Ranking Member Bush’s Opening Statement at Subcommittee Hearing Examining EPA’s Rulemaking on Electric Vehicles
Washington, D.C. (May 17, 2023)—Below is Ranking Member Cori Bush’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery, at today’s Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs examining the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) efforts to reduce vehicle emissions and combat climate change.
Ranking Member Cori Bush
Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs
Hearing on “Driving Bad Policy: Examining EPA’s Tailpipe Emissions Rules and the Realities of a Rapid Electric Vehicle Transition”
May 17, 2023
St. Louis and I rise to convene today’s hearing to support the Biden Administration’s critical actions to combat climate change and improve the health of our communities. The Administration has been advancing ambitious, yet attainable standards to reduce polluting emissions from vehicles and improve public health.
We have only a brief window to act to prevent the most severe consequences of climate change. Reducing emissions from the transportation sector is critical as transportation is now the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
Vehicle emissions are also major contributors to unhealthy air quality. In fact, according to the American Lung Association: “As of 2020, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles represent only six percent of the on-road fleet, but generate a staggering 59 percent of ozone- and particle-forming emissions and 55 percent of the particle pollution.”
The negative effects of polluted air are disproportionately severe on Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. Again, according to the American Lung Association, “a person of color is 61 percent more likely than a white person to live in a community impacted by unhealthy air.” We must take steps to reverse these troubling trends and clean up our communities through strong EPA regulations and enforcement.
Under the leadership of President Biden, the EPA has proposed two rules that would keep billions of tons of pollutants from entering our atmosphere from a wide range of vehicles.
According to the EPA, adoption of the emissions standards proposed just for heavy-duty trucks would, among other benefits, produce, “up to $29 billion in benefits from fewer premature death and serious health effects such as hospital admissions due to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses.”
Today, however, as you hear fearmongering about these proposed rules, consider both Republicans’ unwillingness to acknowledge and combat climate change and protect human health, and consider the messenger they have chosen.
Once again, the Majority has invited a witness whose values are far outside the mainstream of this nation—and inconsistent with our Constitution. Mr. Steven Bradbury was an architect of the torture memos drafted under President George W. Bush to allow for the inhumane treatment of detainees abroad.
According to the “Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program,” “In May 2005, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Steven Bradbury signed three memoranda that relied on information provided by the CIA that was inconsistent with CIA’s operational records.” One of the memoranda examined, “U.S. obligations under the Convention Against Torture.”
According to the Senate Select Committee report, “The memoranda approved 13 techniques,” including, “nudity,” “walling,” and “the waterboard.” These torture techniques did not make Americans safer, just as rejecting EPA rules intended to protect our environment will not make Americans healthier.
Access to clean air is a human right. With their witness selection today, however, my Republican colleagues have once again shown they are unable or unwilling to hold a serious discussion on climate change and how we can work together to build a healthier future for St. Louis and our nation.