Chair Pingree Statement at Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request for the Environmental Protection Agency Hearing

2021-04-21 10:07

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Chair of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request for the Environmental Protection Agency:

Today, the Interior-Environment Subcommittee will examine the President’s fiscal year 2022 budget request for the Environmental Protection Agency. Joining us this morning is Administrator Michael Regan. With him is Deputy Chief Financial Officer David Bloom. I believe this is Administrator Regan’s first appearance before the House of Representatives since being confirmed in March. Welcome Mr. Administrator, and welcome back Mr. Bloom.

Earlier this month, the president outlined some of his priorities for the EPA. In FY 2022, the President is requesting $11.2 billion for the EPA, a $2 billion increase over the enacted level. Some of the highlights that we expect to see when we receive the Agency’s detailed budget request later this spring are:

  • Increasing core operating programs by $110 million to rebuild the Agency’s capacity to carry out its mission to protect public health and the environment.
  • Tackling the climate crisis head on with the urgency that this existential threat requires.
  • Placing values like equity and equal access to justice for all at the heart of the Agency’s policy agenda.
  • Recognizing that advancing economic prosperity and environmental protection are not contradictory objectives, but in fact are two sides of the same coin.

Compared to what we have seen these past several years, this is a breath of fresh air.

After a four-year hiatus, we will once again have senior leaders at the Environmental Protection Agency who see environmental protection as part of the Agency’s job. Who view scientific data as a tool to guide decision-making, not as an obstacle to be overcome in pursuit of an ideological agenda. And who use the authority of the federal government to serve the public interest, rather than a means to funnel benefits to political allies or to intimidate critics and opponents.

I would like to commend the Administrator for the actions he has already taken in restoring scientific integrity to the Agency’s processes, his commitments to act transparently and fairly with all stakeholders, and his efforts to reset the Agency’s relationship with this subcommittee.

The budget request, combined with the investments proposed in the American Jobs Plan, position us well to address the numerous environmental and public health challenges we currently face.

They are a welcome indication of the direction this Administration would like to head, and I look forward to working closely with the Administrator and President Biden in achieving our shared vision for a safer, more prosperous, and more just nation.

I would now like to yield to the Ranking Member of the subcommittee, Mr. Joyce, for any opening remarks he would like to make.

117th Congress