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VIDEO: Capito: Maximize IIJA’s Impact with One Federal Decision, Protect State Flexibility as Law Intends

Click here to watch Ranking Member Capito’s questions.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, questioned witnesses about the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) implementation.

During the hearing, Ranking Member Capito discussed the importance of a key project streamlining provision, One Federal Decision, and reiterated her strong opposition to federal agencies imposing greenhouse gas emissions standards on states, which was not included in the IIJA. Capito also highlighted GreenPower Motor Company opening a facility in South Charleston, W.Va. where it will produce electric school buses.

HIGHLIGHTS:

IMPORTANCE OF ‘ONE FEDERAL DECISION’ IMPLEMENTATION: “One Federal Decision…I think in the long run, this is going to be the biggest issue. We received from the Department of Transportation responses to questions when we were asking on implementations and it appears as though the administration has really slowing making these provisions for One Federal Decision. What would you suggest to improve that? Do you feel like communications good? Do you feel like the department is in on this and wanting to do it? I mean, where are we on this? Because we're looking at trying to move that concept to other different permitting types of activities. And if it's not working at DOT, it's not going to work anywhere else.”

ON GREENPOWER PRODUCING ELECTRIC SCHOOL BUSES IN WEST VIRGINIA: “I would like to say in terms of electric school buses that West Virginia has attracted GreenPower, who is going to be, and is in the process of manufacturing green school buses in South Charleston. So we're very excited about that. We're also excited about some of the grants that we've already received where some of our more rural areas will be able to access electric school buses. We have terrain issues that are difficult and length of time of certain routes, unfortunately, which presents challenges. But you know, we're at the front end here. And so we're excited about that and really happy to be a player and have West Virginians working on this.”

WRONG TO IMPOSE UNLAWFUL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS STANDARDS ON STATES: “I mentioned in my opening statement the frustration that I have that you know, we talk about where we compromised, and how we put into this bill things that we wanted, like One Federal Decision and other things, but we also left things out on the cutting room floor so to speak that we didn't put in here.

“And one of these is the greenhouse gas performance measure. There was an effort to incorporate that into the bill and a requirement for our states to set certain stages, but we did not include that in there. However, the Federal Highway Administration is coming back for a proposed rulemaking to establish a greenhouse gas emissions performance measure requiring states to set declining targets…we all know that the rules and regulations is really where the rubber meets the road so to speak, and there's still enough leeway in there to be able to have the administration put their foot on the pedal one way or the other. And that's what we see…happening.”

Click HERE to watch Ranking Member Capito’s questions.

Click HERE to watch Ranking Member Capito’s opening statement.

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