Pallone Opening Remarks at Full Committee Markup
Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) delivered the following opening remarks today at a Full Committee markup of H.R. 453, the “Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act of 2017;” H.R. 350, the “Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act of 2017;” H.R. 1119, the “Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment (SENSE) Act;” H.R. 1917, the “Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act of 2017;” H.R. 1733, “To direct the Secretary of Energy to review and update a report on the energy and environmental benefits of the re-refining of used lubricating oil;” H.R. 2872, the “Promoting Hydropower Development at Existing Nonpowered Dams Act;” and H.R. 2880, the “Promoting Closed-Loop Pumped Storage Hydropower Act:”
Mr. Chairman, we have a number of bills before us today that came out of our Energy and Environment Subcommittees.
On the energy side, we have three bills that I expect we will be able to pass by voice. H.R. 1733, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Reps. Brooks and Kennedy directs the Secretary of Energy to review and update a report on the energy and environmental benefits of the re-refining of used lubricating oil. It has already been passed unanimously by the Energy Subcommittee. The other two bills, both seeking to expedite hydroelectric licenses for non-powered dams and pumped storage projects, had issues when we started, but have now come a long way. Thanks to Members and staff on both sides of the aisle, we have Amendments in Nature of a Substitute (AINS) for both bills, H.R. 2872, introduced by Dr. Bucshon and H.R. 2880, introduced by Mr. Griffith. These bipartisan substitutes are a testament to what we can do when both parties work together. I want to thank Chairmen Walden and Upton, as well as the sponsors of these bills, for working with Ranking Member Rush and me to develop a bipartisan compromise that we look forward to seeing enacted into law.
Unfortunately, on the environment side of the ledger, we have quite a different story. Once again, Committee Republicans are advancing bills to undermine public health protections and erode our progress on clean air. Exempting businesses from clean air rules leads to more air pollution, which damages people’s health. Relaxing air standards for businesses does not reduce costs, it merely transfers them from one business to another and to individuals who will incur costs in the form of increased healthcare costs and lost productivity. Even the one bill where Republicans and Democrats have tried to come together -- the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports or RPM Act—is, ultimately, unnecessary since EPA has never taken enforcement actions against racecar owners.
I will discuss these bills in greater detail as we consider them, but for now, I will yield back the balance of my time.