Next week confirmation hearings will be the headliner on Capitol Hill. The marquee hearings promise lots of star power with Great Lakes Sen. Hillary Clinton and the future leaders of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Council on Environmental Quality up on stage, but we want to ensure that the Great Lakes will be a special feature during the questioning.
Tuesday will open with Sen. Clinton’s nomination to the post of Secretary of State. This is an ideal opportunity for Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), Robert Casey (D-PA) or George Voinovich (R-OH) to ask New York’s Senator about the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
The next day, Lisa Jackson will be considered to manage the EPA and Nancy Sutley the CEQ. Both of these nominees should have to address issues such as ballast water regulations, coordination between local, state and federal agencies as well as how they plan to implement President-Elect Obama’s campaign pledge to invest in and fully restore the Great Lakes during his tenure. Both Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar (D) and Ohio’s Voinovich (R) sit on the stage for both these nominations at the Environment and Public Works Committee. This is the perfect opportunity for our US Senators to use their questions to impress upon the nominees the import of the Great Lakes restoration.