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Feb 22, 2024
Health

Chairs Rodgers and Guthrie Announce Health Subcommittee Legislative Hearing on Rare Disease Bills

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) today announced a legislative hearing titled “Legislative Proposals to Support Patients with Rare Diseases.” “Energy and Commerce Republicans have consistently and proudly defended the value and dignity of all life. Those living with rare diseases are no different and deserve every opportunity to live an abundant life. We are proud to continue building on the Committee’s previous efforts, like our recent work to ban the discriminatory practice of Quality-Adjusted Life Years, by considering legislative proposals that further support patients with rare diseases and ensure they can maintain access to live saving treatments,” said Chairs Rodgers and Guthrie. “By supporting research and fostering innovation, we can continue to support finding treatments and cures that provide hope to patients in need.”  Subcommittee on Health hearing titled “Legislative Proposals to Support Patients with Rare Diseases.”    WHAT : A legislative hearing to discuss solutions to support patients living with rare diseases.   DATE : Thursday, February 29, 2024   TIME : 10:00 AM   LOCATION : 2123 Rayburn House Office Building   WITNESSES : Witnesses will be announced and are by invitation only.  LEGISLATION TO BE DISCUSSED :  H.R. 1092 , Better Empowerment Now to Enhance Framework and Improve Treatments (BENEFIT) Act (Reps. Matsui and Wenstrup)  H.R. 3433 , Give Kids a Chance Act (Reps. McCaul and Eshoo)  H.R. 4758 , Accelerating Kids Access to Care Act (Reps. Trahan and Miller-Meeks)  H.R. 5539 , Optimizing Research Progress Hope And New (ORPHAN) Cures Act (Reps. Joyce and Nickel)  H.R. 5547 , Maintaining Investments in New Innovation (MINI) Act (Reps. Nickel and Joyce)  H.R. 5663 , ALS Better Care Act (Reps. Schakowsky, Quigley, Fitzpatrick)  H.R. 6020 , Honor Our Living Donors Act (Reps. Obernolte and DelBene)  H.R. 6094 , Providing Realistic Opportunity To Equal and Comparable Treatment for (PROTECT) Rare Act (Reps. Matsui and Dunn)  H.R. 6465 , Preserving Life-saving Access to Specialty Medicines in America (PLASMA) Act (Reps. Hudson and Davis)  H.R. 6664 , Innovation in Pediatric Drugs Act (Reps. Eshoo and McCaul)  H.R. 6705 , Effective Screening and Testing for Tuberculosis Act (Reps. Moolenaar and Dingell) H.R. 7188 , Shandra Eisenga Human Cell and Tissue Product Safety Act (Reps. Moolenaar and Dingell)  H.R. 7248 , FDA Modernization Act 3.0 (Reps. Carter and Barragan)  H.R. 7383 , Retaining Access and Restoring Exclusivity (RARE) Act (Reps. Matsui and Bilirakis)   H.R. 7384 , Creating Hope Reauthorization Act of 2024 (Reps. McCaul and Eshoo)  H.R. ____ , Antimicrobial Resistance Research Assessment Act (Rep. Griffith)  H.R. ____ , Patient Access Act (Rep. Guthrie)  H.R. ____ , Sickle Cell Disease Comprehensive Care Act (Rep. Burgess) This notice is at the direction of the Chair. The hearing will be open to the public and press and will be live streamed online at https://energycommerce.house.gov/ . If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Emma Schultheis with the Committee staff at Emma.Schultheis@mail.house.gov . If you have any press-related questions, please contact Christopher Krepich at Christopher.Krepich@mail.house.gov



Statement from Chairs Rodgers and Latta on Widespread AT&T Outages

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chair Bob Latta (R-OH) released the following statement addressing AT&T’s earlier service disruptions that affected millions of Americans across the country:  "We are working to assess today's disruption in order to gain a complete understanding of what went wrong and what can be done to prevent future incidents like this from occurring,” said Chairs Rodgers and Latta. “As we learn more, Energy and Commerce will continue to encourage transparency and accountability for those affected and ensure that appropriate steps are taken to strengthen our communications networks, which are vital for nearly every aspect of our economy and daily lives.”



Feb 21, 2024
Letter

Chairs Rodgers and Duncan Probe FERC on Grid Reliability Implications of Breaching the Lower Snake River Dams

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) sent a letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chair Willie L. Phillips and the other Commissioners regarding the threats to the reliability of the electric grid if the Lower Snake River dams were breached and whether FERC was involved in President Biden’s efforts to breach the Lower Snake River dams.  KEY QUOTE:   "We are concerned that the Biden administration failed to consider the impact of dam breaches on electric reliability when conducting its secret negotiations. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) should have been involved in these discussions in order to ensure misguided policies do not further undermine grid reliability. The Lower Snake River dams provide over 3,000 MW of affordable nameplate capacity that communities in the western United States depend on for reliability and resource adequacy.   "As noted in responses to our letter dated December 29, 2023, Chairman Phillips stated that 'we cannot, as a country, afford to retire resources on which we depend for reliability without ensuring that they are replaced with sufficient resources to meet resource adequacy and other system needs.' This includes the affordable, dispatchable, and renewable hydroelectric dams in the Columbia River Basin that millions of Americans depend on for reliability. In fact, during the most recent cold snap in the Pacific Northwest, federal dams, including the Lower Snake River dams, 'were vital to keeping the lights on' by producing over 1,000 MW of electricity each day to help BPA and the region meet high demands. BACKGROUND:   Dams along the Columbia Snake River system provide more than one third of all the hydropower capacity in the United States. In Washinton State, hydropower accounts for 70 percent of the electricity consumed.  The dams helped transform Eastern Washington into one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world—over $3 billion worth of cargo is shipped on the Columbia Snake River System every year, including 40 percent of America’s wheat.  Despite the importance of the dams, the Biden administration has been leading secret negotiations with other federal agencies in an attempt to breach the Lower Snake River dams. In the process, they’ve ignored the concerns of people who live in the Pacific Northwest and who would be significantly impacted if these dams were breached.  Members asked Chair Phillips to answer the following questions by March 6, 2024: Was FERC consulted as part of the Columbia River Basin negotiations to examine or explain the impacts on electric reliability relating to the commitments contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)? Was FERC included in these negotiations in any capacity to assess the impacts to affordability, reliability, and resource adequacy in the western United States? Please describe any communications you have had with BPA, CEQ, the White House, or any other federal entity during the Columbia River Basin negotiation process.  Will FERC coordinate with other Federal entities, like BPA and the administration, to examine the reliability impacts of the potential loss of dispatchable, clean, renewable hydroelectric power in the west as the MOU is implemented?  How does FERC consider the negative impacts of policies that displace reliable generation when fulfilling its mission to safeguard reliability? How is FERC assessing the cumulative effects of state policies that impact wholesale system spanning multiple states and entire interconnections?  On January 30, 2024, Mr. Jeremiah Baumann from the Department of Energy (DOE) testified before the Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security hearing. During the hearing, Mr. Baumann was asked about replacing the electric generation that would be lost if the four Lower Snake River dams were breached. Mr. Baumann said “[Y]ou can use sort of existing off-the-shelf emissions-free technology like wind, solar, and current batteries for a big chunk, but then for the last bit, you really do need other technologies like hydrogen, something that is going to be that 24./7 dispatchable piece, and right now those are very expensive and hard to develop.” Do you agree with DOE’s assessment of the need for dispatchable replacement capacity if the Lower Snake River dams are breached? What cost-effective and commercially available technology would be the most efficient dispatchable replacement for the Lower Snake River dams?  The Columbia River Basin MOU describes several replacement energy resources for the hydroelectricity from the dams, including distributed energy resources, efficiency measures, demand response, and other generation, storage, and transmission resources. Do you consider those adequate replacements for the over 3,000 MW of dispatchable nameplate capacity from the Lower Snake River dams? What quantity, in MW, of distributed energy resources, efficiency measures, demand response, and other generation is needed to replace the capacity, energy, and essential reliability services provided by the dams? Can these replacement resources provide comparable quality and quantity of these services? What effect will this have on energy prices and capacity contracts for consumers in the region? Would you consider the total costs for replacement resources just and reasonable when they are higher than they otherwise would be with these dispatchable resources still in service? How will the loss of the dams and the characteristics of the proposed replacement resources affect system capabilities needs, especially during peak periods? CLICK HERE to read the full letter. 



Feb 16, 2024
Press Release

E&C Republicans Raise Concerns with Proposed Rule that Weakens HHS Refugee Resettlement Vetting Process

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA), on behalf of the Health and Oversight Subcommittee Republicans, wrote to Biden administration officials who oversee the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement. In the letter, the Chairs raise concerns about a recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would weaken the vetting process for children in the program as well as ORR’s poor stewardship of taxpayer dollars and potential conflicts of interested related to the ORR Director.   In addition, the Chairs note that HHS has failed to respond to questions for the record from a hearing in July of 2023, despite several extensions given to the original deadline.  KEY EXCERPTS : “ORR’s inclusion of this provision [Sec. 410.1202 (c)] is particularly surprising considering continual bi-partisan Congressional interest in bolstering the sponsor vetting process. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra was repeatedly questioned on the thoroughness of the sponsor vetting process at a Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing last summer. The Secretary repeatedly assured the Subcommittee that ORR was conducting a ‘very thorough vetting process for any sponsor to make sure we understand who is asking for the opportunity to care for these children.' Making background checks and fingerprinting optional is inconsistent with the Secretary’s testimony to Congress .”  […]  “Numerous media and government oversight reports have clearly shown that the care provider facilities and sponsors do not always act in the best interest of the unaccompanied children. Many ORR influx care facility’s personnel have shown that they are frequently unqualified to care for vulnerable children. There have even been allegations of neglect and sexual misconduct by influx care facility staff with migrant children. Loosening vetting procedures for sponsors by eliminating background checks, fingerprints, and home visits, will put vulnerable unaccompanied children at a greater risk of being trafficked, exploited, or placed in unsafe settings.   “ Whistleblowers have reported to Congress how HHS endangered the lives of unaccompanied migrant children by not properly vetting sponsors and not tracking children after they left ORR custody. Many children have ended up working in unsafe environments, such as roofing and meatpacking plants, after they were placed with an ORR approved sponsor. Some unaccompanied children have even died from injuries sustained while working at these sites. The Committee has received new allegations that ORR knowingly attempted to place a child with a convicted sex offender who was previously convicted of sexually abusing another child in his custody.”  […]  “ORR’s neglect of the unaccompanied children comes at a time when the agency has received unprecedented levels of funding. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), ORR’s parent agency, has received $20 billion in the last two years—$8.9 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2022 and $10.9 billion in FY 2023—for refugee and entrant assistance, including more than $10 billion for the care of unaccompanied migrant children . ORR’s continued failure to care adequately for unaccompanied children in its custody, shows not only indifference to child welfare, but poor stewardship of taxpayer dollars.  “ The Committee is also disturbed to learn of potential conflicts of interest stemming from Director Dunn Marcos’ prior role as Senior Director for Resettlement, Asylum, and Integration Programming at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Recent reports indicate not only that the IRC has been the top beneficiary of refugee and entrant assistance discretionary grants since 2013, but also that the funding amounts allocated to the IRC in 2022 and 2023 have ballooned, with the organization receiving more than $235 million in spending in FY 2023 compared to $22 million in FY 2021—curiously, since Director Dunn Marcos took office.”  BACKGROUND : Section 410.1202 (c) of the Proposed Rule states, "As part of its suitability assessment, ORR may also require such components as an investigation of the living conditions in which the unaccompanied child would be placed and the standard of care the unaccompanied child would receive, [. . .] a home visit or home study […], background and criminal records checks, which may include a fingerprint based background check, on the potential sponsor and on adult residents of the potential sponsor’s household." Section 410.1210 (a)(3) does not require PRS for children with mental health needs, as the UC Program Foundational Rule now states “ORR may conduct PRS in additional cases involving unaccompanied children with mental health or other needs who could benefit from ongoing assistance from a community-based service provider,” based on available appropriations.  Unaccompanied children often undergo extreme physical and mental trauma in their perilous journey to the U.S. and are in need of regular mental health and wellness checks by appropriate providers.   Such services must be available for children manifesting obvious mental health symptoms.  Section 410.1210 (a)(4) states “ORR shall not delay the release of an unaccompanied child if PRS are not immediately available.”   By including this provision, ORR absolves itself of all responsibility that an unaccompanied migrant child will be properly taken care of after release in situations where the unaccompanied child clearly needs PRS.  Section 410.1210 (e) provides that ongoing check-ins and in-home visits will be made “in consultation with the released unaccompanied child and sponsor,” and may be done “either in person or virtually. ”  CLICK HERE to read the full letter. 



Feb 16, 2024
Blog

E&C Republicans Lead Bipartisan Passage of Bill to Reverse President Biden’s LNG Export Ban

This week, the House passed H.R. 7176, the Unlocking our Domestic LNG Potential Act, to reverse President Biden’s U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG) export ban. Unleashing American LNG will lower energy costs, advance U.S. energy security and the security of our allies, as well as reduce emissions. The bill, led by Energy and Commerce Member Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX), passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 224 to 200. As Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said , “President Biden’s decision to impose a ban on issuing permits to export natural gas is just the latest example of his administration caving to environmental activists and putting politics over the American people. This ban will harm the American economy, jeopardize good paying jobs, weaken our energy security, and threaten the security of our friends and allies.” Rep. Pfluger added , “President Biden’s ban on LNG is radically short-sighted when it comes to the environmental risk. Clean natural gas is a major reason why the U.S. has reduced emissions more than any other nation.” Don't miss this from Fox Business:



Feb 16, 2024
Press Release

E&C Republicans Request Former NIH Official Participate in Transcribed Interview Regarding Oversight of Risky Virus Research Experiments

Washington, D.C. — As part of its ongoing investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the adequacy of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) oversight of risky virus research, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) have requested former senior NIH official Dr. Teresa Hauguel participate in a transcribed interview before the Committee.  KEY EXCERPT :  “As a former program officer at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), documents indicate that you participated in internal institute committee meetings to determine whether certain virus research experiments presented risks that required additional scrutiny and possible actions to mitigate the risks such as redesign of the experiment. You have been identified by a senior official at NIAID as a subject matter expert for reviewing risks in respiratory virus research projects. For these reasons, we believe you could be helpful to the committee’s examination of virus research oversight, and thus, we request that you appear for a transcribed interview to be held on the week of March 4, 2024.”  CLICK HERE to read the letter.



Feb 15, 2024
Press Release

Subcommittee Chair Latta Opening Remarks on Securing Communications Networks from Foreign Adversaries

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chair Bob Latta (R-OH) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s subcommittee legislative hearing on securing our communications networks from our adversaries, like China, and advancing American leadership.  “Every minute, China is attempting to infiltrate communication networks across the globe in its quest for global economic dominance. Whether it be unauthorized access to sensitive data, manipulating our networks or attempting to disrupt critical infrastructure, the Chinese Communist Party does not play by the rules.  “In an effort to combat this foreign influence, this Committee has worked on a bipartisan basis to secure our domestic communications networks from foreign threats.   “In 2020, we passed the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act to rip-and-replace Huawei and ZTE equipment from our networks. That law also created a list of covered equipment and services that pose an unacceptable risk to our national security.   “Last Congress, we passed the Secure Equipment Act to prohibit the FCC from authorizing equipment from entities on the covered list.”  NEW EFFORTS TO PROMOTE US INNOVATION   “Today, we are building on those efforts by discussing five different legislative proposals that will help promote U.S. innovation and ensure the U.S. continues to lead the world in combatting Chinese tech influence.  “The first bill we are considering is H.R. 2864, which would amend the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act to add equipment produced by the company DJI Technologies to the FCC’s covered list due to the threat that DJI Technologies pose to the national security of the United States.  “Next, we will consider H.R. 820, the Foreign Adversary Communications Transparency Act, which would require the FCC to annually publish a list of entities that hold a license granted by the FCC and are owned by China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, or Venezuela.  “Both of these bills are led by my colleague, Representative Stefanik, and I want to thank her for her work on these important issues.  “Next, we are considering H.R. 1513, the FUTURE Networks Act, introduced by my esteemed Ranking Member of this subcommittee. This bipartisan legislation would require the FCC to establish a 6G Task Force to develop a report on the standards development process and possible uses of sixth generation technology.   “The other two discussion drafts being considered today would require the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information to study whether certain routers, modems, and drones produced by companies with ties to our adversaries pose an unacceptable risk to our national security, as well as technologies that could increase the redundancy and resiliency of Taiwan’s communications networks.  “Taiwan’s independence continues to be threatened by the Chinese Communist Party, and staying connected is crucial for economic and military security.  “These bills highlight the new and evolving threat that our adversaries pose to our communications networks and show that we must remain vigilant and ready to act.   “I’m proud this committee continues its important bipartisan work to lead on solutions that protect Americans and safeguard our communications networks.” 



Feb 15, 2024
Hearings

Chair Rodgers Opening Statement on Securing Communications Networks from Foreign Adversaries

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee legislative hearing on securing our communications networks from our adversaries, like China, and advancing American leadership.  CHINA IS TARGETING OUR CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE “Over the past year, this Committee has held numerous hearings to discuss the many threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party to the U.S. “These range from supply chain vulnerabilities to espionage and attacks on our communications networks.” “China-based companies, like Huawei and ZTE, have emerged as top players in the global telecommunications industry. “These companies operate in an environment tightly intertwined with the Chinese government, raising questions about their independence and potential for exploitation by the CCP. “Relying on their technology comes with significant risk. “It could be used by the CCP to surveil Americans, steal people’s personal information, and even shut down entire networks. “Homes, schools, hospitals, our financial system, and the military are all in jeopardy as long as this equipment remains part of our communications infrastructure. “That’s why in 2020, Congress enacted the Secured and Trusted Communications Networks Act to remove Huawei and ZTE entirely from our networks. “That work is ongoing, and it continues to be a top priority of this committee to make sure carriers have the resources they need to remove this equipment from U.S. networks and replace it with trusted equipment. “But that’s just the first step. “China's aggressive pursuit of technological advancement is a direct threat to American national security and economic leadership. “The Chinese government's strategic initiatives, such as the Made in China 2025 plan and the Belt and Road initiative, aim to achieve dominance in technologies that are critical to winning the future. “That includes technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and advanced manufacturing. “At the recent World Radiocommunication Conference, we witnessed this firsthand, as China and Huawei aggressively worked to undermine U.S. leadership on spectrum policy and give Huawei a global competitive advantage. “Additional actions taken by China, including intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, and state-sponsored industrial espionage, further undermine free markets, fair competition, and American innovation and entrepreneurship.” CHINA’S CYBER THREAT “Perhaps most alarming is the evolving landscape of cyber threats posed by China. “Last month, we held a hearing on cybersecurity, where we examined how foreign actors are increasingly exploiting widespread vulnerabilities in our critical infrastructure. “State-sponsored cyberattacks targeting U.S. government agencies, businesses, hospitals, and our military have become increasingly sophisticated, frequent, and pose significant economic and national security risks. ”Look no further than the 2017 Equifax data breach, which exposed the personal information of hundreds of millions of Americans or the 2020 SolarWinds incident, which gave China-based hackers access to sensitive information across the federal government. “These vulnerabilities must be addressed.” SOLUTIONS TO COUNTER THE CCP “Today, we will examine a number of legislative solutions to counter the influence of China and promote U.S. leadership in technology. “This hearing will be an opportunity to discuss adding certain CCP-controlled technologies and equipment to the Federal Communications Commission’s Covered List and how to increase transparency for Americans about which companies operating in the U.S. are owned by China. “We will also look at ways we can strengthen communications with our allies overseas and establishing a 6G taskforce to advance American innovation and win the future.” “The United States faces exceedingly complex threats from China and other adversaries that require a comprehensive and coordinated response. “This response must include efforts to secure critical supply chains, protect our allies, strengthen cybersecurity defenses, and engage in strategic competition with China in key technologies. “Failure to address these challenges effectively not only jeopardizes U.S. economic competitiveness and national security but also risks ceding ground to an adversarial power intent on reshaping the global order in its favor. “I’d like to thank our witnesses for being here today and I look forward to this important and timely discussion.” 



Feb 15, 2024
Press Release

Subcommittee Chair Carter Opening Remarks on Harmful EPA NAAQS Standards

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee Chair Buddy Carter (R-GA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s subcommittee legislative hearing on the EPA’s harmful new particulate matter standards that will crush American manufacturing and jobs. CURRENT NAAQS STANDARDS  “The Clean Air Act requires the promulgation of NAAQS for six criteria air pollutants: sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and lead.  “Under the current structure of the statute, EPA is required to review periodically the scientific data upon which the NAAQS are based and revise the standards if necessary to maintain an adequate margin of safety that is requisite to protect public health.  “Today, we will hear testimony and receive feedback on the Air Quality Standards Implementation Act of 2024.  “This discussion draft would update how the standards are reviewed and implemented and provide more clarity in the law to enable better control of harmful emissions like wildfire smoke.  “This hearing is of the utmost importance to many districts across the country.  “Southeast Georgia—where I’m from—is poised for a manufacturing boom. Our favorable climate, access to ports, low electricity rates, and welcoming business environment have made it one of the best places to invest in the country.  “We are growing quickly.  “Billion-dollar manufacturing investments have been made and further opportunities are quickly presenting themselves.  “In addition to these developing areas, we have legacy industries that are the backbone of our economy.  “Georgia is the number one forestry state in the country and according to the Georgia Forestry Commission, the industry provided over $1.5 billion in economic output to my district in 2022.  “These sectors are looking to grow, and while they grow, they are seeking to do it with the highest environmental standards in the world.”  DEVASTATING IMPACTS ON AMERICAN COMMUNITIES  “However, actions like the Biden administration’s recently finalized annual PM2.5 standard threaten to slam the brakes on these investments and economic drivers.  “One of the main concerns is that, because of the success of the Clean Air Act already, new standards are getting closer and closer to background levels.  “Because of this, even areas that meet the standard will not have enough room or 'headspace’ to allow for permitting new or expanded construction.  “This recent action by the EPA is counterproductive to our goals of onshoring supply chains and boosting American manufacturing.  “According to a report conducted by Oxford Economics, the EPA’s recently finalized PM2.5 standards will threaten up to $197.4 billion of economic activity and put nearly one million jobs at risk.  “We’ll hear today about analysis of permitting from three dozen different industries, including pharmaceuticals, paper and wood, and electric vehicle batteries. The analysis shows that the recently finalized PM2.5 standard would result in the failure to permit nearly 80 percent of those projects.  “And these are industries that already control emissions to the highest standards. We learned in a hearing last fall that most of the PM2.5 emission do not even come from these sources.”  IMPROVING THE RULEMAKING PROCESS  “After 40 years, something is not working with our system to set and enforce standards. The Clean Air Act was not established to kill American productivity and prosperity; it was established to enhance our success.  “We must make practical reforms to ensure the NAAQS process works in a way that makes sense. It should reflect the experience of 40 years of implementing air quality standards.  “The discussion draft reflects some of this experience. Among other measures, it would provide more time to develop new standards while providing time for EPA and the states to focus on implementing standards.  “It ensures that State air pollution agencies responsible for, and expert in, implementing the standards have a larger voice in the process.  “It would make clear that wildfire and other exceptional events can be reliably excluded from compliance data. And it would make it easier to reduce wildfires and lower harmful pollution levels.  “I invite constructive comments from the panelists both on PM2.5 implementation challenges, what those indicate about the current process, and how reforms may address those challenges.  “I should note that we sought to have EPA testify today, but EPA declined to attend at this point. We will continue to work with the agency, including examining the comments it supplied on our bill.  “We will also continue to work to get this right. America has the best environmental standards and wonderful economic potential. We will work to make sure this remains the case going forward.”