Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Senators question EPA's 'transparency' on social cost of carbon estimates

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Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, joined nine other senators in sending a letter on Tuesday to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, highlighting their concerns about the formulation of the social cost of carbon (SCC) estimates.

“On July 2, 2015, the administration released a technical update to the SCC and a response to the 150 substantive public comments submitted on the estimates,” the letter said. “Despite the IWG (Interagency Working Group) spending over a year and four months reviewing these comments, the SCC update reflected a mere $1 difference in the SCC estimates and provided superficial responses to public comments.”

Inhofe was joined in the letter by Sens. David Vitter (R-LA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK) and Mike Rounds (R-SD). The senators used the letter to highlight issues they have with the Obama administration’s handling of the IWG, which has been sheltered from questions regarding its formulation, membership and processes.

“Critically, despite the veil of the IWG and the administration’s resistance to SCC transparency, we have learned that the EPA, in fact, was responsible for calculating the SCC estimates,” the letter said. “We have also identified several former or current EPA officials who directly participated in the IWG. Accordingly, as an integral participant in the IWG, we are requesting corresponding documents directly from the EPA.”

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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