In an August 13th letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (TX) expressed a number of concerns about the data and analysis used in constructing the agency’s landmark carbon dioxide mandate. Rep. Smith is Chairman of the House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology.
Rep. Smith expressed specific concerns that the modeling used to regulate greenhouse gases under Section 111d of the Clean Air Act was flawed and deficient. Such flaws, he argues, have become routine in the agency’s analysis for important rules.
“Flaws in recent EPA analysis amplify concerns about the real impacts of these regulations. Last week the Government Accountability Office released a report highlighting a pattern of shoddy EPA analysis. It was revealed that EPA relied on decades old data and ignored important factors,” Smith’s letter reads. “The independent watchdog warned that ‘EPA cannot ensure that its [analysis provides] the public with a clear understanding of its decision making’.”
PACE and others have argued that significant questions remain unanswered about the potential costs of the new carbon dioxide mandate, as well as about the rule’s benefits. A study by NERA Economic Consulting released just this month summarizes that EPA’s rule comes with high costs and highly questionable results. Rep. Smith alleges, too, that EPA has not been forthright with consumers about the bargain proposed by the new rule.
“The effects of EPA’s policies will vary dramatically and hinge on a wide variety of issues including everything from existing power resources and access to low cost alternatives to infrastructure constraints and energy demands. Americans deserve the bottom line: what does it cost and what will we get for the money?”
Most recently, Rep. Smith submitted a follow-up letter to Administrator McCarthy after receiving a less than satisfactory response to his detailed concerns. The letter asks the agency chief to reveal to the American people about how the modeling was performed and what the consequences of the rule will be.
“With the close of the comment period rapidly approaching, the EPA must perform the requested analysis immediately,” he writes. “We cannot afford to ignore the inconvenient details when the truth hangs in the balance. I appreciate your respect for our shared obligation to the American people to be transparent and honest.”