Environment, Manufacturing, & Critical Materials

Subcommittee

Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, & Critical Materials

All matters related to soil, air, noise and water contamination; emergency environmental response, both physical and cybersecurity. In particular, the subcommittee has jurisdiction over The Nuclear Waste Policy Act, The Clean Air Act, The Safe Drinking Water Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act – including Superfund and the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, The Solid Waste Disposal Act, The Toxic Substance Control Act and The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program. Under the Clean Air Act, this subcommittee deals with National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for criteria pollutants; National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) Standards; New Source Performance Standards (NSPS); Mobile Source Standards for vehicles, aircraft, fuels and fuel additives, including the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. The subcommittee focuses on the regulation of solid, hazardous, and nuclear wastes, including mining, nuclear, oil, gas, and coal combustion waste.

Subcommittees News & Announcements


Feb 27, 2024
Press Release

Chairs Rodgers and Carter Press EPA For Answers Over Hiring Nearly 2,000 New Agency Employees

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee Chair Buddy Carter (R-GA) wrote to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan regarding the agency’s recent hiring blitz. The radical and partisan Inflation Reduction Act gave the EPA an unprecedented funding boost, which has led to the hiring of nearly 2,000 new agency employees.   As first reported by Breitbart:   “House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) have requested detailed information about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plans to carry out President Joe Biden’s climate change agenda.” […] “Despite their names, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as well as the Inflation Reduction Act both contain massive carveouts to boost the green industry.   “In a similar fashion, the $700 billion Inflation Reduction Act would spend hundreds of billions of dollars on climate change.”   The Chairs are seeking answers to the following questions:  The total number of employees working at the EPA’s headquarters. Please include a breakdown of the total number of full time equivalent (FTE) employees at each level of the General Schedule (GS) pay scale, as well as any contractors paid with EPA funds, and how these numbers have changed since January 2021.  The total number of employees working in each EPA regional office. Please include a breakdown of the total number of FTE employees at each level of the GS pay scale, as well as any contractors paid with EPA funds, and how these numbers have changed since January 2021.  The total number of FTE employees, as well as any contractors paid with EPA funds, employed within each of the following: Office of the Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights, Office of General Counsel, Office of Inspector General, Office of International and Tribal Affairs, Office of Land and Emergency Management, Office of Mission Support, Office of Research and Development, and the Office of Water. Please include a breakdown of the total number of employees at each level of the GS pay scale in the various offices, as well as any contractors paid with EPA funds, and how these numbers have changed since January 2021.  Regarding the Office of Research and Development, please provide the total number of employees within each of the following: Office of Science Advisor, Policy, and Engagement, Center for Environmental Measurement and Modeling, Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure, Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment, and the Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response, as well as any contractors paid with EPA funds, and how these numbers have changed since January 2021.  The total number of employees in each Program Office Laboratory and Regional Laboratory, as well as any contractors paid with EPA funds, and how these numbers have changed since January 2021.  A breakdown of Offices where the 1,977 new employees are employed, the level of the GS pay scale at which they were hired, and whether any of them are contractors paid with EPA funds.  The number of employees that left the agency in 2023, including a breakdown of the GS scale for departing employees, as well as any contractors paid with EPA funds.    The total number of contractors working for the EPA and how these numbers have changed since January 2021.  The total number of EPA special consultants who are compensated under 42 USC 209(f).  CLICK HERE to read the full article from Breitbart. CLICK HERE to read the full letter. 



Feb 15, 2024
Press Release

Subcommittee Chair Carter Opening Remarks on Harmful EPA NAAQS Standards

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee Chair Buddy Carter (R-GA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s subcommittee legislative hearing on the EPA’s harmful new particulate matter standards that will crush American manufacturing and jobs. CURRENT NAAQS STANDARDS  “The Clean Air Act requires the promulgation of NAAQS for six criteria air pollutants: sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and lead.  “Under the current structure of the statute, EPA is required to review periodically the scientific data upon which the NAAQS are based and revise the standards if necessary to maintain an adequate margin of safety that is requisite to protect public health.  “Today, we will hear testimony and receive feedback on the Air Quality Standards Implementation Act of 2024.  “This discussion draft would update how the standards are reviewed and implemented and provide more clarity in the law to enable better control of harmful emissions like wildfire smoke.  “This hearing is of the utmost importance to many districts across the country.  “Southeast Georgia—where I’m from—is poised for a manufacturing boom. Our favorable climate, access to ports, low electricity rates, and welcoming business environment have made it one of the best places to invest in the country.  “We are growing quickly.  “Billion-dollar manufacturing investments have been made and further opportunities are quickly presenting themselves.  “In addition to these developing areas, we have legacy industries that are the backbone of our economy.  “Georgia is the number one forestry state in the country and according to the Georgia Forestry Commission, the industry provided over $1.5 billion in economic output to my district in 2022.  “These sectors are looking to grow, and while they grow, they are seeking to do it with the highest environmental standards in the world.”  DEVASTATING IMPACTS ON AMERICAN COMMUNITIES  “However, actions like the Biden administration’s recently finalized annual PM2.5 standard threaten to slam the brakes on these investments and economic drivers.  “One of the main concerns is that, because of the success of the Clean Air Act already, new standards are getting closer and closer to background levels.  “Because of this, even areas that meet the standard will not have enough room or 'headspace’ to allow for permitting new or expanded construction.  “This recent action by the EPA is counterproductive to our goals of onshoring supply chains and boosting American manufacturing.  “According to a report conducted by Oxford Economics, the EPA’s recently finalized PM2.5 standards will threaten up to $197.4 billion of economic activity and put nearly one million jobs at risk.  “We’ll hear today about analysis of permitting from three dozen different industries, including pharmaceuticals, paper and wood, and electric vehicle batteries. The analysis shows that the recently finalized PM2.5 standard would result in the failure to permit nearly 80 percent of those projects.  “And these are industries that already control emissions to the highest standards. We learned in a hearing last fall that most of the PM2.5 emission do not even come from these sources.”  IMPROVING THE RULEMAKING PROCESS  “After 40 years, something is not working with our system to set and enforce standards. The Clean Air Act was not established to kill American productivity and prosperity; it was established to enhance our success.  “We must make practical reforms to ensure the NAAQS process works in a way that makes sense. It should reflect the experience of 40 years of implementing air quality standards.  “The discussion draft reflects some of this experience. Among other measures, it would provide more time to develop new standards while providing time for EPA and the states to focus on implementing standards.  “It ensures that State air pollution agencies responsible for, and expert in, implementing the standards have a larger voice in the process.  “It would make clear that wildfire and other exceptional events can be reliably excluded from compliance data. And it would make it easier to reduce wildfires and lower harmful pollution levels.  “I invite constructive comments from the panelists both on PM2.5 implementation challenges, what those indicate about the current process, and how reforms may address those challenges.  “I should note that we sought to have EPA testify today, but EPA declined to attend at this point. We will continue to work with the agency, including examining the comments it supplied on our bill.  “We will also continue to work to get this right. America has the best environmental standards and wonderful economic potential. We will work to make sure this remains the case going forward.”



Feb 15, 2024
Press Release

Chair Rodgers Opening Remarks at Environment Subcommittee Hearing on Modernizing Air Quality Standards

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee legislative hearing on the EPA’s harmful new particulate matter standards that will crush American manufacturing and jobs.  “For decades, America has been the best place to do business, while also ensuring we have some of the highest environmental standards in the world.  “America has done more to lift people out of poverty and raise the standard of living than any other nation in the world.  “Unfortunately, that prosperity and opportunity is being threatened." BIDEN EPA WILL CRUSH THE AMERICAN ECONOMY   “Last week, the Biden administration’s EPA finalized a standard on fine particulate matter—or PM 2.5—a decision that will be devastating for American businesses, people’s livelihoods, and our economic leadership.   “This new rule goes well beyond the original congressional intent first laid out in the Clean Air Act, which stated goal was to promote ‘reasonable actions’ to limit or reduce emissions and pollution.  “The administration’s process to develop this latest rule was rushed, lacked transparency, and failed to incorporate feedback from stakeholders across the country who will be impacted the hardest.   “With EPA’s nearly 150 pending regulations, it’s just the latest example of President Biden’s extreme environmental agenda that is going to devastate our communities.   “As we will hear today, the EPA’s decision to finalize these unrealistic standards will result in far-reaching consequences for the economy.  “The harm would extend to nearly every sector of our economy, including manufacturing, power, agriculture, construction, and forestry, jeopardize hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. economic activity and millions of jobs, and make it nearly impossible to build new manufacturing facilities, making efforts to secure our supply chains and reduce our dependence on countries like China nearly impossible.”  ONGOING TRENDS   “By all measures, the nation’s air quality has improved dramatically since the Clean Air Act was enacted and the current standards are improving quality even more.  “The EPA itself has already concluded that the current standards are protective of public health and has reported that total emissions of criteria air pollutants have dropped 73 percent since 1980.  “The data is clear. U.S. air quality is the best in the world and only getting better.   “Despite this progress, the Biden EPA is taking steps to introduce these new standards that are completely divorced from reality to appease his radical base.”  NEEDED REFORMS   “Instead of more harmful regulations, what we need are reasonable solutions that appropriately balance protecting our environment with ensuring America continues to maintain its economic leadership.   “That’s the approach we’ve taken for decades, and it’s worked.  “As our air gets cleaner, the Clean Air Act provisions that were established decades ago, when air quality was much worse, should be revisited.   “We learned in our September hearing that as new PM standards get closer to natural background levels—the air pollution levels that occur naturally—there’s less room for traditional industrial sources to further cut their emissions.  “But the EPA’s new, stricter standards completely ignore this fact.  “Under those standards, permitting new economic development will be nearly impossible.    “This will severely hinder new manufacturing projects, including pulp and paper, steel, cement, the automotive sector, advanced batteries, and even pharmaceuticals.   “States will be forced to limit new economic opportunity for the communities that need them most.   “Additionally, limits in the current law prevent states from addressing other, naturally occurring sources of pollution, such as wildfires.”  MODERNIZING THE CLEAN AIR ACT  “We must update air quality standards responsibly in a way that reflects reality.  “The discussion draft under consideration today will ensure that measures to implement health protections are realistic and balanced in their approach.   “It will enable more orderly and reasonable requirements that states can actually implement.    “It will ensure regulators follow the law when considering how to promote healthy communities, taking into account things like adverse public health, welfare, social, economic, and energy impacts.    “It will also make it easier to reduce wildfire risk—something that is especially important for my home state of Washington.”  “Protecting our environment and our economy are not mutually exclusive goals, but in order to achieve both we must rethink how we address pollution levels that are outside our control.  “This discussion draft is a good starting point to maintain America’s economic leadership and ensure public health.   “I look forward to today’s discussion and I yield back.”


Subcommittee Members

(21)

Chairman Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials

Buddy Carter

R

Georgia – District 1

Vice Chair Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials

John Joyce

R

Pennsylvania – District 13

Ranking Member Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials

Paul Tonko

D

New York – District 20

Gary Palmer

R

Alabama – District 6

Dan Crenshaw

R

Texas – District 2

Randy Weber

R

Texas – District 14

Rick Allen

R

Georgia – District 12

Troy Balderson

R

Ohio – District 12

Russ Fulcher

R

Idaho – District 1

August Pfluger

R

Texas – District 11

Mariannette Miller-Meeks

R

Iowa – District 1

Jay Obernolte

R

California – District 23

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

R

Washington – District 5

Diana DeGette

D

Colorado – District 1

Jan Schakowsky

D

Illinois – District 9

John Sarbanes

D

Maryland – District 3

Yvette Clarke

D

New York – District 9

Raul Ruiz

D

California – District 25

Scott Peters

D

California – District 50

Nanette Diaz Barragán

D

California – District 44

Frank Pallone

D

New Jersey – District 6

Recent Letters


Feb 27, 2024
Press Release

Chairs Rodgers and Carter Press EPA For Answers Over Hiring Nearly 2,000 New Agency Employees

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee Chair Buddy Carter (R-GA) wrote to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan regarding the agency’s recent hiring blitz. The radical and partisan Inflation Reduction Act gave the EPA an unprecedented funding boost, which has led to the hiring of nearly 2,000 new agency employees.   As first reported by Breitbart:   “House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) have requested detailed information about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plans to carry out President Joe Biden’s climate change agenda.” […] “Despite their names, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as well as the Inflation Reduction Act both contain massive carveouts to boost the green industry.   “In a similar fashion, the $700 billion Inflation Reduction Act would spend hundreds of billions of dollars on climate change.”   The Chairs are seeking answers to the following questions:  The total number of employees working at the EPA’s headquarters. Please include a breakdown of the total number of full time equivalent (FTE) employees at each level of the General Schedule (GS) pay scale, as well as any contractors paid with EPA funds, and how these numbers have changed since January 2021.  The total number of employees working in each EPA regional office. Please include a breakdown of the total number of FTE employees at each level of the GS pay scale, as well as any contractors paid with EPA funds, and how these numbers have changed since January 2021.  The total number of FTE employees, as well as any contractors paid with EPA funds, employed within each of the following: Office of the Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights, Office of General Counsel, Office of Inspector General, Office of International and Tribal Affairs, Office of Land and Emergency Management, Office of Mission Support, Office of Research and Development, and the Office of Water. Please include a breakdown of the total number of employees at each level of the GS pay scale in the various offices, as well as any contractors paid with EPA funds, and how these numbers have changed since January 2021.  Regarding the Office of Research and Development, please provide the total number of employees within each of the following: Office of Science Advisor, Policy, and Engagement, Center for Environmental Measurement and Modeling, Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure, Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment, and the Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response, as well as any contractors paid with EPA funds, and how these numbers have changed since January 2021.  The total number of employees in each Program Office Laboratory and Regional Laboratory, as well as any contractors paid with EPA funds, and how these numbers have changed since January 2021.  A breakdown of Offices where the 1,977 new employees are employed, the level of the GS pay scale at which they were hired, and whether any of them are contractors paid with EPA funds.  The number of employees that left the agency in 2023, including a breakdown of the GS scale for departing employees, as well as any contractors paid with EPA funds.    The total number of contractors working for the EPA and how these numbers have changed since January 2021.  The total number of EPA special consultants who are compensated under 42 USC 209(f).  CLICK HERE to read the full article from Breitbart. CLICK HERE to read the full letter. 



Jan 29, 2024
Press Release

Chairs of Energy and Commerce, Science, and Natural Resources Committees Open Investigation into Chinese Influence in American Energy and Environmental Policy

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK), and House Natural Resources Committee Chair Bruce Westerman (R-AR) sent a letter to Energy Foundation China (EFC) President Zi Chou, requesting documents related to grants and financial resources provided to American organizations. The request comes after reports that EFC is funneling money to support US-based climate initiatives.  KEY LETTER EXCERPT :  “ China could greatly improve its economic and geopolitical position should renewable energy resource use and electrification increase in the United States . China dominates global renewable energy product supply chains, such as those for batteries, solar panels, and electrolyzers. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence also observed, 'China is central to global supply chains in a range of technology sectors, including semiconductors, critical minerals, batteries, solar panels, and pharmaceuticals.' It concluded, 'China’s dominance in these markets could pose a significant risk to U.S. and Western manufacturing and consumer sectors if the Government of China was able to adeptly leverage its dominance for political or economic gain.’ China has already attempted to influence United States policy and opinion regarding China through covert influence and exploit perceived societal divisions. As such, we are alarmed by reports of China-affiliated organizations attempting to influence United States energy policy. ”  BACKGROUND :  EFC is a Beijing-headquartered organization with a stated mission of furthering China’s sustainable energy development and employs staff with significant ties to the Chinese Government.  EFC’s President and CEO previously served as Deputy Director General of China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, under the Chinese government’s National Development and Reform Commission.  EFC’s Environmental Management Program director, Mr. Liu Xin, previously served as Deputy Director of the Regional Air Quality Management Division of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.  Prior to 2019, the organization operated jointly with the United States Energy Foundation.  EFC has awarded substantial funding to other organizations seeking to shape United States energy policy.  According to tax records, in 2021, EFC provided $195,000 to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) “to support education, analysis, and outreach to build a clean energy future.”  In 2021, EFC also gave the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) $820,000 to, among other things, “support education and analysis to phase out coal.”  The RMI has produced a study that it and other advocates for electrification have cited in pushing to eliminate the use of gas stoves.  The Department of Energy cited this study in one of its recent energy efficiency proposed rulemakings, and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm also posted it to her account on X, formerly known as Twitter, stating that Americans would have greater access to electric and induction cooktops.   CLICK HERE to read the full letter. 



Chairs Rodgers and Johnson Urge EPA to Stop Targeting American Manufacturers with its Repeated Regulatory Overreach

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee Chair Bill Johnson (R-OH) sent the following letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan demanding that the agency go back to the drawing board on its proposed risk management regulations given the detrimental impact the current proposal would have on American manufacturing and jobs.   BACKGROUND:   On August 31, 2022, the EPA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register entitled “Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs Under the Clean Air Act; Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention” or “RMP Proposal.”  This proposed RMP mandate would require manufacturers to publicly disclose information on vulnerabilities and extremely hazardous substances, which could be exploited to attack the facility or undermine the ability of the local community to respond to an attack.     The proposal also expands the EPA’s involvement in private companies’ facility operations and labor relations practices, something Congress has repeatedly rejected.  The Chairs expressed these and other serious concerns with the RMP proposal and the process by which it was developed, a process that lacked transparency and accountability to the public. They urged Administrator Regan to withdraw and repropose the proposed rule.  KEY QUOTE:    We write to you to express our concerns with the EPA proposal and the process used to develop it, and we urge you to withdraw and repropose this rule.   […]   As part of the rulemaking process, EPA should select only those requirements that make significant, cost-effective safety improvements, and not impractical and ineffective mandates, which are ideologically-driven.     Before finalizing any further changes to the RMP program, we urge the EPA to repropose the RMP rulemaking to align it with existing law and to solicit more information from the public, in part based on the issues identified in this letter.   Chairs Rodgers and Johnson asked Administrator Regan to provide answers to the following questions by February 1, 2024:  The RMP Proposal seems to suggest the mere occurrence of any accident is a justification for regulation. Is the EPA’s intention to promote plant designs that eliminate not just “human factors” but also those that are beyond any person’s control? Can such a facility containing Appendix A chemicals even operate if such assumptions are the purpose of the program’s rules?  RMP rules need to be “reasonable” and “practicable.” Yet, the RMP Proposal did not evaluate the costs of many of its provisions, including the proposed natural hazards and proposed gap analysis requirements for Process Hazard Analyses. In fact, the EPA’s Regulatory Impact Analysis states that the EPA “has no data or empirical estimates of the precise impact of each rule provision on the probability and magnitude of an accident, or on improved efficiency due to better information.” How does the EPA believe it is complying with the statutory directive on reasonableness when the EPA’s proposal does not demonstrate that the EPA understands what a reasonable universe might include? Is the EPA’s failure to conduct a fulsome cost-benefit analysis for the RMP Proposal a sign that the EPA sees RMP as a zero-risk program?  On October 5, 2023, the American Water Works Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies met with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIORA) to discuss this rulemaking, In a memorandum reiterating points made by those associations to OIRA, it states: “ EPA states the total cost of the rule has increased by $181.4 million (up from $75.8M to $257.2M) and the total cost for State/Local entities (which includes drinking water and wastewater utilities) is now $18.9M, but as proposed was less than $5M.“  On October 5, 2023, the American Water Works Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies met with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to discuss this rulemaking. If this is the case, the EPA — after its truncated public comment period closed — greatly expanded the scope of new regulatory requirements beyond the $75 million annual cost included in its initial proposed rule and without giving the public a basis for the updated cost analysis. Does the EPA now estimate the annual cost of the RMP Proposal to exceed $75 million? If yes, how much is the current estimate? What is the reason for the increase in the cost estimate? Will the EPA publicly notice and meaningfully reopen the comment period to allow interested parties a chance to examine and provide expert feedback on these changes?  Please detail all conversations and coordination the EPA has had with OSHA on the RMP Proposal and the intersection between RMP and OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) program, including any efforts to prevent duplication and overlap between RMP and PSM programs. What efforts were undertaken to identify and avoid redundancy or conflicts between provisions in the RMP Proposal and existing laws administered and enforced by the EPA or other Federal departments or agencies?  Regarding the protection of sensitive facility and materials information that could be used to destroy a facility and community or disrupt emergency responses to such an event: Please identify those provisions that the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice believe satisfy their decades-long-concern about inappropriate sharing of sensitive facility information. Please state whether any other law enforcement, defense, or intelligence agency raised concerns about the information disclosure provisions in the RMP Proposal. If the EPA believes currently operating facilities should use a STAA, why are the facilities in just a few sectors of the economy required to use a STAA?   Under the Emergency Planning and Community Response Act, local emergency planning committees (LEPCs) —are responsible for developing community response plans. The RMP Proposal appears to make RMP facilities responsible for the content of the community response plan. How does every RMP facility “ensure” the contents of a response plan if the facility is not a part or the majority on the LEPC? Is the RMP Proposal contravening local decision-making and resources, with this proposed requirement?  The “retail facility” definition for RMP and PSM has been in place for many years and is well understood by the industry. The RMP Proposal, though, proposes to amend the current RMP rule definition of “retail facility” and to add the requirement that “more than one-half of the annual income (in the previous calendar year) is obtained from direct sales.” Please state the justification to support claims of “uncertainty” that necessitate the proposed change.  CLICK HERE to read the full letter.