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November 30, 2023

Ranking Member Ross Opening Statement for Hearing on FAR Council Proposed GHG Disclosure Rule

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology's Subcommittees on Investigations & Oversight and Environment are holding a joint hearing titled, "Missing the Target: CEQ’s Meritless Selection of SBTi."

Ranking Member Deborah Ross (D-NC) of the Subcommittee on Environment made the following statement:

Good afternoon, Chairman Obernolte, Chairman Miller, and Ranking Member Foushee, and good afternoon to you Mr. Mayock. Thank you very much for appearing before the committee today.

Under the Biden administration, the Council on Environmental Quality has been a leading force on instituting robust environmental protections and a comprehensive, whole-of-government response to climate change. CEQ oversees a broad portfolio which includes improving the federal environmental review process, assisting agencies in accounting for greenhouse gas emissions, bolstering agency resilience to climate impacts, and elevating environmental justice as a priority throughout the federal government. I applaud CEQ for its efforts over the last three years to support and promote a healthy environment for all our communities, including mine in North Carolina.

Our witness today, Mr. Andrew Mayock, is a leader at CEQ working towards the implementation of this agenda. In his role as Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, he is charged with enhancing the sustainability of the federal government by assisting agencies in anticipating and adapting to the effects of climate change on their programs and operations. In pursuit of this goal, he has coordinated agency strategies to assess climate vulnerabilities and integrate risk mitigation into infrastructure and supply chain planning. His appearance today should provide us with an excellent opportunity to engage in a serious discussion of these critical issues, a discussion worthy of the Science Committee.     

And yet, that is not the hearing that we are having today. Instead, we have asked a senior CEQ official to testify about a proposed rule that CEQ is not even leading. Additionally, the committee held a hearing on the same proposed rule less than two months ago, and nothing has changed since then. I am confused about why CEQ is being quizzed about a rule that it did not propose and is not in charge of finalizing. 

I fear that today’s hearing will be a missed opportunity. As the Ranking Member of the Environment Subcommittee, I want to discuss environmental science and environmental policy. A senior administration official, such as Mr. Mayock, can answer questions related to the vital work that his team is doing to improve federal sustainability and climate resilience. Those questions would provide far greater benefit to the committee than an argument about a rulemaking process that his office is not promulgating. I intend to engage Mr. Mayock in the kind of valuable discussion that is worth our time. I urge my colleagues to do the same.

I yield back.

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