Former EPA officials to testify before key House panel Wednesday

Mar 9, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tomorrow, the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations panel will hear from some of the nation’s top environmental experts – including three former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials – on the urgent need to restore the mission of the EPA in wake of the Trump administration’s four-years-long push to weaken the agency. 

The nation’s environmental watchdog faced severe budget cuts and staffing shortages under the previous administration, while more than 170 environmental-protection regulations were weakened or eliminated altogether.

On Wednesday, the panel – chaired by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) – will hear from some of the agency’s top former officials about what needs to be done to get the agency back on track so it can effectively tackle the climate crisis and take on a wide range ofother urgent challenges facing the nation’s environment and public health. 

“After being undermined for the past four years, today’s EPA faces an uphill battle to address the climate crisis, environmental injustice, and other major environmental challenges facing our country and the planet,” DeGette and the full committee’s chairman, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), said in a joint statement announcing the hearing. “Thankfully, the Biden Administration is committed to building a strong EPA and empowering the agency to engage on these urgent issues. We’re looking forward to hearing from former EPA leaders about what steps must be taken to undo the damage done to the agency over the last four years and to re-empower it to fulfill its mission.” 

The hearing will begin at 10:30 a.m. ET and can be viewed LIVE online at the following link:

Following is the list of witnesses that will be testifying: 

Hon. Christine Todd Whitman
Administrator (2001-2003)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Hon. Carol Browner
Administrator (1993-2001)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming
Former Chief of Staff and Region 4 Regional Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Wendy Cleland-Hamnett
Former Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

John Deskins, Ph.D.
Bureau of Business & Economic Research
West Virginia University