WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation announces the following full committee hearing on nominations.
Nominees to include*
Vice Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., to be Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Dr. Larry Robinson, to be the Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, U.S. Department of Commerce
Dr. Earl F. Weener, to be a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board
Dr. Michael F. Tillman, to be a Member of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission
Dr. Daryl J. Boness, to be Chairman and Reappointed to the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission
Mr. Jeffrey R. Moreland, to be a Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors
*PLEASE NOTE: List of nominees subject to changes prior to scheduled hearing.
Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for webcast hearings, should contact Tyler Roth at 202-224-0411 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.
Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IVU.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
WASHINGTON, D.C.—I am pleased to welcome our nominees to the committee today. Congratulations and thank you for your continued service to our nation.
During our first panel we will hear from Vice Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., nominated to be the 24th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard faces many challenges as both a branch of our armed services, and a law enforcement and regulatory agency with broad domestic authority.
I have no doubt that, with 35 years of service, including extensive operational experience afloat and ashore, Vice Admiral Papp is up to the challenge.
Vice Admiral Papp currently serves as Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, overseeing all Coast Guard missions in the eastern half of the world and roughly two-thirds of the Coast Guard’s personnel and assets.
Vice Admiral, I look forward to hearing more about how you will lead the Coast Guard through these challenging times.
During our second panel we will hear from Dr. Earl Weener, nominated to be a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board.
As Chief Engineer at Boeing for several years and currently a fellow at the Flight Safety Foundation, Dr. Weener has a good understanding of the problems we face in aviation safety today.
And as a licensed pilot and instructor, Dr. Weener also knows something about the practical aspects of aviation safety.
Jeff Moreland has been nominated to be a member of the Amtrak Board of Directors. Mr. Moreland has a long history of work with the freight rail industry, with almost 30 years at BNSF, and he would bring a different perspective to the Board of Directors.
I expect Mr. Moreland to use his experience and knowledge of rail issues to help Amtrak meet the growing demand for passenger rail in this country.
Dr. Larry Robinson is the President’s nominee to be Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at the Department of Commerce.
He has a strong history of applying his scientific research to help communities meet the challenges of coastal resource management. Through his work at the Environmental Cooperative Science Center, Dr. Robinson is committed to engaging students and creating our next generation of scientists.
If confirmed, Dr. Robinson will face tough decisions that will require him to balance the stewardship of our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes with the economic opportunities they promise.
Dr. Michael Tillman has been nominated to be a member of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission.
Dr. Tillman has spent many years within NOAA, working toward sustainable fisheries management and prioritizing conservation goals.
Dr. Tillman has tremendous expertise in both science and management. His leadership will be valuable as the commission strives to bridge that gap between research and the hard realities of management.
Finally, I am happy to see Dr. Daryl Boness before the Committee today, nominated for another term as Chairman of the Marine Mammal Commission.
Dr. Boness has served on the Commission since 1993, and has been the Chairman since 2008. Dr. Boness has dedicated his career to advancing our understanding of marine mammal behavior and ecology, as well as their interactions with humans.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we balance an increased human presence in the world’s oceans, while still protecting marine mammals and their habitats.
Thank you again to all of today’s nominees. I look forward to your speedy confirmations so you can get to work.
Senator Kay Bailey HutchisonU.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
STATEMENT OF HON. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
MARCH 18, 2009
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Today we will consider 6 nominees chosen to fill a variety of important positions at Amtrak, the Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security, and at the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission.
I will not be able to attend the entire hearing, as the Chairman and I are both managing the FAA reauthorization bill on the floor, but want to congratulate all of the witnesses on their nominations. Since I will miss part of the hearing, I may ask our nominees to respond to questions for the record.
I am honored to be introducing two of the nominees who will be appearing on the second panel, Jeff Moreland, nominated to be a member of the Amtrak Board of Directors, and Dr. Earl Weener (Way-ner) to be a member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
But before I do that, I want to first welcome Vice Admiral Robert Papp, who is nominated to be Commandant of the Coast Guard, and will appear on our first panel.
The U.S. Coast Guard has one of the most diverse missions of all our armed service branches with responsibilities ranging from maritime safety and security to environmental protection and national defense.
The Coast Guard is also our first line of defense in preventing the flow of illegal drugs into the United States by sea, and is well known for its search and rescue missions in response to maritime accidents.In today’s global marketplace, our maritime system is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy.
The Port of Houston alone accounts for nearly $120 billion in economic value and supports over 750,000 jobs in the State of Texas.
I am grateful that for over two centuries, we have been able to rely on the men and women of the Coast Guard to make our ports and waterways safe and secure.
The work of the Coast Guard contributes to the safety and well-being of all U.S. citizens, whether located on our coasts or in the heartland.
Vice Admiral Papp is well qualified to serve as the Coast Guard’s Commandant. In his more than 30 years with the Coast Guard, he has held a variety of positions in the U.S. and abroad.
Currently, he serves as the operational commander for Coast Guard missions for an area extending from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf, including all of Europe and Africa.
Vice Admiral Papp concurrently serves as Commander, Defense Force East and provides Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders.
Now, I would like to introduce our two transportation nominees: Mr. Jeffrey Moreland and Dr. Earl Weener.
I am very pleased that the President has nominated Jeff Moreland, and eagerly lend my strong support for his appointment to the Amtrak Board. I have had the pleasure of knowing Jeff for many years and working with him when he was an executive with Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway Company and living in Fort Worth, Texas.
Jeff recently retired after a lengthy career in the rail industry. Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President for Public Affairs at BNSF.
He previously served as a senior official at the Santa Fe Railway, which merged with Burlington Northern to form BNSF in 1996. Prior to joining Santa Fe Railway, Mr. Moreland was employed at the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) from 1970-1978.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown University, a J.D. from Catholic University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Jeff will bring a unique perspective to the Amtrak Board, particularly with respect to how Amtrak and the freight railroads can peacefully co-exist, which over the years has, at times, been very challenging.
In short, Jeff knows the rail business and can apply his many years of experience and expertise to improving Amtrak.
I look forward to working with him to improve passenger rail service in Texas and throughout the country.
As a former Vice Chairman of the NTSB, I understand and appreciate the important role the Board plays in promoting transportation safety and am very pleased to lend my support for Dr. Weener’s confirmation, as he will bring a wealth of hands-on aviation safety experience to the Board.
Dr. Earl Weener, who is from Sherwood, Oregon, has been a Consultant and Fellow with the Flight Safety Foundation since 2002. While at the Foundation, he has led industry initiatives to improve runway safety and reduce ground accidents and injuries.
Prior to his time with the Flight Safety Foundation, Dr. Weener was with the Boeing Corporation for 15 years, serving most recently as Chief Engineer for Safety Technology Development.
Dr. Weener earned his Doctorate, Masters, and Bachelor’s Degrees in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan. He also holds a U.S. Coast Guard Master’s License.
Among the Board’s latest “most wanted” list of safety improvements are higher equipment standards and a prohibition on cell phone use to improve motorcoach safety.
All of these recommendations are addressed by S. 554, bus safety legislation that I have co-sponsored with Senator Brown of Ohio. This measure was reported out of Committee in December, and I am committed to enacting this very important safety legislation this year.
NOAH/MARINE MAMMAL COMMISSION
Finally, I want to welcome our nominees for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Marine Mammal Commission.
Dr. Larry Robinson has been nominated for a new Assistant Secretary position within the Department of Commerce to focus on conservation and resource management priorities for NOAA.
Dr. Daryl Boness and Dr. Michael Tillman are being nominated to the Marine Mammal Commission.
Again, I welcome all of today’s nominees. I congratulate you and thank you for your willingness to serve.
Witness Panel 1
Vice Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr.to be Commandant of the United States Coast GuardU.S. Department of Homeland Security
Witness Panel 2
Dr. Larry Robinsonto be Assistant Secretary for Oceans and AtmosphereU.S. Department of Commerce
Dr. Earl F. Weenerto be a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board
Dr. Michael F. Tillmanto be a Member of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission
Dr. Daryl J. Bonessto be Chairman and Reappointed to the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission
Mr. Jeffrey R. Morelandto be Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors