery provision is under fire from the farmers and refiners so my colleague raised the issue i want to know about energy and he owns a majority stake. administrator pruitt you rat
one -- met with representatives from his company june 2017. correct? >> if that's what the calendar represents connected his company apply for a waiver for ethanol blending requirements? >> i'm not sure. >> and did he receive a waiver for any refining facilities? >> he is exempt by government statute as you know. >> that is important to know because it raises serious questions about a conflict of interest. i had the privilege to sit here in the congress with the democracy reform task force we have been trying to keep up with the trump administration which i will tell you is a full-time job and even at the center of that focus to date five out of ten federal investigations have been initiated at this committee's
request more than 80 independent federal reviews are currently underway with respect to your office yesterday the democracy reform was released in a series of looking at failure sent an ethic collapse this one was detailing your wasteful spending and favors for your friends to put the interest of polluters ahead of the american people so now this is available to take a look at. it goes through the litany of ethical violations to characterize with the homework with your time in office. it is sad to say that you have become in many respects and take this to heart is somebody who holds an office, you wear that mantel today the office of public trust as head of the
epa some people care deeply about you wear that mantel you have to exercise paying attention to the public interest not the private interest but unfortunately you have become the poster child to abuse public trust and this goes back a long way. the way of approaching public office to the epa that undermines the credibility but it is the hallmark of the trump administration and we will continue to demand answers and hold you accountable i give you credit for coming today but we will continue to hold you accountable for dereliction of duty and i yield back my time. >> your time is expired. >> mr. chairman i have heard or read reports it is the result of pressure on midwest
agriculture in response by china that there is a move by some to increase ethanol usage. can you comment very briefly? >> if you are referring to the waiver? >> correct we have been actively evaluating the authority under statute for the waivers under the last several months and i will interrupt because actually what we talked about i appreciate the work my colleagues have done but what is reported is as a result of the tariffs china is important imposing on soybeans and gray and will be a concession from the trunk administration to go to e15 i will leave that there. so you have been running the department this is the case
that any of your predecessors republican or democrat that have the responsibility of epa a security detail. >> i am not aware previous in that regard. >> isn't that relevant the precedent the administrators in the past? >> i am just not aware of the process prior to my time at the agency. >> did the taxpayer spent 30,000 dollars for security detail to accompany you on a trip to disneyland? >> i am unsure. >> the records show that. >> so you could determine this. it isn't secret. >> the law enforcement makes the determination of what should be provided. >> the answers are somebody
else knows that dennis starts to seem like there is something on your desk that says the buck stops nowhere and you are in charge. >> i made decisions to switch the changes from first-class back to coach that has happened. >> are you aware at the epa headquarters there are two secure facilities where private phone calls could be secure? >> i.c.e. requested a secure communication but you are the boss you tell them you want a secure way to communicate that is a reasonable request they will accommodate but the boss has to make sure to one -- certain it is reasonable.
>> and i indicated in my opening statement. >> but here is a question i think a lot of people would ask how can i make a secure phone call? the answer would be there happens to be two places in this building close your office or you can do that. >> a are not close to my office. >> how often do you have to use your secret phone. >> it is confidential communications. >> so on those rare occasions is it too much to ask you to walk. >> it depends on the nature or how urgent the call. >> the point is you have to locations that you can go to when you have to make those secure phone calls. this is taxpayer money. let me ask you this did you have biometric locks installed in your office?
be making our privacy locks changes were made no instruction was given for biometric that was the decision made by those individuals. >> so these things just happen? >> neck what is a biometric loc lock? >> i am not entirely sure. >> you cannot open a door? seriously. >> i don't know. >> in response as i understand it is like fingerprints or your eyes it is a physical characteristic. >> that is my understanding as well. >> so you have them? >> bills have been added, yes. >> gentlemen's time is expired thank you for allowing me to sit on the subcommittee,
mr. pruitt i share concerns my colleagues have voiced on the ethics front i'm here to talk about an issue that is of utmost importance to my state and district during your confirmation process you stated you worked to withhold that renewable standard then-president trump has pledged on numerous occasions to support this and time and time again he has supported however over the last several weeks information has been revealed that make me question that commitment. reports have indicated epa has granted so-called economic hardship exemptions to refiners that are not small nor financially distressed 75000 gallons or less and is not an economic hardship waiver by constituents and
from those across the country are extremely troubled by this action this comes at a difficult time for the country as you know and then to see it trending downward and profits are soaring i'm extremely disappointed in the actions and lack of transparency and accountability of the process is unacceptable under section 211 the epa administrator is required to reassign gallons that are waived to other obligated parties because this waiver process has happened with no transparency whatsoever i am disappointed so are my constituent and we have no idea whether those gallons have been reassigned as required by law. yes or no have you reassigned these gallons? >> it is my understanding that has happened. >> so how do you plan to
refine those going forward in 2019? >> your question does deserve some perspective think of the commitment of this administration it was denied as you know. >> but i'm talking about the waivers and now moving onto the next question do you intend to inform about the detail of these waivers? >> subject to the information it would not be available. >> so who got the waivers i can't understand why that is considered confidential business information? twenty-five refiners received waivers. >> that was in 2017 applications were submitted in 2018 what is that number? >> it is over that number as i understand it.
>> did you ask discuss these exemptions at the white house. there is ongoing discussions. >> who specifically? >> did you brief the president. >> as i indicated this dialogue had been made with the staff member. >> is anybody explained to the president the impact the waivers have on the ethanol industry? this is 1 million gallons. >> year has been many discussions. >> you told me the pas studying over the waiver that is a last time we talked about this issue and it seem like it has taken quite a while for many of us in his recent remarks that were referenced so we are wondering what the holdup is? >> we are trying to ensure the legal basis is solved because there will be litigation. >> so to move forward to grant the waiver.
>> i intend to finish the process soon. >> this is something obviously is very important to my state and district and folks around the country we are looking forward to that. and of course looking at the hardship waivers with trick-or-treat candy but farmers are very disappointed for the e15 waivers and i think this program is in need of substantial oversight and certainly e15i don't think these could happen in secret and was addressed earlier we need to make sure these waivers are not abuse for special interest i look forward to working with you on this further and i healed back. >> the gentleman from new mexic mexico. >> administrator pruitt looking at the budget as a personal slush fund resources
to personal travel that should go to environmental protection you have spent more than $160,000 on travel and first-class and private jets and military craft. i think flying coach is the least we can do and so my question for you is when you pay for your own airfare with personal funds do you fly coach? >> i pay for it personally as well. >> we commit to reimbursing taxpayers for your luxury trave travel? >> at $160,000 that you refer to compares to previous administrations that was international travel i took two trips previous administrations took multiple trips these decisions about security detail who attends and provide protection happen
according to law enforcement recommendations and that is what i followed. >> recently reported by epa ethics officials onto personal trips you flew coach on southwest airline with a companion past from your support and will -- subordinate so are you aware that federal ethics rules per head that you from accepting gifts. >> that is not represented accurately. it is like carpooling we share the cost. >> it was no gift whatsoever. >> i think ethics officials will continue to work on -- look into that taking you to morocco and italy and luxury resorts throughout the united states hearing from a political appointee told staffers give me something to do to schedule travel to exotic destinations it seems
your desired destinations include low income communities or communities of color are the biggest place is that those most at risk are also the most unable to pay for your concern how much would you sees them visiting low income communities? >> i was just recently in chicago and also in houston as indicated earlier trip to italy was the seven i was there for four days there was a free-trade agreement and the ambassador of morocco invited me to negotiate that environmental chapter those were very important to the scope of our duties. >> you have done great things to keep your calendar secret but it is clear most of your meetings have been with
stakeholders and have impacting communities? >> the people that we regulate their voices have not been heard for many years those farmers and ranchers are conservationists. you understand you have a responsibility to the tribal and indigenous communities? as administrator directing policy changes that would harm low income and tribal and indigenous communities for example with cost regulation is another but mr. pruitt you blamed your staff, counsel, officials and others argue the epa administrator? >> i said in the opening statement.
>> it is a simple yes or no question are you the epa administrator? >> i said i take responsibility to cheney just make changes historically and moving forward those are not the fact. >> are you the epa administrator? >> yes just to be clear due monday epa? >> i do. >> are you responsible for the scandals plaguing? >> i respond to those questions today with facts and informatio information. >> are you able to answer that in yes or no? can i get is not yes or no. >> it is pretty simple there is clear concern with what is happening not just by the entire congress and i appreciate you being here today but these questions need to be asked and answered. >> we have. >> you are not the only one doing the scandal things in the administration i hope this is one of many discussions the committee will have to get to the bottom of this.
>> the gentleness time is expired there are no further members wishing to ask questions thanks to the witness to be here today before we conclude i would like unanimous consumer to submit the following documents for record, letters to the chairman the report from gal from the appropriations letter from american association of advancement of science, an article from the new york times the letter from the geophysical union letter from 985 sciences reminding my members they have ten business days to submit additional questions for the record and i ask they submit questions within ten business days upon receipt without objection the subcommittee is adjourned spee5 spee5
>> we will have these answers percolate i will refer to the chairman he will the per two the ranking members concerns. >> going to the documents that your committee is also going to the ig office. >> with the committee for oversight and then to decide what else to follow up on. >> i was not coached. somebody asked yesterday i didn't get communication from the white house i don't know any of that stuff the next
there is no record of actual investigations taking place? >> i am just the subcommittee chairman that is a question for the general but i think trey gaudi made some comments he said he answered the questions with those allegations what is your feeling on that you feel the answer the questions? >> i think he answered them to the best that he could and i think we evaluate that answer to your question is based upon the view that you have listening to the question and the answer some of them yes he was paid but i don't know what else to say i think everybody
comes with a view and the question is from your point of view was that answered. >> on the questions of spending that he ordered staff to do something and that is how they resolve that is that a concern? >> i stand corrected but i do think there is an issue when you are in charge, i said that in the beginning i am responsible for all you do that your unit does or fails to do so even if you say do this and your staff doesn't yeah my fault. >> what are the examples. >> you guys are the observers.
>> you guys are reporting for the press we heard the same story eight or ten times and some of it from republicans so the other things that we were asked is what did i expect in a century first round of questions policy and stewardship and i'm sure you will hear that not just on the stewardship side not just from democrats and i think my colleagues on the republican side may not happen so visceral emotionally but they did raise these points that you have questions on. >> but if you are asked direct questions on the ethics that you have concerns about those?
why were there questions about the ethics investigation? >> i gave him the form to start off the hearing so he knew this was coming so that is how i decided to talk about policy and stewardship and that is how i addressed it. >> is that a positive reflectio reflection? >> listen, you have enough to go on the republicans have always viewed to thank you can have good environmental stewardship with great jobs and there is a constant tension between the two so i do think from the aspect of why is the economy growing? because tax relief and easing the regulatory burden so part of that is attributed to the
epa. it isn't just all against him. are there unfortunate errors? yes. did he pay a price today? yes. half the questions were on stewardship issues and not on policy. he works for the president of the united states i am not a senator i don't have the confirmation. >> not before the white house did not talk to me and i have not heard anything in between where some members not asking indirect questions to indicate it is an appropriate form to even ask. >> as a budget hearing he has got to come.
there are two donald trump one is the one you see on tv who makes this outrageous comment and then to create negative publicity both in conversation and for the media but then there is the donald trump who was just the opposite who was thoughtful, he listens, very careful about making decisions. >> the annual white house correspondents dinner underway this weekend previous president have attended the president trump has opted not to attend for the second year in a row it celebrates generalized first amendment rights to freedom of the press honors reporters and news organizations for their work