Yesterday, members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee issued a pointed response to Lisa Jackson’s new mercury rules for coal-fired power plants.
The House Committee press release is reprinted below:
Washington DC – Today, Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) and Subcommittee Chairmen, Dr. Andy Harris (R-MD) and Dr. Paul Broun (R-GA), reiterated calls on the Administration to end its stonewalling of numerous Congressional requests for data and information related to EPA’s scientific and technical justification for its Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule, which is estimated to cost the U.S. economy at least $11 billion.
The Agency continues to tout the health benefits from the reduction in mercury and air toxics required under the rule. More than 99 percent of the benefits cited by EPA have nothing to do with mercury and air toxics but come from coincidental reductions in fine particulate matter, which is already regulated to a level that the Agency has deemed safe. I had high hopes that EPA when issuing the finalized rule would address the concerns regarding compliance timelines and electricity reliability as well as taking sound science into consideration. While I will continue to review the rule as finalized, I still find this rule will have an adverse effect on our economy, including the potential for significant job losses across the country.
EPA’s lack of clarity regarding the scientific justifications for and ignorance of process throughout this rulemaking has been astounding. The scientific foundation that serves as the basis of this regulation is well-known to be fraught with significant shortcomings. Through extensive hearings on Clean Air Act science we determined EPA relies heavily on repeated double-counting of dubious health benefits to justify the economics of its rules.
The EPA fails to analyze and communicate scientific uncertainties, refuses to make key scientific data publicly available, and short-changes the peer review process. In short, the Administration’s political agenda aims to frighten Americans into supporting a regulatory agenda against affordable energy, while science and objective analysis takes a backseat.
We have repeatedly called attention to the ‘press release science’ that EPA uses to advance its regulatory assault on the economy. However, Administrator Jackson’s use of a children’s hospital at today’s regulatory rollout is a whole new level of politicization. Today’s announcement suggested to the public the Utility MACT is the only way to protect public health, including that of children. This political posturing ignores the repeated claims by EPA that public health is already being protected within an adequate margin of safety in regard to particulate matter. Why the need for myriad Clean Air Act rules if EPA could achieve the same result from a single rule?
Prior Committee correspondence on this issue is HERE.